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Release and Catch: Indians release Dice-K, to sign him again

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The Indians have never been shy about being creative with their roster management. The trend continues with this latest move.

Christian Petersen

Yesterday the Indians released Daisuke Matsuzaka, but it's likely that he'll be re-signed in the next couple of days. What's the reason for this? Most likely it's how his contract is structured. Perhaps Matsuzaka wanted a "must call up" date sooner than the standard June 1st date built in to the XX(B) free agent minor-league contract, and perhaps the Indians wanted to shave some dollars off the $100K "bonus" Matsuzaka would be due under the same contract. Had Matsuzaka remained signed, the Indians would have had to either release him, add him to the 40-man roster, or sent him to the minors (with the player's permission). Had they chose the latter option, Matsuzaka was due $100K.

Now there is nothing preventing Matsuzaka from signing with another club, though I'm guessing there's a handshake deal between the two sides. And if the two sides can't negotiate a new contract, then he'd be free to find somewhere else to go. But for now, you have to assume that this release is just a prelude to get a new deal in place that both sides are happy with.