Dice-K releases statement about neck issue

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matsuzaka posing.JPGDaisuke Matsuzaka would not talk to reporters about his neck discomfort Saturday, but he did issue a short statement through a team spokesperson.  Here it is, via the Boston Globe:

“I didn’t throw live BP today due to stiffness in my neck. As for my
schedule going forward, I’m going to see how I feel tomorrow, meet with
the coaching staff and decide at that point.”

The 29-year-old right-hander failed to complete a scheduled live batting practice session on Saturday due to neck stiffness and is almost certain to miss the start of the regular season.  It’s another disappointing setback for a guy in desperate need of a turn-around performance in 2010.  He made just 12 starts last season and finished with an ugly 4-6 record on top of an even uglier 5.76 ERA.  It’s not known when he will be ready to compete again, but chances are we won’t see him until late April or even May.

Report: Guardians, 1B Josh Bell reach 2-year, $33M deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The Cleveland Guardians and slugging first baseman Josh Bell have agreed to a two-year, $33 million contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a review of medical records.

Bell played for Washington and San Diego last season, batting .266 with 17 homers and 71 RBIs in 156 games.

Cleveland is coming off a surprising 2022 season, going 92-70 and winning the AL Central for the first time since 2018. The addition of Bell gives the Guardians more power for their lineup after they hit just 127 homers this year – the second-lowest total in the majors.

The 30-year-old Bell is a .262 hitter with 130 homers and 468 RBIs over seven seasons with three big league teams. He had his best year with Pittsburgh in 2019, making the NL All-Star team while batting .277 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs in 143 games.

The switch-hitting Bell also is expected to benefit from restrictions on defensive positioning coming to the game next year.