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Baseball: Indians set to roll dice with Matsuzaka


Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Japanese pitching ace who helped Boston to a World Series title before injury derailed his Major League Baseball career, is set to sign a minor-league deal with Cleveland.

"Dice-K" and the Indians reached an agreement on Sunday, pending completion of a physical exam on Monday, an article posted on the team's website said.

Matsuzaka helped the Red Sox win the 2007 World Series in his first Major League season.

He had "Tommy John" ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow on June 10 of 2011 to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament and didn't return until June 9 of 2012.

He was limited to 11 starts in 2012, going 1-7 with an 8.28 ERA in his sixth season with the Red Sox.

But Indians manager Terry Francona, who saw Matsuzaka in his major league prime as the manager of the 2007 Red Sox, clearly thinks it's worth giving him a chance to revive his career.

Matsuzaka arrived in Boston to great fanfare after the Red Sox bid $51.1 million just for the right to negotiate with him through Japan's posting system.

He departed the Seibu Lions and signed a six-year, $52 million deal with the Red Sox.

After helping Boston win the World Series in his first season, he delivered his best Major League season in 2008, building an 18-3 record with a 2.90 ERA and 154 strikeouts.