August 20, 2014

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Indians announce signing of pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka

The Indians officially announced the signing of Daisuke Matsuzaka on Wednesday, with the right-hander expected to compete for a spot in Cleveland’s rotation.

Matsuzaka

Matsuzaka, 32, met with reporters at the team’s spring training complex in Goodyear, Ariz., saying that he chose to sign a free-agent contract with the Indians for an opportunity to play for manager Terry Francona again and to pitch against his former team, the Boston Red Sox.

Nicknamed “Dice-K” after arriving as a phenom from the Japanese Professional League in 2007, Matsuzaka went 50-37 with a 4.53 ERA in 116 starts for the Red Sox over six seasons. The two-time World Baseball Classic MVP, went 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA in 29 starts for Boston in 2008, but has been limited to 18 starts over the past two seasons, thanks to reconstructive elbow surgery in 2011.

Outfielder Michael Bourn, who agreed to a four-year contract worth $48 million, is expected to arrive in Goodyear today to undergo his physical examination. The club is expected to officially announce his acquisition shortly after.

The Indians also released their promotional schedule for the 2013 season. Included is a bobblehead night featuring former slugger Albert Belle. Belle has been estranged from the team since his tenure in Cleveland ended after the 1996 season, but he made an appearance in Goodyear last spring and attended a regular season game at Progressive Field.