More Questions — Update

Ah, you know how the saying goes. As expected, Scott Boras’ press conference didn’t exactly provide us with many answers. Here’s Gordon Edes’ take — the only person at this moment reporting on the conference in print:

With agent Scott Boras declaring last night that if "the parties’ positions remain the same, Daisuke will return to Japan,” the Red Sox top brass were in southern California to meet face-to-face with Daisuke Matsuzaka in a last-ditch attempt to induce him to sign.

Boras said that GM Theo Epstein, accompanied by principal owner John W. Henry and CEO Larry Lucchino, had come to conduct negotiating sessions last night and today in an attempt to beat Thursday’s midnight deadline for a deal.

This seems more encouraging — all sides are hunkering down for marathon negotiations. I’d rather that than the negitation-via-media we’ve had the last two days. Likewise, the throwaway statement that Matsuzaka will return to Japan if "the parties’ positions remain the same" is completely noninformational. The only way that wouldn’t happen was if both parties’ positions were already in agreement, and we know that’s untrue.

Update: The AP story has the following nuggets from Boras:

“The posting fee represents the problem,” Boras said. “It’s historic, it’s new, it’s something that’s never been done. How do you reflect value in a posting fee in an appropriate contract for a player?" …

“The progress is something I’m not going to comment on,” he said. “I’m not going to characterize the negotiations. This is not a customary negotiation. The question is, with a posting fee, how do you handle that?” …

“This decision is going to be Daisuke’s, he has to make the call,” Boras said.

It seems clear that Scott Boras is chafing under the process and doesn’t have a way to break it without also breaking his duty to his client. The posting fee took away his leverage, and now that the negotiations have truly begun, he has little room with which to work. As he finally acknowledged, it’s Matsuzaka’s decision, and that is why the pitcher will be beaming and holding up the No. 18 on Friday morning.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I see this press conference as an encouraging development.

26 comments… add one
  • “Odd, though, is that Edes has the Sox’ brass conducting negotiations “last night and today,” while NESN has them negotiating “overnight and into tomorrow,” or something to that effect. Edes must have typoed because the NESN version is the only one that makes sense with the purpose of the conference.”
    Edes is writing for tomorrow mornings paper which explains the timing issues.

    10019 December 11, 2006, 10:20 pm
  • Good point, 10019. I should have caught that. He just copied and pasted from the story he’s writing into the blog. Duh.

    Paul SF December 11, 2006, 10:23 pm
  • This is still all the news we get about this?

    10019 December 11, 2006, 10:37 pm
  • AP was there, but no story is on the wires that I can find. Of course, the Globe and Herald will save their juicy bits for the print editions. So… Nothing, and now I have to write and address Christmas cards :-P Looks like that’s a night, folks.

    Paul SF December 11, 2006, 10:43 pm
  • What, you expected more then “If we don’t reach a compromise we won’t have a deal?” I thought that was very informative…heh. ESPN is ignoring it, Edes’ quote is above, and the Herald still hasn’t reported anything. I guess we have to wait til morning or something.

    desturbd1 December 11, 2006, 10:43 pm
  • But This is new. The Times reports that there’s absolutely no way Boras can buy Daisuke’s freedom from the Lions, period. He’d have to mount a legal challenge to the system, which would undoubtedly take an extremely long time anyway and do nothing to get Matsuzaka here in 2007. It does suggest that he can be reposted in 2008, which is something I know there has been confusion about. Further, the article includes quotes from Japanese journalists who say that Matsuzaka’s return to the Lions, if it came down to purely a matter of money, would be greatly looked down upon.
    Rotoworld with the assist.

    desturbd1 December 11, 2006, 10:48 pm
  • Wait they still have print editions???

    10019 December 11, 2006, 10:56 pm
  • From Japanball.com
    The Boston Red Sox are lining up a move for veteran former
    Yomiuri Giants right-hander Masumi Kuwata, major league sources
    revealed Monday.
    The Red Sox, who have already acquired Japanese reliever Hideki
    Okajima and look set to sign Seibu Lions ace Daisuke Matsuzaka, are
    expected to offer Kuwata a minor league contract that will include
    bonuses if he is promoted to the majors.
    They have nothing on the Boras thing tonite nor does Kyodo News likewise with the Japan Times.

    TJ December 11, 2006, 10:56 pm
  • Boston Herald reporting that The Sox will be having a press conference later tonite.
    Exact Herald post
    The Red Sox are going to have a press conference later tonight with general manager Theo Epstein and president and CEO Larry Lucchino. Epstein and Lucchino are both in southern California right now and are preparing to negotiate directly with Daisuke Matsuzaka’s agent, Scott Boras, tonight and tomorrow. Deadline for a deal is midnight Thursday.
    Boras held a press conference earlier tonight at his Newport Beach, Calif., offices. No reliable quotes yet, but we’ve heard that in general terms he said anything could still happen — Matsuzaka signing or returning to the Seibu Lions. Either case, said Boras, Matsuzaka understood the situation and was prepared for either outcome. Boras also said that Matsuzaka’s long-term deal — separate from the Red Sox’ $51.11 million posting fee — should be worth $100 million. For a six-year deal, that is $16.66 million a year, which is believed to be approximately $6 million more a year than the Red Sox would be willing to pay. Boras also pointed out problems with the current posting system and said that clubs take advantage of it.

    TJ December 11, 2006, 11:01 pm
  • how do u make a word in a post a link?

    TJ December 11, 2006, 11:02 pm
  • I’ve always wondered that as well, TJ.

    Brad December 11, 2006, 11:14 pm
  • Just a

  • test
TJ December 11, 2006, 11:18 pm
  • this is just atest Please return to your regular sitting and waiting for news position ;)

    TJ December 11, 2006, 11:19 pm
  • <-a href=-"url"->Word you want<-/a>
    Where I have the -, there shouldn’t be a space. I just couldn’t type it the right way because it automatically converted. So where it says url, you put the entire address, http:// included. Make sense? Hit preview before you post to see if it works.
    Anyway…6 years 16.666 million seems a little extreme…but if Boras is actually willing to give a 6 year deal, $14MM a year doesn’t seem too bad. I’m still a little confused about whether he’d rather do the 3-4 years with a no arbitration clause or a 6-year deal. Hell, even 6/90 is worth thinking about; yeah, it’s super-risky…but I for one think it’s worth it, especially since $15MM a year isn’t gonna get you anything resembling an ace or No. 2 anymore anyway.

    desturbd1 December 11, 2006, 11:23 pm
  • i think Boston should give the value but with only say 12 guaranteed per year then the rest with incentives and if he meets certains things over the first 2 seasons the rest becomes guaranteed when Boston has numbers to prove he can produce in the majors.

    TJ Sox Fan December 11, 2006, 11:31 pm
  • To correct and clarify
    Posted by Michael Silverman at 11:30 pm
    To correct an earlier posting (already edited), Daisuke Matsuzaka’s agent Scott Boras did not set a value on what he thought Matsuzaka’s contract should be at his press conference earlier tonight. Boras did speak of how the free agent values for pitchers in the modern market are going to exceed $100 million but he did not put that pricetag on Matsuzaka. The Herald regrets the error.

    TJ Sox Fan December 11, 2006, 11:38 pm
  • It’s all just speculation, obviously, but so much fun to speculate about. So here’s mine:
    It seems to me that Boras is in a much weaker position than he normally is, given the nature of the Japanese market and culture — which wouldn’t deliver the same financial rewards to Matzooka, and which would cover the pitcher with shame if he has to come back, having already said goodbye to his team.
    So Boras is posturing as a no-talk hard-ass to cover for this weakness.
    If he doesn’t get a deal done with the Sox by Thursday, the real shame is on Boras, and it would not recommend him to future Japanese clients — a potentially lucrative long-term source of new clients for his firm.
    Boras needs to do a deal as much or more than Boston. He’s trying to act nonchalant and project a “take it or leave it attitude,” including the (empty) claim that his client is ready to walk away from a deal worth many, many times his current salary. I don’t believe it.
    I think if Theo & Co. make a solid offer and stick to it, Boras will have to negotiate and cave (meaning settle for something close to their offer).
    And I sincerely doubt that Matsuzaka is willing to become an object lesson for future Japanese players’ negotiators, an exercise that might help Boras bluff more effectively in the future, but would impoverish the pitcher enormously.
    Anyway, as I said, there’s not much to do but fill the void between now and an announcement with rambling speculation…

    Hudson December 11, 2006, 11:39 pm
  • Boras added that Matsuzaka is worth “well in excess of $100 million.” (redsox.com)
    The article also says that Boras promised he won’t be strong-arming Matsuzaka into a decision, quoting him as saying, “This decision is going to be Daisuke’s. He has to make the call.”

    desturbd1 December 12, 2006, 12:17 am
  • I dunno if you posted your update before I posted my link, but if you did…my bad.

    desturbd1 December 12, 2006, 12:25 am
  • As I updated above, that quote in particular, and Boras’ apparent unease with the process in general, serve as notices to me that the Sox will sign Matsuzaka this week.

    Paul SF December 12, 2006, 12:26 am
  • Hehe, d-1, we’re just news junkies finding our fixes at the same time…

    Paul SF December 12, 2006, 12:26 am
  • Entirely agree. Here’s a thought: Boras raises a fairly reasonable point about how American FA’s aren’t expected to take lower contracts because of a posting process. (I know, we’ve debated whether he should be treated as a normal FA or not, but if someone like Gil Meche can get $11MM a year after proving nothing except showing a little extra K-power in his last season…) What about a deal for the reasonable 12-$13MM a year, for let’s say 4 years…with another $10MM deferred? Say he signs a 5-year, $65MM deal; defer the other $10MM for 5 or ten years after the contract runs out, and he’s getting $15MM a year, but doing it in a way that makes it easier for Boston to stomach. This is just an example…I don’t really know how it would work, but I haven’t heard anyone talk about deferred money yet, so I thought I’d bring it up.
    And yeah, Paul, it’s getting eerie…

    desturbd1 December 12, 2006, 12:31 am
  • Still aiting for word — if any — on the Red Sox press conference, which I thought was to take place about 40 minutes ago.

    Paul SF December 12, 2006, 12:37 am
  • it was but i doubt any local media are there, after the press conference they were gonna have a conference call with the Boston media which is when were likely to hear what was said.

    Anonymous December 12, 2006, 12:43 am
  • Boston to offer “record” deal to Matsuzaka. Will Leave Wednesday morning, with or without him
    By Gordon Edes, Globe Staff
    Red Sox GM Theo Epstein in a post-midnight conference call described the dramatic turn that took place last night in the negotiations for Daisuke Matsuzaka, saying that with John W. Henry providing the plane, he and CEO Larry Lucchino flew to southern California, unsolicited, for a meeting with agent Scott Boras in the Daisuke Matsuzaka negotiations.
    Epstein said the team plans to make another offer, one that will be the largest ever given to a player who has never played in the big leagues, and the largest given to a Japanese player. But it remains to be seen if that will satisfy Boras, who has made the case that Matsuzaka is one of the game’s elite pitchers and should be paid as such, with no weight given to the size of the bid the Sox paid for exclusivity to negotiate with him. That $51.1 million, Boras has stated, is just another indication of how valuable a talent Matsuzaka said.
    A feisty John W. Henry, frustration evident in his voice, said: “I think it’s also fair to say we’re on Scott Boras’s doorstep because he hasn’t negotiated with us so far. We’re taking the fight directly to him to try to have a negotiation here.”

    TJ Sox Fan December 12, 2006, 8:45 am
  • Bambi Henry should stop whining and just take it like a man.
    Stick it to ’em Boras!

    Andrews December 12, 2006, 9:52 am
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