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Mets pay Daisuke Matsuzaka's $100,000 retention bonus

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The Mets reserve the right to keep Dice-K in the minors by paying his bonus.

The New York Mets have reserved the right to keep Daisuke Matsuzaka by paying his $100,000 retention bonus. This move was made in anticipation of having to name a fifth starter this week, and gives the Mets the ability to send Matsuzaka to the minor leagues to start the year.

Some may see this as a statement of support for Jenrry Mejia, but ESPN's Adam Rubin suggests that it may only be for Opening Week and if the team options Mejia to the minors, they cannot bring him back for ten days. The move also gives the Mets the flexibility to carry an extra starter—namely, Matsuzaka in addition to Mejia—if it looks like Jon Niese will need to skip a second turn of the rotation. Moreover, it buys more time for the Mets to make a decision.

It seems more and more likely that the Mets will start the year with both Matsuzaka and Mejia on the major league roster, and both could see time if Jon Niese still feels lingering pain. Alternatively, the Mets spent $100,000 to have some extra roster options in the season's early going.