Friday December 5th, 2014

Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka is returning to the country to pitch after signing with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In 2014, Matsuzaka, 34, went 3-3 with a 3.89 ERA and 78 strikeouts for the New York Mets, with whom he spent the last two seasons.

“This is a very solid team,” Matsuzaka said, referring to Fukuoka. “I remember from my days pitching in Japan how difficult they were to face. It should be a very enjoyable team to pitch for.”

Matsuzaka pitched for the Seibu Lions from 1999–2006 and led the Pacific League of the NPB in wins three times. He signed a six-year, $52 million contract with the Boston Red Sox in 2006 after Boston paid a $51.1 million fee to sign him.

He spent eight seasons in the majors, going 56-43 with a 4.45 ERA in 132 starts. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2007, and in 2008 he went 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 154 strikeouts.

- Scooby Axson

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