Update: Matsuzaka will start for the Mets tomorrow night against the Tiges.
The Mets will option Greg Burke to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room on the roster.
This afternoon, the Mets inked 32 year-old right hander Daisuke Matsuzaka to a major league deal through the rest of this season. Matsuzaka was granted unconditional release from the Indians on Tuesday. With Jeremy Hefner and Jenrry Mejia likely out for the remainder of the season, he will fill the void left by them and hopefully allow the Mets to stick to their innings limit plans on some Triple-A pitching prospects.
Matsuzaka has had a very up-and-down career since the Red Sox dropped over $100 million to sign him before the 2007 season. In six years with Boston, he posted a 4.52 ERA, 4.37 FIP, and 4.56 xFIP over 117 appearances. He had his best season in 2008, when finished fourth in the AL Cy Young Award voting with a 2.90 ERA despite walking 5.0 batters per nine. Since then Matsuzaka’s ERA is 5.53 over 296 innings. He became injury prone and eventually the Red Sox relegated him to Triple-A in the last year of his contract out of frustration.
This season after signing a deal with Cleveland, Matsuzaka has failed to make the major league club, but has had a decent season with Cleveland’s affiliate, Triple-A Columbus. For Columbus, he has a 3.92 ERA in 19 starts to go along with a 1.28 WHIP, 8.3 K/9, and 3.4 BB/9 ratings.
With pitching prospects Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, and possibly others set take on significant roles next season (with Montero and Syndergaard in the rotation and deGrom possibly in the bullpen), Matsuzaka is just a filler signing to get the Mets through the rest of the season without having to expose pitchers like Montero, Syndergaard, and others too early.
Matsuzaka will likely join the team this week. The 40-man roster currently stands at 39, so the Mets will not have to designate anyone for assignment to bring Matsuzaka on, but someone will have to be dropped from the active roster.