• Kyodo


Former Boston Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka is poised to join the Chunichi Dragons after passing a closed-door tryout held Tuesday at the team’s practice facility in Nagoya.

The 37-year-old left the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks last year after pitching in just one game in his return from right shoulder surgery he underwent in August 2015.

“It’s a relief,” said Matsuzaka, who threw 22 pitches before Dragons manager Shigekazu Mori decided he had seen enough.

“I didn’t want to give up. I came here with the feeling that I only wanted to call it quits after I had pitched with all my heart and soul.”

Mori, a Seibu Lions pitching coach when Matsuzaka turned pro with that club, said he had few fixed expectations for the former superstar.

“I’m not saying win 10 games or 20,” Mori said. “He has established a body of work, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do with our team.

“One wants to go out in style. If possible, I would like to provide that opportunity. If you work on that premise, you never know what might happen.”

The Dragons will be Matsuzaka’s first Central League club. He will join his new teammates for spring training, which starts Feb. 1 in Okinawa.

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