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Matsuzaka deal likely done


BOSTON -- Daisuke Matsuzaka headed to Boston on Wednesday with Red Sox officials, a sign Boston had reached a preliminary contract agreement with the star pitcher.

"They all took off together," Red Sox owner John Henry said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Team president Larry Lucchino said shortly after noon ET that the plane was leaving California.

In prior days, agent Scott Boras had said he would not allow Matsuzaka to travel to Boston for a physical unless the sides had reached a preliminary agreement.

Boston officials flew to Newport Beach, Calif., on Monday on Henry's plane and said they would return Wednesday with or without Matsuzaka.

The team and Matsuzaka have a midnight Friday ET deadline to reach an agreement.