Not that anyone cares, but I figured I’d get my opinions on the Matsuzaka posting on the record now that it is finally confirmed (congrats to Mr. Olney for breaking this – he just gained added trust from this reader), for posterity and Google searching next year (when DM is either 19-0 with a 1.14 ERA, on th DL, or doing his best Jaret f*cking Wright imitation). I have also created a category called "Matsuzaka" over to the left, and will begin tagging all DM-related posts to this category now. There’s been a great deal of superb discussion (16 threads, 547 comments and counting!) this past week here on all sides, and it’s worth having them sortable as a reference down the road.
Read my thoughts after the jump.
This will be, should it transpire:
- A very exciting signing, simply as a fan, forgetting any speculative baseball performance. A new, young player, and a starting pitcher at that. I felt the same way when Beckett was acquired last year: I hadn’t considered that the Sox would go after JB, much less be the winning team in acquiring his services. With Matsuzaka, I knew the Sox would submit a bid, that they would be competitive with many of the other teams bidding, but I didn’t think they’d ice it. I honestly thought that was the Yankees MO, no disrespect intended.
- A very scary signing. Not because of the posting fee by itself, or because of the contract by itself, or because of the lack of ML experience by DM itself, but because of all of these things combined. Like YF has hammered here before, we don’t know the inner finances of these teams, so beating the Sox down for lavishing R&D money on a pitcher who hasn’t sniffed the Majors isn’t what causes me trepidation. To me, it’s just because he hasn’t pitched here before. That may make me a ‘fraidy cat, but I don’t think the fear is irrational. I have similar fears about Papelbon’s move to the rotation and his health, Curt’s health, Wake’s health, Beckett’s development, etc. These fears are related to having a new, somewhat untested pitcher, and not to his contract.
- Neither proof that the Sox are willing to blow their payroll out of the water this offseason, with respect to the luxury tax (kick-in starts at $148M this year), nor evidence that they will be picking up high-priced salary dumps at the trading deadline next year (particularly if, like this year, they deem themselves to be mostly out of contention). I look at this move as an idiosyncracy, for all the reasons that have been hashed out on this site the past week. I make no assumptions that next August the front office will be acting any differently than they did this year, unless the team’s circumstances in the standings and with respect to the DL are different. I am not naive; this is a business.
- Dan Shaughnessy’s (and maybe the Sox/Yanks blogosphere’s) wet dream. Really, could he/we have asked for better material going into a season?