Matsuzaka Speaks


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.”

78 comments… add one
  • I know this may be a stupid question, but can this kid speak any English at all? If so, it’s going to help his cause a great deal in Boston with fans and media.
    The language barrier could be a problem with the incessent press conferences and stuff he’s going to go through in the next few weeks in the US.

    Brad November 15, 2006, 12:12 pm
  • From what I have read, his English is very stong and his wife is a TV journalist and I believe she went to jouralism school in the US.

    LocklandSF November 15, 2006, 12:13 pm
  • Actually, I think it would help him more if he didn’t speak English. He would insulate himself a little more from the crazy media.. especially after the honeymoon’s over, and he goes through a slump..

    Lar November 15, 2006, 12:15 pm
  • Wow, well that wipes out a ton of the “cultural adjustment” question.

    Paul SF November 15, 2006, 12:15 pm
  • I’m being told from a buddy on IM that I am mistaken, can anyone backup my comment? :-)
    Wouldn’t the ap article say his quotes were translated if they were?

    LocklandSF November 15, 2006, 12:19 pm
  • Unless Jim Armstrong knows Japanese, he should have put something about a translator in there and given credit at the end of the story, Lockland.

    Paul SF November 15, 2006, 12:22 pm
  • $51.1 Million dollars says “I really appreciate your ability” in so many cultures. I feel like one big global family member today.
    The only problem is, most major league teams don’t seem to apreciate MY ability.

    walein November 15, 2006, 12:32 pm
  • I don’t know how to post links, but this is odd…

    LocklandSF November 15, 2006, 12:34 pm
  • Lockland – that is just hardcore.. haha.. looks like the “arms wars” is funnier by the second..

    Lar November 15, 2006, 12:37 pm
  • You have to absolutely love an Asst. Secretary of State who wears a Sox hat to an important state meeting. Uh, casual Friday for important government officials? I love it.

    Brad November 15, 2006, 12:38 pm
  • WTF? My tax dollars are not meant for Republican douche bags to lure world-class pitchers to the MLB team I hate the most! I want a rebate!

    Sam November 15, 2006, 12:41 pm
  • Cashman ? Yankees have developed more homegrown talent than The Redsox on their current roster.
    should i Go on??
    The redsox and theo are copycats by entering Asian markets such as China and Japan. They think Wang was bought from Taiwan. Wang developed from Yankees farm system . He’s making $300, 000 minimum .

    David November 15, 2006, 1:45 pm
  • David, what’s the point? Of the guy’s you’ve listed, and trust me, I could go on about the Sox farm system as well, how many games do they win without the FA pitchers and hitters the Yankees have gotten to go along with them?
    Dude, stick to topic, or at least try to make sense of the topic you’re talking about.

    Brad November 15, 2006, 1:51 pm
  • David, though I am a Yankee fan, that’s an awfully generous list. I’m not sure you can count international acquisitions (aka highest bidder wins) as “developing a player”. So scratch Cano, Wang, Bernie, Posada, Melky and Mariano.
    Not saying the Yanks farm system didn’t have something to do with their success, but it’s not like these were diamonds in the rough that the Yanks manage to grab in a draft.

    YFinBeantown November 15, 2006, 1:52 pm
    Yet another reason to hate the Bush administration :)

    Andrews November 15, 2006, 1:53 pm
  • David,
    In a lateral sense, I agree with you that the Yankees get a bit of a bad rap currently regarding the sourcing of their talent. It’s a deserved moniker that they have to work off due to what happened with the team in the trading and FA market 2001-2004 and the then-accepted philosophy of trading young prospects and cash for veterans, a philosophy that I think has been somewhat shunned in the past two seasons.
    However, to be accurate, Melky Cabrera and Chien Ming Wang were signed as amateur free agents; they were not draft picks.

    attackgerbil November 15, 2006, 1:59 pm
  • Yet Melky Cabrera, Cano, Wang considered Yankees Homegrowns? yes or no?

    David November 15, 2006, 2:05 pm
  • Let’s be honest here- I wouldn’t be happy about the Yanks paying that much to talk to a player.
    This is not bias, this is not sour grapes, this isn’t trying to put on a happy face. I’m not saying I’m never biased, but I can admit when I’ve got a bias on a situation:
    I just don’t get this number.
    $51 million? Honestly, it sounds insane. $51 million???
    It’s hard not to see it one of two ways:
    1) Do the Red Sox know something other teams don’t? Were they so certain about DM- absolutely positive in a way no other team was- that they knew no cost was too much? Did other teams assess that this guy was potentially pretty darn good, but the Red Sox came away from their scouting knowing this guy was a once in a generation talent?
    2) Is this a massive overreaction to a season in which their team completely collapsed, their supposed new ace looked like a complete bust, their current ace got a year older and the team didn’t come close to sniffing the playoffs?
    I guess there is the 3rd issue, as someone points out below: they must imagine that they’ll sell a bunch of Red Sox caps in Japan and they’ll bring in a whole bunch of revenue through Red Sox games appearing on Japanese television.
    Maybe that makes it make sense.
    Otherwise, the number- and the fact that no one considered these rights anywhere within $13 million of the value the Red Sox saw in the opportunity to TALK to a Scott Boras client- seems pretty n

    Jim November 15, 2006, 2:06 pm
  • in a very lateral sense indeed.

    Brad November 15, 2006, 2:07 pm
  • 51 million! no question the the blow sox bid this insane amount of money with one purpose only, prevent him from signing with the yankees pure and simple.
    epstein can spin this any way he wants, the blueprint on this deal was the yankees signing matsui, and revenge for contreras.
    in both cases, the contracts were reasonable, even though the contreras signing was driven by the fact that the blow sox, tried an end around and booked all the hotel rooms, so the yankees could not gain even a room was truly a classless move, but as the saying goes all’s fair in love and war.
    who now is the evil empire? mr.lucchino, the hatred for g.steinbrenner is amazing, considering the yankees when on the road, help the home team, draw an extra, 10,000 people per game, pay the highest luxury tax simply bc, the yankees are able to make more money than anyone else, bc they play in new york, own their network, and have the most winning tradition and championships of any major league team.
    when the effort to land a player through this posting system, thats suppossed to be a sealed bid, where only the staff in the commissioner’s office knows the identity of the bids, and that information is LEAKED, to gammons, onley, both fans of the red sox, well this is baseballgate, the equivalent of watergate, in the baseball world!, doctor steve may not be far fetched with his theory, thats been posted here on these boards,what this matsuzuka signing will mean is the blow sox have declared and all out assult on the yankees, this is the same team who quibbled over 5 million dollars in the A-ROD debacle, did not think Johnny D, was worth what he was asking and went the low ball route, yes something is rotten in fenway, and the now the blow sox will sign their huge prize for a total package that will be near or top 100 million, posting fee included.
    i never want to hear any sox fan, or spokesperson from MLB, or the ESPN clowns, especially gammons who is praising this process when in fact he violated along with buster onley, this very same process, how can these two give un- biased opinions, when they wear the colors of the sox on their faces, critize any future free agent signing that the yankees might do and god forbid OVERPAY,yes my fellow yankees fans, the plan that cashman has will go forward, and we will be younger, more flexiable in terms of payroll, and still complement the core team with FA signings, matsuzuka is good, and wanted the club to win the bid as any yankees fan, but there is the unknown here, that the blow sox may soon find out.

    Baronp November 15, 2006, 2:07 pm
  • Addendum: echoing YF in Beantown, there are others on David’s list that were amateur FA signings, and some that are still just prospects. The two brightest current gems, Melky and Wang, are what I was focussed on. Cano was drafted. The older players, such as Mo, that’s far enough into history that I don’t think it is within the context.
    My point is that I don’t think one can make a corollary between the Sox pursuit of Matsuzaka and anything else that has occurred with any player, ever. This is an unprecedented event, and it’s success or failure will change the face of player acquisition and negotiations from this point forward.

    attackgerbil November 15, 2006, 2:07 pm
  • David, considered to be so does not make it so.
    So that leaves you with Jeter and Posada among the Major Leaguers and Hughes among the genuine minor-league prospects. Those poor, poor, misrepresented Yankees.

    Paul SF November 15, 2006, 2:07 pm
  • Yeah, Jim. I agree. The Yanks are indeed better off without DM. This one time in history the Yankees didn’t get the player they wanted to buy, and suddenly, their fans are happy to be on the other side. Why not?

    Brad November 15, 2006, 2:09 pm
  • And Cano, sorry.
    Anyway, baronip, thanks for adequately summarizing the worst of all possible reactions. I’m sure your fellow YFs here are proud they have you to represent them.

    Paul SF November 15, 2006, 2:09 pm
  • 2006 – Redsox current roster that are not from their farm system –
    Mike Lowell – Yankees farm system
    Wily Mo Pena – Yankees farm system
    Coco Crisp – Cleveland Indian Farm System
    Josh Beckett – Florida marlins Farm System
    Curt Schilling – Traded from Dbacks
    Tim Wakefield – Ex pittsburgh pirates –
    Manny Ramirez – Signed as Free agent in 2000
    Jason Varitek -Came from Seattle mariners organization with Derek Lowe
    Alex Gonzalez – Signed as free agent from Florida Marlins
    Alex Cora – Dodgers farm system
    Mike Timlin – Former Blue Jays farm system
    Matt Clement- From Sandiego padres farmsystem and signed with redsox
    Keith Foulke – Signed as free agent by Redsox
    Julian Tavarez – Signed as Free Agent from St Louis Cardinals
    Mark Lorretta – Traded from Padres to the Redsox
    2006 -Current Redsox from their farm system
    Craig Hansen
    Jon Lester
    Jonathan Papelbon
    Kevin Youkilis
    Yet Redsox called the Yankees the Evil Empire and Redsox fans complaining Yankees spent more money. The Yankees have more homegrown than Redsox.

    David November 15, 2006, 2:10 pm
  • Baronp. Sorry. Misread the name.

    Paul SF November 15, 2006, 2:10 pm
  • David, seriosuly, wake the……
    Ah, forget it, not worth it.

    LocklandSF November 15, 2006, 2:11 pm
  • Technically, David, Schilling is from the Sox farm system.
    I just don’t see the point to these posts, particularly since this at least the second time you’ve posted this here, and the third time I’ve seen it posted, presumably by you, on the Web.
    Here’s an idea. Keep it original, keep it relevant, prove your relevance, or say something only when it’s worthwhile to say it.

    Paul SF November 15, 2006, 2:12 pm
  • The Red Sox made the investment to break into a new market – Japan. The Yankees are already well into that market with Hideki Matsui.
    Any money from the sale of television rights or merchandising goes into the MLB Central Revenue Pool – The MLB Welfare Program. But there are other deals to be struck. Deals in Japan seem to be quieter or written in Japanese, we don’t seem to hear much about them. According to the Scot Boras, “Boras said he’s heard from Japanese sources that Matsui brings in $21 million per season for the Yankees in advertising and marketing…”.
    So a $51 investment wasn’t a good idea for the Yankees because they ALREADY broke into the Japanese market. BUT it was a good investment for the Red Sox. The YES Network is already in Japan. You can watch it on a Japan Airlines flight. But NESN isn’t in Japan, but it will be soon.
    This was a smart move. The Red Sox principal owner is John W. Henry made a vast fortune on futures trading. This guy isn’t some rich kid who’s father put him through Harvard and hooked him up with his friends and associates to make a book of business. Henry was a farmer who inherited his parent’s two farms. He bought soy bean futures one year to hedge against a bad crop and bagged at $75,000 profit. Now his company manages billions. This guy could swallow a penny and $hit a silver dollar. This was a power move from a major corporation. Anybody who thinks this was a stupid move should go back to debating the implications of having removed the bubble gum from baseball cards.

    Aleastbeast November 15, 2006, 2:12 pm
  • Man, David. That wasn’t even close. Do you have access to facts?
    I rarely call names here, but guy, you are deserving to the fullest.

    Brad November 15, 2006, 2:12 pm
  • also david, if you’re counting guys like Hughes, who isn’t anything special yet, and other younger players yet to make a single play at the bigs, why not count all of Portland and Pawtucket too?
    Get back under your rock, and brush up before messing around with people who know what they’re talking about.
    Nice post, AleastBeast.

    Brad November 15, 2006, 2:17 pm
  • David, if I understand your point, you are saying that the Boston fans who call the Yankees the “evil empire” don’t have a leg to stand on. Maybe, maybe not. The fact is that whether or not a Boston fan who fires that shot across the bow is a hypocrite, the rest of the fans across the leagues still sees the Yankees as fat cats, and now, perhaps, Boston gets to ride in the same boat. It’s fair. NY are a bunch of fat cats. It’s a lot of money. I don’t care, it’s not my money. Don’t worry about it; worry about the Yankees finding a solid rotation for next year, because we rilly rilly need one.

    attackgerbil November 15, 2006, 2:17 pm
  • wait, David had a point?

    Brad November 15, 2006, 2:18 pm
  • It’s funny; I think of Melky/Posada/Mo and even Wang as homegrown. My take on homegrown is that they developed in your farm system and have only played for your club.
    This isn’t to get into an argument about who has more homegrown players, I’m just saying. In some ways, the draft makes the whole homegrown argument nonsense because no player is homegrown – they’re all selected in an organized fashion. You want homegrown, go see European football where a player like David Beckham was plucked out of high school by Manchester United at 14 years of age! (I think I prefer the US system…)

    Sam November 15, 2006, 2:19 pm
  • soccer again, jeez Sam, C’mon!

    Brad November 15, 2006, 2:20 pm
  • Aleastbeast: bullseye. That’s my take exactly, and though there are posters who think that the Matsuzaka signing is principally about victories are un-clued. This is a business move, and a damned brilliant one. The fact they he may very well be a 20 game winner is gravy, but it is ancillary.

    attackgerbil November 15, 2006, 2:20 pm
  • I think, YFiB, it’s important to note as far as both of our teams go, that oftentimes our prospects don’t get their chances by design. In a best-case scenario for Yankee brass, Womack would’ve worked out, not broken down to make way for Cano. Cano wasn’t exactly in the plans as a starting 2Bman, IIRC. Similarly, Lester was rushed/brought up before planned, due to injuries and ineffectiveness in the rotation early in the year. To differing degrees, they may have been in both the Yankees and Red Sox’s plans.
    Maybe this is my ignorance or lack of Yankee fandom(of which I’m very proud), but I heard VERY little about Cano before he was brought up. OTOH, as a Sox fan, there was all kinds of hoopla about Lester. Maybe this is just me only getting one side of the news. And there are certainly Cano-like examples in the Red Sox system. Should Youkilis have gotten his first starting job at 27? Would he have waited that long in any non-Yankee or non-Red Sox system? I don’t know. Maybe I’m giving one or both teams too little or too much credit. As much as I enjoy the strength of the Red Sox farm system, it’s really teams like the Twins/Indians that can boast of intentionally using and planning on developing talent for their ML teams.
    More specifically, I’ll respond to each homegrown talent, David.
    Jeter – no argument
    Wang – Actually, he WAS brought in from Taiwan. He’s Taiwanese. By nature, he had to have been brought in from Taiwan. Would he have gotten a serious chance at all without injuries creeping up?
    Cano – Would he have gotten a chance without Womack’s batting woes?
    Melky – Injuries to two starting OFs, and there was still doubt in the Yanks FO about using him over the long-term. Also, does he/will he have another starting job before he’s 24 or 25?
    Mariano – Even with the international FA situation, Mariano is a living legend, and I feel comfortable saying that even as a SF. Agreed.
    Bernie/Posada – Not exactly living legends like Mo, but I’ll go with this.
    Hughes/Clippard/Tabata/Karstens – If you’re counting these guys, then I’ve got a Red Sox list of homegrown talent they’ve been starting in the majors for years.
    …should I go on? Those were inappropriate names to bring up, for a lot of reasons. Just as me, as an SF, bringing up all those names I just did would be inappropriate. Their overall impact on the ML roster is ZERO on both sides.
    So let’s count: Jeter, Mo, Posada, Bernie are the “homegrown” talent the Yankees have always intended to put in the starting lineup. I’m not going to put up a list of Sox players of a similar nature, because I’m guessing it won’t be *that* much different in length. The point is, the Yankees intend to use their farm system at the ML level to a low degree. I think the Sox are better about it, but until some of those prospect names I mentioned come up, I can admit that they’re not better by a whole lot.

    Quo November 15, 2006, 2:20 pm
  • This is a fast thread. Hard to keep up.
    Brad: Count me as one Yankee fan that wishes the Yanks FO spent 52M.

    attackgerbil November 15, 2006, 2:29 pm
  • AG, I feel your pain. Two or three simultaneous, fast-moving threads. Sheesh.
    At least it makes it look like I’m working ;-)

    Paul SF November 15, 2006, 2:34 pm
  • AG – thanks for being honest. It definitely gives you a leg up on your brethern.

    Brad November 15, 2006, 2:52 pm
  • Thanks, Brad. I don’t intend to distance myself from fellow YFs, but I have been pretty up front since the word go that this is a damned smart move by Boston, regardless of his eventual performance as a pitcher (which I am drooling over in and of itself; come on, the guy is SICK; he oozes talent). Credit where credit is due.

    attackgerbil November 15, 2006, 3:05 pm
  • As I’ve said, most YFs here have been very honest and fair in acknowledging that they wanted Matsuzaa and hate the fact that the Sox got him, money aside. Most of the rational debate has been whether $51M is too much, which is a reasonable question.
    This grouping of posts has gotten some publicity, so we’ve seen some visitors on both sides who have showed, ummm… varying degrees of rationality and self-honesty.

    Paul SF November 15, 2006, 3:08 pm
  • AG-
    I think that the signing of Matsuzaka absolutely DOES have precedent: Specifically Irabu, Ichrio, Kaz and (H) Matsui. I think that the Sox very specifically looked at those precedents, made a decision on what kind of money those players generated for those organizations, versus what those players actually brought to the team’s statistical make up.
    If the player had been another Hideki Matsui I believe that the Sox and Yankees would have bid much less while the Angels may have went 10 million + above, trying to land the guy. It’s a matter of the team’s need (pitching) versus the revenue created.
    It was one of the reasons that A Rod and Randy Johnson were “no-brainers” for the Yankee organization. For all of the questions concerning how those guys would fare on the Yankees, would they be “true” Yankees, would they win, etc…in the end they bring in more sales and interest from a wider audience.
    If Javier Vasquez had struck out 200+ and went 18-5 last year…he still would sell less t-shirts than Randy Johnson did.

    walein November 15, 2006, 3:11 pm
  • However, it would not have changed my inability to master the most rudimentary grammatical rules of english.

    walein November 15, 2006, 3:15 pm
  • Walein, I agree with you for the most part. However, the coin involved is really out of this world. The only metaphor I can use to relate it to in personal experience is the housing market, because the dollars involved in the Matsuzaka deal are beyond my comprehension.
    In 2000, I put a bid in on my house which was several thousand above market value. I discovered that this same house sold for 60% of the price I offered just 7 years before when I went to the county building to research its history. I thought I was insane, but the location of the house made it worth it to me to make the bid. Six years later, the house has almost doubled in value. Still insane.
    What does this rambling story have to do with Matsuzaka? Nothing I guess, except that the Red Sox just changed the rules of the game, regarding negotiations with foreign leagues.

    attackgerbil November 15, 2006, 3:27 pm
  • Redsox Front Office and Theo knew that bidding for Dmat was around $25-30 million. So they overpayed for him and outbidding the Yankees and Mets for more than 10-20 million dollars.
    It’s hard to believe the bidding was set in favor of the Red Sox. The bid they made makes sense because of the fact that they probably expected the Yankees to offer way above the expected $30mil. $51.1mil sounds to me like they were expecting the Yankees to go anywhere between $45-50mil at most.
    This also makes a statement on the Red Sox behalf for not doing anything during the trade deadline. This sends the message to their fanbase that they are interested in winning now and in the future.
    Remember, you always have to overpay. Yankees overpaid for Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano and Johnny Damon, Mets overpaid for Pedro and Beltran, Tigers just overpaid for Sheffield, Blue Jays overpaid for Burnett. It’s a business and the money is there. Why not take it.

    janet November 15, 2006, 3:29 pm
  • Janet:
    You make an excellent point regarding paying for the player the team wants. Money that has been earmarked for the roster is worthless sitting in a pile underneath the mattress. All this future-guessing about what Daisuke will do when actually pitching is noise until the season plays out.

    attackgerbil November 15, 2006, 3:32 pm
  • For all we know the Yankees bid was 45-50, sorry to keep bringing it up, but we don’t know.
    I promise to to bring it up again.

    LocklandSF November 15, 2006, 3:36 pm
  • The Yankees bid was $30.5 million heard it on espn news. The Yankees was fourth.

    janet November 15, 2006, 3:47 pm
  • ESPN Insider – Jim Callis Baseball America Chat
    Ben, Williamstown MA: Who has the better 1-2-3 in Pitching Prospects? The Yankees with Hughes, Sanchez, and Betances/Chamberlain or the Red Sox with Matsuzaka, Buchholz, and Bard/Bowden?
    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:31 PM ET ) Interesting . . . I’d take the Red Sox with Matsuzaka, Buchholz and Bowden. It’s somewhat silly to call Matsuzaka a prospect, of course, but that’s what we do.
    Chris (NY): Since it is silly calling Matsuzaka a prospect, what would you answer be to the question if you plugged in their next best prospect in Matsuzaka’s place?
    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:36 PM ET ) I would take the Yankees trio if you substitute Daniel Bard for Matsuzaka in the Red Sox’ trio.
    Adam (VA): The most obvious New York/Boston question of the day: Hughes at $325,000 or Matsuzaka at $95-125 million?
    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:06 PM ET ) It’s an obvious answer, I think, but not to pick on Adam, a silly question. It looks like you’re talking about five years of Matsuzaka, so let’s factor in arbitration and raises and call Hughes $10 million. Hughes will probably return more bang for the buck–but here’s the thing. He’s not on the open market, so it’s a silly comparison.
    Ben, Williamstown MA: Thought experiment: How much would Hughes command on the open market?
    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:40 PM ET ) In 1996, Travis Lee ($10 million) and Matt White ($10.2 million) each commanded eight-figure bonuses as draft free agents. Hughes has proven himself at a higher level, factor in inflation and the explosion in baseball revenues . . . I’d guess $20 million. Maybe $25 million. Remember, you’d lock up his rights for the next six years and he wouldn’t be arb-eligible for three.
    Jeff (New Orleans): Brein Taylor pre-injury or Phillip Hughes?
    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET ) Hughes. Not quite as much hype, but a lot more polish.

    Jerry November 15, 2006, 3:48 pm
  • Interesting. Sour grapes still showing through in some of those questions.
    If I have 2003 baseball cards with Matsui on it as a “Star prospect,” then Matsuzaka is a prospect. Besides, what else would you call him? :-P

    Paul SF November 15, 2006, 3:56 pm
  • Oh, so let me get this straight. The prospect that has never faced a batter above double A- was lit up in the only all-star game he’s appeared in, and may have potential is more…
    jesus, nevermind this is a stupid conversation now.

    Brad November 15, 2006, 4:01 pm
  • Janet, every number we have heard is only a product of speculation, rumor or an unnamed inside source. We will never know for sure the numbers of the other bids.

    LocklandSF November 15, 2006, 4:05 pm
  • Prospect? After what happened with Matsui, I will go f**king batshit if DMat wins Rookie of the Year.

    Sam November 15, 2006, 4:06 pm
  • Lockland, are you saying the Yanks might have bid $48-51 million for all we know?;)

    Nick-YF November 15, 2006, 4:07 pm
  • Nick, I actually think the Yanks bid 100 million and it’s all a giant conspiracy. :-)

    LocklandSF November 15, 2006, 4:09 pm
  • I’m one Yankee fan who was always dubious about getting Matsuzaka, because I knew he’d be hugely expensive (more on that later) and because he’s thrown a lot of pitches in a lot of innings (it’s not the years, it’s the mileage). So I’m actually not upset the Sox got him. Please understand: I am not predicting disaster here.
    As for the money, obviously the Yankees could’ve afforded 52 mil. It’s not the money itself, it’s the expectations and the corresponding pressure – on both the player and the team in general. See: Rodriguez, Alex. And frankly I’m tired of that.
    Maybe this guy will be all that he’s chalked up to be. If so, the Sox will be in great shape. If not, it could get awfully ugly. Even if he’s simply decent (4th starter type, say). He’s essentially GOTTA be very, very good to great now. Eek.
    Again, please understand I’m not saying he is going to be Hideki Irabu or Jose Contreras (or even Javier Vasquez and Carl Pavano, guys who played in the majors). As a Yankee fan, however, I’ve been burned by enough of those guys that I’m perfectly fine with Boston getting this guy… and hoping our F.O. cooks up something else and comes out on top anyway.
    Go Yankees! And wow, GO-GO Rivalry! Just think about the flashbulbs that will go off the first time Matsui digs in against Matsuzaka.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) November 15, 2006, 4:10 pm
  • Sam, that would be a very valid complaint, and as a SF, I’ll have to be on board with the argument.
    However, I can almost guarantee that if he wins 18-20 games, it’s probably a lock. It’s a much different animal having huge success as a pitcher than it was for Hideki, but again, I think it would be bunk.

    Brad November 15, 2006, 4:13 pm
  • Keep in mind these “leaks” aren’t all leaked by the Yankees. The commish’s office probably saw them too.
    For all we know, BoSox might’ve bidded for 80 million.. no one knows for sure! The Lions might just say 51 because they want lower taxes!
    Okay, fine, I’m being stupid, but I’m willing to bet that the error of margin isn’t going to be higher than 5 mil on these numbers.. especially now that there’s really nothing at stake..

    Lar November 15, 2006, 4:14 pm
  • Rob, I think the pitches has disaster written all over it, but later. I can’t see it killing a 27 year old. Somewhere in the second contract he gets, it will start to catch up with him. Maybe.

    Brad November 15, 2006, 4:14 pm
  • Rob – ironically, I think in terms of salary/pressure, it’ll be easier if he was a Yankee than a Sox, mostly because even if you factor in the posting fee, I don’t think he’s even in the top 5 in the salary.. and of course, having Matsui to screw around with probably isn’t too bad..

    Lar November 15, 2006, 4:16 pm
  • Really, I do want to stop with this, I just can’t…… Please help….
    The only number I take at face value is the number that the President of the Lions said to the press, the 51.11 mil.
    Every other number out there is suspect at best and could simply be a ploy to manage PR fallout.
    Ok, now I’m done.

    LocklandSF November 15, 2006, 4:19 pm
  • Brad,
    Such things are too random to predict with any one player, I think. Sure, if you take 100 pitchers and give them the workload Matsuzaka has had, and compare them to 100 pitchers who have been handled more cautiously, I’d imagine the second group would be – overall – healthier. But we’re not talking about large groups, we’re looking at one guy, and one guy can be special. Sometimes that sort of endurance speaks to a freak-of-nature type ability (Clemens, Roger).
    We just don’t know. We’re gonna find out.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) November 15, 2006, 4:21 pm
  • Sam, enlighten me what happened with Matsui? I do remember that Ichiro won the ROY, and I thought that was pretty shady at the time…

    Paul SF November 15, 2006, 4:22 pm
  • Matsui lost out, at least in part, because of the “meh, he’s not really a rookie” factor. Unlike Ichiro.
    Here is the link to the ESPN story about it (thank you, Google, you are my friend):

    Rob (Middletown, CT) November 15, 2006, 4:24 pm
  • Everyone Is On To The Red Sox, Now ! ESPN.COM
    Boston doesn’t have any payroll limitationsBy Sean McAdam
    Special to
    Some four years ago, when the Red Sox lost out to the Yankees for the services of Cuban émigré Jose Contreras in a Nicaraguan hotel, a miffed Larry Lucchino, the team’s CEO and president, bemoaned the fact that “the Evil Empire extends its tentacles even into Latin America.”
    Just three months ago, Theo Epstein stood on the field at Fenway Park, answering criticism that the Red Sox had ceded the AL East title by not dealing for Bobby Abreu — as the Yankees had done — and said the Sox were merely acknowledging the Yanks’ edge in resources. “That’s the reality. It’s going to occasionally leave us short … every time there’s a player who’s available in a bidding war or taking on a contract or getting the best free agent.”
    But Tuesday night, in submitting the winning post for Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Red Sox also forfeited the right to whine about their rival’s economic might ever again.
    By bidding $51.1 million merely to negotiate with Matsuzaka — signing him to a contract might necessitate that much again — the Sox also abandoned the moral high ground. That sort of “woe-is-us” defense tends to look a bit transparent when a team suddenly finds almost 6 billion yen stuffed under the mattress.
    No more suggestions, please, that the Yankees are some financial superpower capable of trampling the rest of baseball with their reckless and boundless spending. No more talk about the Red Sox being the plucky underdogs that somehow must make do with less.
    The Sox’s insistence that the Yanks were economic bullies always seemed a bit hollow, anyway. Sure, the Yankees have baseball’s deepest pockets, as might be expected in a sport in which local revenues are critical to a team’s financial footing.
    Here, though, is what the Red Sox never acknowledged: Although the Yankees could indeed outspend them, the Red Sox, in turn, could outspend the other 28 teams in baseball.
    Do the Gettys complain about the Rockefellers?
    It was the Red Sox’s misfortune that the one club with more resources just happened to be their longtime rival, with whom they’re locked in an annual battle for divisional supremacy.
    That’s not some cruel inequity; that’s merely geographic bad luck.
    What’s clear now is that the Red Sox have few, if any, payroll limitations. They’ve been outspent by only the Yankees for the last five years. Even before the Yanks dealt for Alex Rodriguez, the highest-paid player in the history of the game, the Red Sox had the ignominious distinction of signing a player to the second-largest contract in the history of the game.
    And now, presuming the Red Sox sign Matsuzaka, their Japanese superstar will earn substantially more than the Yankees paid theirs, Hideki Matsui, in his first MLB contract.
    It’s a well-established fact that, even with the introduction of revenue sharing and the competitive balance tax, baseball still can’t lay claim to a level economic landscape. No amount of income redistribution can put a team in, say, Milwaukee on equal footing with one in Los Angeles.
    Once again next season, the Red Sox will charge the highest average ticket prices in the industry. They will reap a fortune from NESN, their own regional TV network, and they will reap the benefits of the first year of the richest radio rights deal in sports, signed this past spring.
    To their credit, they will reinvest in the on-field product. Their payroll, pegged at nearly $130 million last season, likely will nip at the luxury tax threshold of $148 million after Matsuzaka is signed and additional holes are filled in right field, shortstop and the bullpen.
    No one ever called the Red Sox needlessly thrifty.
    But now, as they begin negotiations to land the most expensive international free agent ever, they no longer can label themselves the Yankees’ poor cousins. And for that, we should all be thankful.

    Willy November 15, 2006, 4:24 pm
  • If the Yankees Signed Zito; Yankees will lose a draft pick and that pick will go to the A’s?
    Unlike the Redsox who won the rights for Dmat, they still a draft pick for next year .

    Edraline November 15, 2006, 4:31 pm
  • Why do people post whole articles in the comments?
    Regardless, Willy, we have been over this, some YFs agree with that position, almost all SFs think that one winning posting bid does not erase the Yankees spending more than every other team in baseball for many years.
    Sean McAdam is a moron.

    LocklandSF November 15, 2006, 4:44 pm
  • This is a blessing for the Yankees. Boras will make sure Matsuzaka signs a three year deal and nothing longer. In those three years Matsuzaka will get used to MLB. It will probably take him at least one year, probably two. We will then see if he is a true ace or a bust. If he turns out to be a true ace then in 3 years time we sign him as a free agent. Boston becomes our farm system. They prepare him and we enjoy his best years. Or if he is a bust then we can all have a good laugh.

    another86yearwait? November 15, 2006, 7:48 pm
  • Nothing like a “other teams are our minor league farm system beeyotches to use and take advantage of” comment to defuse the stereotype of the entitled YF…

    SF November 15, 2006, 8:10 pm
  • I’m a bit disappointed by the “cut and paste” crap that is going on right now in the threads. Most of the plagiarized posts revolve around the fact that by spending this much coin, the Sox have supposedly obviated any ability to call the Yanks out on overspending.
    I. Don’t. Care.
    Boston made the smart business move, and by the way picked up a phenom without impacting the luxury scale and, if I understand correctly, is a deficit against their revenue sharing total. How can anyone not see this as a smart business decision?
    This partisan crap from my fellow Yankee fans must cease. The only thing that matters from this point forward is what DMats (haha SF :)) does in the season.
    Give it up, yankfans! Boston made their gambit, and it is a smart one, a really smart one. Stop trying to find your edge to make you feel better about it. All that matters now is what happens after April One.

    attackgerbil November 15, 2006, 9:00 pm
  • Gerb:
    What size is your head? There’s a Sox hat with your name on it, if you’ll just make the switch…
    (you KNOW it’s tempting – we could use a good man like yourself!)

    SF November 15, 2006, 9:10 pm
  • SF: I’m not ready to turn my coat quite yet. I’m just pissed that the sour grapes about the fact NY couldn’t sign Daisuke have incited (good, kind, do me proud, fellas) Yankee fans to vomit straw man arguments about evil empire and all that crap. Take your lumps and get over it. We still have to play ball, you know?

    attackgerbil November 15, 2006, 9:17 pm
  • attackgerbil, My you seem to be in a particularly bad mood today. What’s the problem? Because the Sox won the rights?
    Why are you coming unglued over some other Yankee fans opinions? You think it was a fabulous move by the Sox? OK fine. I’m not so sure. And there’s a lot of people out there who aren’t NY fans that think this was insane.
    Maybe it was, maybe it’ll work out for the Sox. We’ll see. And by the way, this definitely cuts down on finger pointing at the Yankees spending from a Boston perspective whether you give a damn or not.
    And I hope you were joking about getting fitted for a Sox hat. Go take a valium or something.

    whatever November 15, 2006, 10:06 pm
  • My gauging of the Sox decision is obviously debatable, and I really want to see how it plays out in the regular season, but I think the Red Sox signing Matsuzaka was a great move. My feeling about finger pointing from anyone regarding “evil empire” is the same; I don’t care.
    If what I said sounded like I lost my glue, I will rephrase: Boston got him, stop spinning it, Yank fans. Boston was still an afterthought in the regular season last year; Theo had to be aggressive. I am confident that NY will make the appropriate acquisitions to contend again, as they always have.
    Sheesh. I’m not in bed with the Sox. I just want to play ball.

    attackgerbil November 15, 2006, 10:20 pm
  • attackgerbil, Now that sounds more reasonable from the guy that did such a fine job doing all the play by play of the Yankee games at this site last year.

    whatever November 15, 2006, 10:31 pm
  • Rumors are starting to circulate that he signed for only 3 years. So Boston has spent 96 million (51 post and 45 salary) for a pitcher that will most likely need at least one year to get used to MLB. So that is 32 million a year or 48 million for two good years. Expensive but at least he is not with the Yankees! What happens if he is no good? That would be a laugh.

    another86yearwait? November 16, 2006, 11:45 pm
  • Wait, 86year, you mean he might not be good?? Oh no, we’d never considered THAT possibility! You’re right! He’s never thrown a pitch in baseball! How could we have missed that??? And he might be EXPENSIVE? Is it too late to cancel the deal?
    If only we had some sort of electronic device by which to connect to other computers and immediately conduct research on sports figures and other people anywhere in the world, we could have avoided this unmitigated disaster-in-waiting!

    Paul SF November 17, 2006, 12:22 am

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