DM: Dollars, Millions of.

How much is baseball’s newest superstar worth?

Daisuke Matsuzaka is worth as much as the Red Sox are willing to pay him, of course. The right to negotiate with him alone was worth more than $50 million. So how much will it be worth to have him suit up and be on the mound in Kansas City April 4 or 5 and roughly every fifth day thereafter?

Needless to say, that’s difficult to ascertain, considering — as critics of the Sox’ outlandish bid keep reminding us — he’s never thrown a Major League pitch yet. Nevertheless, based on the much-ballyhooed tanslations from Japanese stats to American stats and last year’s PECOTA projections, Baseball Prospectus’ Joe Sheehan comes up with this list of 10 comparable pitchers:

           WARP      MORP (in millions)
Clemens     4.9     $8.25
Halladay    5.5    $10.13
Webb        6.4    $12.98
Sabathia    4.0     $6.08
Carpenter   5.4     $9.80
Schmidt     4.8     $8.10
Beckett     4.6     $7.45
Martinez    6.9    $14.65
Hudson      4.2     $6.45
Peavy       6.8    $14.38

Not only does that include every Cy Young candidate of 2006 (except Wang), it includes two future Hall of Famers and 13 Cy Young awards. Sheehan acknowledges also that Matsuzaka’s youth and clean injury record makes him closer to Webb and Peavy than Clemens and Schmidt.

To get the particulars, read the story, but Sheehan concludes that a conservative estimate of Matsuzaka’s value this year is $13 million. Of course, he could end up hating Boston, hating pitching every five games, blow out his elbow, or just plain suck — in which case his value would be far less.

Nevertheless, there’s little doubt that Theo Epstein and Co. are going to make Daisuke Matsuzaka worth quite a bit of money by Dec. 15 — and be justified in doing so.

(To me, Dice-K is worth $40, which is how much I paid for a trio
of his 1999 Japanese rookie cards, but that’s neither here nor there).

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • For the record, Joe Sheehan’s list is based on Christina Kahrl’s article, which goes more in-depth into Matsuzaka’s stats. It was posted on BP last week.

    Paul SF November 17, 2006, 12:59 am
  • Projected MORP for 2007—the tool Sheehan is using—is one of those BP creations that, to me, seems like a very dubious prognostication passed off as some kind of scientific tool. It’s built on a series of assumptions and projections, each subject to considerable error. I love BP, but this kind of analysis, which is actually not based on any knowledge of the Sox finances, seems extremely, extremely, dubious.

    YF November 17, 2006, 4:10 am
  • And the spin to justify the humongous, jaw-dropping expenditure by Boston continues.
    If this thing bombs, Theo will sneaking out of Boston in a George W. Bush mask instead of a gorilla suit.
    BTW, I hate that Dice-K moniker. It sounds more like a rapper or a professional poker player.

    whatever November 17, 2006, 7:51 am
  • Hey, you analyze the best you can given what you know, so I’ll give him credit for trying..

    Lar November 17, 2006, 9:11 am
  • Wait – how he feels about pitching every 5 days? How often do starting pitchers throw in Japan?

    Sam November 17, 2006, 9:32 am
  • Once a week, or every 6th start. I’m sure he’s up for it, after some adjustment period..

    Lar November 17, 2006, 10:00 am
  • I think he’ll be fine too… He’ll be throwing fewer pitches, but throwing more often. If there is any transition period, I’d guess it’ll be brief.
    I agree with YF that MORP is pretty shady — and I have a deep-seated suspicion of any stat that I can’t count for myself and do simple math to get the result — but I’m just throwing it out there for discussion.
    I’m not sure how summarizing what someone else is reporting and saying it looks like DM is going to be paid a lot of money is considered spin, whatever.
    I’m not sure about the Dice-K nickname either. I was trying it on for size because I hate just typing his initials. It’s actually the way his name is pronounced (the “u” is silent), so I’m guessing it’s just people’s lazy way of typing his name.

    Paul SF November 17, 2006, 10:10 am
  • What’s wrong with DMat, Paul?

    Sam November 17, 2006, 10:47 am
  • “Not only does that include every Cy Young candidate of 2006 (except Wang)”
    and Santana.

    Andrews November 17, 2006, 11:13 am
  • Isn’t every pitcher a Cy Young candidate?

    Brad November 17, 2006, 11:22 am
  • “Nevertheless, there’s little doubt that Theo Epstein and Co. are going to make Daisuke Matsuzaka worth quite a bit of money by Dec. 15 — and be justified in doing so.”
    Wow, I go out of the country and come back to Bizarro World. I might be making points that have already been made but:
    1. Everyone is acting as if this is a certainty. It’s my understanding that if the Sox can’t come to an agreement, they get their $51 mil back and DM goes back to Japan, unable to negotiate with a second MLB team. Given the way “Theo Epstein and Co.” have blown, er, done business in the past, this is a long way from being a closed deal – an awful long way.
    2. You have to be the biggest homer or utterly retarded to think that shelling out somewhere around $100 million dollars for someone who has never tossed a pitch in the Big Leagues is “justified”. Oh wait, I forgot, he pitched in the WBC, which for MLB players was basically a Spring Training field trip. If Big Stein pulled this, RSN would be (justifiably) laughing their asses off.
    3. And of course as mentioned above, Japan uses a SIX man rotation. So, DM, in his rookie year, will be pitching in a hitter friendly park, in a hitter friendly league, on short rest. And you’re thinking he’ll fare better than Josh Beckett did last year? …Riiiight.
    4. The only justification I can see in this stupidity is at the box office and in NESN ratings. The Sox will make their cash back from the hype alone. But Sox fans will become hypocrites in the process, as many don’t accept a similar argument for past Yankee signings – like Matsui, to name one.
    Has any other MLB franchise in the history of the league paid close to $90 mil for any prospect on any level of development with no big league experience whatsoever?
    Does anyone know who’s gotten the biggest contract prior to any MLB experience (foreign or college/minor leagues)? And a cup of coffee counts as MLB experience.

    lp November 17, 2006, 12:25 pm
  • rumor has it the sox have asked clemens to waive his family clause and become the sox closer.

    sf rod November 17, 2006, 3:46 pm
  • lp –
    Since, as you said, we’ve already been over this a million times in the past week I’m not going to respond other than to say this.
    At 100million dollars (approx), he’s going to cost roughly the same amount as Barry Zito. This guy is good, make no doubt. How good will have to be seen, but for now, the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets all thought this kid was the best available, but the Red Sox bid higher than the other teams. There’s no sense in calling anyone retarded for doing it, or anything for that matter.
    For a team that has give such rediculous contracts to RJ, Pavano, and so on down the line, Yankee fans have not a leg to stand on in this argument, and nary a pitch has been thrown yet.
    We don’t know if this is a silly move on Boston’s behalf yet. Only time will tell that – not you.

    Brad November 17, 2006, 4:25 pm
  • like Matsui, to name one…
    And we were wrong there, which means that the possibility is just as good for this kid to be successful. But, I guess you’re entitled to know it all before it happens here.

    Brad November 17, 2006, 4:27 pm
  • Is there really no doubt that the guy’s good? ;P

    Lar November 17, 2006, 4:54 pm
  • button-pusher

    Brad November 17, 2006, 5:04 pm
  • Wow, lp, there have been only 500 or so comments about this on the site. Maybe you should read a couple of them before rehashing the same old arguments…

    Paul SF November 17, 2006, 5:47 pm
  • I’d love to see the major SP’s get snatched up while Boras jerks Theo around (knowing he can just bring DMat back to the FA pool later if they don’t meet his demands) and Boston gets a 3rd or 4th tier SP as a result. It’s probably a long shot that all those guys go fast, but it’s not unfathomable.

    Nate November 17, 2006, 7:23 pm
  • Except, Nate, that those free agents are going to wait on Matsuzaka to see where the market goes. If a guy who’s never thrown an MLB pitch gets $12M or higher, Zito — another Boras client — can up his asking price accordingly.

    Paul SF November 17, 2006, 8:51 pm
  • What the hell is with all the spam on this thread? Geez.

    Atheose November 14, 2007, 12:31 pm
  • Thanks for the heads-up Atheose. I’ve cleaned it up.

    attackgerbil November 14, 2007, 12:51 pm