Matsuzaka a Future Hawk

The Japan champion Softbank Hawks have offered Daisuke Matsuzake a four year contract estimated at about $3.5 million. The best he will get in the major leagues is a one year minor league contract. If the offer is true his days as a major league pitcher could be done. It would be difficult to turn down that kind of money from a winning franchise.

Daisuke has won 56 games as a major leaguer with an ERA of 4.50. Not necessarily the Hall of Fame numbers you would have expected after his 18-3, 2.90 ERA for the 2008 season, his second in the majors. An arm injury attributed to his pitching Japan to the World Baseball Classic championship resulted in six poor to average seasons after that. His 3.89 ERA last year was the second best season of his major league career, though he pitched mostly in relief.

In Japan he would have an opportunity to build on his 108-60, 2.95 ERA, something major league fans only saw one season of that kind of production. He tended to show more control in Japan, especially in his later years, walking less than three hitters per nine innings. In the major leagues his walk rate never got below 3.5, even hitting five walks per nine innings in his 2008 season.

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