Mets re-sign Daisuke Matsuzaka

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Daisuke Matsuzaka wasn’t exactly impressive in his late-season action for the Mets, starting seven games with a 4.42 ERA and 33/16 K/BB ratio in 39 innings, but he was apparently impressive enough to re-sign.

Matsuzaka will be back with the Mets on a minor-league deal, which includes an invitation to spring training and a chance to compete for an Opening Day roster spot at age 33.

Matsuzaka hasn’t been an above-average pitcher since his second MLB season in 2008, compiling a 5.41 ERA in 62 starts since then, and he wasn’t particularly effective at Triple-A last season either.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.