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.

Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.

Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.

Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.

Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.