Daisuke Matsuzaka, Indians agree on minor-league deal

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With at least one spot open in his rotation, new Indians manager Terry Francona will give a pitcher he knows well a shot to win a starting job.

Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka agreed to a minor league contract with Cleveland. Matsuzaka, who pitched for Francona with the Boston Red Sox, must pass a physical for the deal to be finalized.

The Indians’ pitchers and catchers reported to camp in Goodyear, Ariz. on Sunday, with physicals scheduled to take place today.

The 32-year-old Matsuzaka would get a $1.5 million, one-year contract if added to the 40-man roster and would be able to earn $2.5 million in performance bonuses based on innings and starts.

He has won 50 major league games since signing a $52 million, six-year contract with Boston as free agent in 2007.

Dice-K went 33-15 with a 3.72 ERA in 61 starts for Boston in 2007-08. However, he has been limited to 18 starts and 83 innings the last two seasons after right elbow surgery in 2011.

The Indians’ preliminary agreement with Matsuzka comes one day after the club signed 42-year-old slugger Jason Giambi to a minor league deal.

CUBS: Outfielder Scott Hairston and the team have finalized a two-year contract.

The 32-year-old Hairston hit .263 with a career-high 20 homers, 57 RBI and 25 doubles last year in his second season with the Mets.

REDS: Pitcher Armando Galarraga agreed to a minor league contract with Cincinnati and will try to win a job at spring training.

The 31-year-old right-hander was 0-4 with a 6.75 ERA in five starts last year with the Houston Astros.

DIAMONDBACKS: Catcher Rod Barajas is returning to Arizona, where he started his major league career.

The team said Sunday the 37-year-old agreed to a minor league contract. He will go to spring training and compete with Wil Nieves for a backup job behind Miguel Montero.

DODGERS: Mark Lowe and Los Angeles agreed to a minor league contract, giving the team another bullpen option in spring training.


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