[9/17/2017] Softbank open to offering Matsuzaka a new contract

Thirty-seven-year-old Daisuke Matsuzaka is in the final year of a three-year contract. According to Nikkan Sports, he is still interested in playing next year. The Softbank Hawks have yet to speak to him about 2018 and beyond, but appear to be open to offering him another contract if he wants to continue playing. They will most likely approach him before the end of the season.

Matsuzaka is currently working his way back from right shoulder problems.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/17/2017, Sponichi 9/17/2017, Sports Hochi 9/17/2017

[UPDATE 9/27 @ 3:55pm]

Matsuzaka told reporters on September 26 that he would have given up rehabbing his right shoulder if he had no plans to continue playing next year. He wants at least one more chance to return to the mound.

Matsuzaka has been rehabbing at various facilities in the Kanto region, away from the team’s Chikugo facilities, since mid-August. He returned to the Chikugo facilities on September 26 and was able to play catch at a distance of about forty meters.

The Hawks are planning to sit down with Matsuzaka to discuss his plans and schedule. They are prepared to provide him with whatever support he needs. If the Hawks do sign him to another contract, it will most likely be for a lot less than the estimated 400 million yen he is currently making.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/27/2017, Sports Hochi 9/27/2017, Daily Sports 9/27/2017, Nikkan Sports 9/27/2017, Nikkan Sports 9/27/2017

[UPDATE 10/3 @ 10:45pm]

Matsuzaka was able to play catch at a distance of fifty meters today.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/3/2017

[UPDATE 10/15 @ 6:18am]

Matsuzaka tossed a bullpen session on October 14. It was his first session in about half a year. It was not a full session, but more like an extension of playing catch off an incline.

Source: Tokyo Sports 10/14/2017

[UPDATE 10/26 @ 6:01pm]

Matsuzaka tossed a bullpen session on October 26. He threw about fifty pitches to a standing catcher and twenty to a squatting catcher. It was the first time he threw to a squatting catcher since April. He was able to throw the ball at close to full strength.

Fixed an error in translation and added more information on 10/28 @ 3:17am

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/26/2017, Sponichi 10/26/2017, Nikkan Sports 10/27/2017

[UPDATE 11/4 @ 2:12m]

The media learned on November 3 that Matsuzaka will be leaving the Hawks because he wants to continue playing. The Hawks informed the veteran that he was not going to be a part of the team’s plans next year and offered him a job within the organization. Matsuzaka declined their offer and instead opted to leave the team.

Matsuzaka has already cleared out his locker at the Hawks’ farm facilities. He will most likely focus on playing opportunities in Japan.

It should be noted that Tokyo Sports is carrying a slightly different story: the Hawks were willing to sign Matsuzaka to another contract, but he instead asked to be released.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/4/2017, Sponichi 11/4/2017, Daily Sports 11/4/2017, Sports Hochi 11/4/2017, Tokyo Sports 11/4/2017

[UPDATE 11/5 @ 12:35am]

According to Tokyo Sports, Matsuzaka might try to find a place to play in the United States (MLB or independent league). He might not find any suitors in Japan, plus his family is living in the US.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/4/2017

[UPDATE 11/5 @ 11:37am]

The Hawks apparently tried to offer Matsuzaka a similar deal they had with¬†Kazumi Saito — take him off their seventy-man roster with a promise to add him back as soon as he is ready, keep him on the payroll by giving him a job and title (like San-gun rehab coach), and allow him to recover from his injury at his own pace.

A Seibu official told reporters on November 4 they had yet to consider Matsuzaka and that they had no comment at this time.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/5/2017, Sports Hochi 11/5/2017

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Hanshin 143 78 61 4
Yokohama 143 73 65 5
Yomiuri 143 72 68 3
Chunichi 143 59 79 5
Yakult 143 45 96 2
G W L T
Softbank 143 94 49 0
Seibu 143 79 61 3
Rakuten 143 77 63 3
Orix 143 63 79 1
Nippon Ham 143 60 83 0
Lotte 143 54 87 2
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