The MLB released a list of free agents on Thursday. Hiroyuki Nakajima (Athletics), Kyuji Fujikawa (Cubs), Hisashi Iwakuma (Mariners), Daisuke Matsuzaka (Mets), Norichika Aoki (Royals), Hiroki Kuroda (Yankees), and Ichiro Suzuki (Yankees) were included on the list. Fujikawa and Iwakuma have options.
Source: MLB.com 10/30/2014
The Boston Red Sox signed Koji Uehara (39) to a two-year deal worth eighteen million US dollars. From ESPN's Gordon Edes:
... The Red Sox signed Uehara before he became eligible to negotiate with other clubs Tuesday. His deal nearly doubles the two-year, $9.25 million contract he signed with the Red Sox before the 2013 season, before he had been identified as the club's closer. It is $2 million less than last's winter's two-year, $20 million deal the Detroit Tigers gave to free agent Joe Nathan, who is perhaps the closest comparison to Uehara, given that he was 38, a year younger than the Japanese right-hander.
... "You're really looking at a guy who has been one of the elite relievers in baseball for several years," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. "And again, based on our evaluation at the end of the year and what he did, we did not see any reason why that can't continue.''
... "From a health standpoint, he had a little lower back issue at the end of the year, but that was resolved and wasn't really a concern going forward," Cherington said, making the first mention by any Red Sox official that the pitcher's back had been bothering him.
Source: ESPN 10/30/2014
Hisashi Iwakuma (33) will be back in Seattle next year. From The Seattle Times' Ryan Divish:
... The Mariners announced that [Iwakuma's] $7 million option for 2015 has been exercised. However, they didn't decide on the option. Per a source, Iwakuma did enough in 2014 — 15-9 with a 3.52 ERA in 28 starts — and last season to have the option vest automatically. So there was no decision to be made.
Source: The Seattle Times 10/30/2014
The Chicago Cubs declined Kyuji Fujikawa's (34) option. From The Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales:
The Chicago Cubs' 40-man roster shrunk to 35 Thursday as reliever Carlos Villanueva filed for free agency, and the team declined the 2015 option on reliever Kyuji Fujikawa.
... Fujikawa will receive a $500,000 buyout and becomes a free agent.
Source: ESPN 10/30/2014
Daisuke Matsuzaka is planning to return to his home in Boston to begin workouts for next season in November. Source: Sponichi 10/31/2014