An interesting tidbit from Bill Center from the San Diego Union-Tribune: former Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has interest in pitching for the Padres. According to Center’s report, Matsuzaka told Japanese media members that he would relish the opportunity to restart his career in San Diego.
At one time, Matsuzaka was the toast of the baseball world. He did finish fourth in the Cy Young Award voting in 2008, but has battled injuries and ineffectiveness since then. Last year, Matsuzaka posted an 8.28 ERA in 45.2 innings. He had Tommy John surgery in 2011.
Matsuzaka would be an intriguing option for the Padres. Money will not be a factor, as it would be difficult to fathom Dice-K getting more that a few million on the open market. Matsuzaka could be the Padres latest reclamation project, despite the new dimensions of Petco Park.
In a limited amount of innings in 2012, the velocity of Matsuzaka’s fastball actually improved from 2011. He averages just around 90 MPH, still down from his peak in 2008. For what it is worth, Bill James predicts a 7-9 record, with a 4.11 ERA in 2013 for Dice-K. For a few million dollars, I will take that in the back-end of rotation all day.
If money is not an issue and Matsuzaka is indeed the party that expressed interest, he could be a shrewd signing.