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.
By releasing Dice-K now, #Indians don't have to pay him $100,000 retention bonus Tues, while renegotiating his deal.— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) March 25, 2013
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.