Matsuzaka ready to move on to 2011


Matsuzaka ready to move on to 2011

By SeanMcAdam

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After four years with the Red Sox, some of the novelty surrounding Daisuke Matsuzaka has worn off, and with it, the ever-present media attention.

And that, Matsuzaka says, is just fine. The more Matsuzaka can be just a pitcher and not an international icon or curiousity piece, the happier he'll be.

"Every year, I feel more accustomed to playing Major League Baseball,'' said Matsuzaka. "I prefer less attention.''

Reflecting on his first four years with the Red Sox, Matsuzaka said they have "been good and bad. Good times and bad experiences as well. I'd like to use the four years' experience to produce a better performance this year.

In some ways, this will be a season of transition for Matsuzaka. John Farrell, the only pitching coach Matsuzaka has worked with since coming to the Sox, left to manage the Toronto Blue Jays, replaced by former Oakland A's pitching coach Curt Young.

"There are no major changes when new coaches arrive,'' Matsuzaka said. "I like to communicate with Curt Young. He tries to understand situations and we'll go from there.''

He'll also be working (mostly) with a new batterymate, as Jarrod Saltalamacchia takes over as the primary catcher, replacing Victor Martinez, with whom Matsuzaka occasionally clashed.

"I feel comfortable throwing to Saltalamacchia, certainly,'' said Matsuzaka. "His catching style is very close to Japanese catchers.''

After winning 33 games in his first two seasons in the big leagues, Matsuzaka won just 13 in 2009 and 2010 combined, chiefly because of a series of nagging injuries which limited him.

"In the past two years, I wasn't 100 percent confident about my physical condition,'' Matsuzaka said. "However, this camp, I feel very good.''

Matsuzaka conceded that the littany of injuries -- including shoulder issues, lat pulls and back soreness -- have been frustrating.

"But it's a past thing,'' he said, "so I'm not really focused on past injuries. I want to move on.''

Sean McAdam can be reached at Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.

Terms of the deals were not announced.

It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.  

Report: Bradley Jr. avoids arbitration, agrees to 1-year, $3.6M deal with Red Sox

Report: Bradley Jr. avoids arbitration, agrees to 1-year, $3.6M deal with Red Sox

Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with the team, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported.

Bradley, who turns 27 April 19, had his best season in 2016, hitting .267 with 26 homers and a league-best 29-game hitting streak. He also won his first Gold Glove. A Scott Boras client, Bradley isn’t eligible for free agency until 2020. 
Friday at 1 p.m. was the deadline to reach deals to avoid arbitration. 

Other arbitration-eligible Red Sox are infielders Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt, left-handers Drew Pomeranz and Fernando Abad, right-handers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross and Tyler Thornburg and catcher Sandy Leon.