Indians release Daisuke Matsuzaka

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Former Red Sox star pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has been released from the Cleveland Indians, per the team’s official Twitter. Matsuzaka battled a litany of injuries throughout his career: a shoulder strain in 2008 and ’09, a neck strain and a forearm strain in 2010, Tommy John surgery in 2011, recovery from the surgery in 2012, and a calf strain this spring.

Since a brilliant 2008 in which the right-hander posted an 18-3 record with a 2.90 ERA, he has posted a 5.53 ERA. The Indians signed him to a Minor League deal on February 10. Despite posting a 2.25 ERA in ten spring innings, the Indians are choosing between Carlos Carrasco and Scott Kazmir for the fifth spot in the starting rotation.

Scott Miller of CBS Sports also reports on Twitter that the Indians save themselves $100,000 on a retention bonus due Tuesday.

Report: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

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The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.

Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.

Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.