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Mets sign Daisuke Matsuzaka to minor league contract

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

The Mets are bringing Daisuke Matsuzaka back for pitching depth.
The Mets are bringing Daisuke Matsuzaka back for pitching depth. (USATSI)

MORE: FA tracker: position players | FA tracker: pitchers

The Mets have re-signed right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, reports Jon Heyman of The deal includes a $1.5 million base salary if he makes the team.

Matsuzaka, 33, went 3-3 with a 4.42 ERA (81 ERA+) in seven starts for the Mets late last season. He spent most of the year in Triple-A with the Indians, where he went 5-8 with a 3.92 ERA in 19 starts. Dice-K missed most of the 2011-12 seasons due to Tommy John surgery.

Matsuzaka will compete with Jenrry Mejia and John Lannan for New York's fifth starter spot. All three pitchers have dealt with some kind of injury problems in recent years.

When he first came over from Japan during the 2006-07 offseason, the Mets placed the second highest bid for Matsuzaka at $40 million or so. The Red Sox won his rights with a $51 million bid.

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