March 27, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka (20) throws in the first inning during a spring training game against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Mets Sign Daisuke Matsuzaka


UPDATE, 6:17 PM:

The Mets have confirmed the signing of Matsuzaka, and announced that he will be starting tomorrow night’s game against the Tigers at Citi Field.  Matsuzaka will wear #16.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

According to the Mets beat writers, citing a source, the Mets have signed starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka to a Major League deal.

Matsuzaka, 32, had a 3.92 ERA over 19 starts for the Indians’ AAA affiliate before being released earlier this week.  There had been some noise over the winter that the Mets might sign Matsuzaka, but nothing came of it during the offseason.

With Jeremy Hefner likely about to undergo Tommy John Surgery and with Jenrry Mejia‘s season over due to bone chips in his elbow, the Mets are left with four healthy starters (Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jonathon Niese, and Dillon Gee).  In Hefner and Mejia’s absence, Carlos Torres was prepared to slide into the rotation beginning tomorrow against Detroit.

It’s not yet clear whether Matsuzaka will take Torres’ place in the rotation, or if the Mets will use six starters in order to ease the workload on Harvey and Wheeler, who are both approaching their innings limits.

The above circumstances, along with the Mets’ options in AAA (Rafael Montero, Jacob deGrom) approaching innings limits of their own, necessitated the signing of Matsuzaka.

…for every move the Mets make, there will always be fans who raise their arms in disapproval.  This move, while not sexy and not likely to benefit the team long-term, was necessary.  It’s a low risk signing, and was done in order to bolster a rotation that’s running out of healthy arms.  More importantly, the acquisition of Matsuzaka and his addition to the rotation, should allow both Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler to finish the season without being shut down due to reaching their respective innings limits.

 

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