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Indians release Daisuke Matsuzaka

Cleveland has parted ways with the veteran right-hander, though it's likely a temporary formality.

Christian Petersen

The Cleveland Indians have released right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka from his minor-league contract, the team has announced.

The 32-year-old won't likely be out of the Indians' organization for long, however, as the team is negotiating a new contract with the veteran right-hander, per Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer.

In camp to compete for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, Dice-K was told last week that he would not make the Opening Day roster, but expressed a desire to remain in the organization.

Because Matsuzaka is what is known as an "Article XX(B) free agent," the Tribe would have had to pay him a $100,000 bonus to go to the minors if had they not released him. Now that he's technically a free agent, Cleveland can strike a new deal with the right-hander and keep the $100k.

Matsuzaka pitched well in his brief spring stint with the Tribe -- posting a 2.25 ERA and striking out three in eight innings of work -- but never really got the opportunity to battle for a rotation spot because he was held up by a calf injury.

Fellow reclamation project Scott Kazmir appears to have won the final spot in the rotation. Dice-K could get the call to Cleveland if things go south for the former Rays and Angels' southpaw.