By JIM ARMSTRONG
AP Sports Writer
NARITA, Japan (AP) — Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka was “surprised” to hear the Boston Red Sox bid $51.1 million for the rights to negotiate a contract with him.
“I was very surprised when I heard the figure,” the 26-year-old said Wednesday before flying to the United States. “It shows that they really appreciate my ability. I know there will be a lot of pressure, but that’s something I’m used to and something I enjoy.”
The right-hander has a 108-60 career record with a 2.95 ERA and 1,355 strikeouts in 204 games.
Matsuzaka said he looked forward to seeing Boston, though he stressed that he hasn’t signed a contract so “it’s not as though I’m on the team yet. The Red Sox are a team that has a long history, great fans and a great atmosphere.”