Rangers ace Yu Darvish, who missed the final six weeks of the season with an elbow injury, has been cleared to resume throwing.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that an MRI exam came back clean, so Darvish will begin his usual offseason throwing schedule. He’s expected to do some throwing in early December.
Before being shut down Darvish was his usual fantastic self with a 3.07 ERA and 182 strikeouts in 144 innings, posting a double-digit strikeout rate for the third time in three MLB seasons.
Add the Indians to the list of teams in the mix for free agent Chase Headley, as Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com reports that they “have shown interest” in the third baseman.
Cleveland already has Lonnie Chisenhall at third base and he hit .280 with 13 homers and a .770 OPS in 142 games this season at age 25. However, he slumped in the second half and Castrovince writes that the Indians may be open to moving him to the outfield or maybe even trading him.
It seems unlikely that the Indians would winning a bidding war for Headley, especially since they have a decent third baseman already and Yankees are interested in re-signing him, but the possibility apparently exists.
Anthony Swarzak was due for a raise to around $1.5 million via arbitration, but the Twins have decided to drop him from the 40-man roster rather than keeping him around for 2015.
Swarzak can soak up innings in a long-relief role, but he doesn’t throw hard, miss bats, or have great control. He’s essentially a replacement-level reliever, which isn’t worth paying $1.5 million, and his bullpen spot would probably be better invested in a younger arm.
Drafted by the Twins in 2004, he has a 4.48 ERA in 440 career innings.
Daisuke Matsuzaka is returning to Japan after playing six seasons with the Red Sox and the past two seasons with the Mets.
According to the Japan Times he’s agreed to a contract with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, who are the reigning Japanese League champions.
Matsuzaka left Japan in 2007 to sign a $51 million contract with the Red Sox and had immediate success, but he’s mostly been a mess since 2009 and is now 34 years old.
If this is it for Matsuzaka in America, he finishes with a 4.45 ERA in 790 innings, striking out 720 while allowing 721 hits and 387 walks.
Not surprisingly Rays bench coach Dave Martinez has decided to leave the organization after being passed over in the search for manager Joe Maddon’s replacement.
Martinez was among the initial 10 candidates for the job, but didn’t even make the final three announced last week after serving as Maddon’s right-hand man since 2008.
There’s been lots of speculation that Martinez will eventually wind up in Chicago, back on Maddon’s staff with the Cubs.