So It Was Written

So it is done.

The Boston Red Sox now have 30 days to sign the nation of Japan’s No. 1 pitcher.

77 comments… add one
  • $51.1 Million

    TJ November 14, 2006, 8:29 pm
  • That’s insane. I wonder what the next highest bid was?
    Now, we shall see if Sox actually intend to pony up all that cash and sign the kid…

    yankeemonkey November 14, 2006, 8:33 pm
  • The Boston Herald goes even more exact — $51.11 million. Wow. Destrade beats Gammons?
    Anyway, the Herald also has this to say:
    “By signing Matsuzaka, the Sox would not only keep him out of the clutches of the Yankees but add him to a rotation that has Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon and Tim Wakefield. With Schilling no doubt primed to make his last year a memorable one, Beckett more likely than not to become more consistent and effective, Papelbon looking to duplicate his 2006 success as a starter and Wakefield healthy again, the Red Sox rotation could be far better than most in the league.”
    Optimistic? Absolutely. Tantalizing? Abso-freaking-lutely!

    Paul SF November 14, 2006, 8:34 pm
  • 51.1 mil. Okay, do I really need to add anymore? =P

    Lar November 14, 2006, 8:37 pm
  • On paper, Paul…on paper.
    Damnit, when do pitchers and catchers report???

    yankeemonkey November 14, 2006, 8:37 pm
  • 51.1 million dollars……that is a lot of double cheeseburgers from the dollar menu.
    I would think that you could have bought a small Indonesian country with food servers for that amount.

    Anonymous November 14, 2006, 8:37 pm
  • They could have bought the Marlins…..

    Rob November 14, 2006, 8:40 pm
  • Lar, is there anything else other than the money that you’d like to add to any of these discussions? Seriously, since the first report came out, you’ve hammered away on the posting fee. That’s the fee that absolutely has to be paid. Would it be better if it was 30 million or 20 million? I mean, NY gave 20million to Kevin Brown, so how stupid does this fifty look in comparison to other moves made around baseball?
    This is a good move.
    Also, YM – how does the Yankee rotation look on paper. Try to restrain yourself from the Hughes thing, since for all purposes needed here, I’ll just bring up that little all-star game thing when he faced decent hitting. One starter in the hospital with a 43yr old broken back. One starter who can’t strike out, well, me. One starter still yet unsigned but a talent when he does. One starter, oh no, I’m out of starters!

    brad November 14, 2006, 8:43 pm
  • Rob,
    The Yankees could have bought the Marlins with the money they gave RJ – which do you think is a better business move, or baseball move for that matter?

    brad November 14, 2006, 8:45 pm
  • Hopefully now the negotiations work out and we get him signed quickly and into to a uniform. Of course now the FO has to work with Boras.
    I wonder how quick DM wants to get a contract worked out in the 30 day window.

    Rob November 14, 2006, 8:45 pm
  • True Brad….for the amount of money involved it would seem that the Yanks and the Sox have a small farm team in Florida.

    Rob November 14, 2006, 8:46 pm
  • Rob, my guess is that since both Boras and Theo have known for days what was announced tonight, it’s probably well on it’s path. Also, I somehow can’t seem to not think that this whole thing has something to do with the JD Drew stuff.
    Theo was just on NESN, and they were saying that Theo has some sort of wild man-love for him and has tried to get him in Boston four different times.
    Why else would Boras convince him to opt out of his deal. Without Boston, one would have to assume that he’s not getting the kind of scratch that he was guaranteed there.
    Something’s fishy between these two parties, and I love it.

    brad November 14, 2006, 8:49 pm
  • Yay us!
    Props to Buster Olney. Well done.

    SF November 14, 2006, 8:49 pm
  • This is breaking news on

    Rob November 14, 2006, 8:50 pm
  • I would agree Brad. I would think that the groundwork has also been established and there may already be a tentative deal already in the process.
    Especially JD Drew. Theo is straight man-whore for him.

    Rob November 14, 2006, 8:52 pm
  • I watched the vid above and I have to say the kid has good movement on his pitches.

    Rob November 14, 2006, 8:52 pm
  • It was live on NESN, and that YOUtube clip just solidified my opinion.

    brad November 14, 2006, 8:53 pm
  • Good Movement??????
    Rob, Glavine visits where this kid lives, and that hook combined with that fastball makes the rest of his stuff unbelievable. It’s going to be so much fun watching hitters trying to figure out the sequences and guessing wrong that first year..
    I will say this, he needs to hide that grip better, otherwise they’ll tee off.

    brad November 14, 2006, 8:55 pm
  • Who else besides me thinks the chants at Japanese games sound incredibly cool. Makes the hair on my neck stand up. That’s a fan base.

    attackgerbil November 14, 2006, 8:56 pm
  • Good being a caveat. I know this kid has great stuff, but he has not thrown a pitch in the majors yet. Everything with him is speculation right now on how great he will be.
    Believe me….I will have sweet dreams abouth this kid for the next few months until pitchers and catchers report.

    Rob November 14, 2006, 8:58 pm
  • Must admit: I am jealous.

    attackgerbil November 14, 2006, 8:58 pm
  • We have the same in the states AG…it just usually sounds like BOOOO

    Rob November 14, 2006, 8:59 pm
  • I read somewhere that when Japanese player leave to the US and are not successful, it’s considered a shame by society there, and they’re often shunned upon their return.
    To me, that’s much more pressure than Gordon Edes will be able to put on this kid. Maybe that’s why Wang seems so unflappable at times. I know it’s a different country, but the honor thing is stull just as important.

    brad November 14, 2006, 9:02 pm
  • I fully agree Brad. I see this kid trying very hard to be successful and not trying to be a pian in the negotiation process.

    Rob November 14, 2006, 9:03 pm
  • stull really means still. Sorry.
    I remember in 2004 Millar saying “don’t let us win today, because anything can if we do”
    The Red Sox, initially anyhow, just won today.

    brad November 14, 2006, 9:03 pm
  • ” see this kid trying very hard to be successful and not trying to be a pian in the negotiation process.
    …he’s got his anti-christ agent to do that for him. Pardon my lack of respect for the guy.

    brad November 14, 2006, 9:14 pm
  • Maybe that’s why Wang seems so unflappable at times.
    Are you referring to Chien-Ming Wang? If so he’s not Japanese hes Taiwanese.

    TJ November 14, 2006, 9:15 pm
  • That’s some pretty wicked raw movement. Gonna be fun to see how that translates in the majors. There’s a big difference between the Hiroshima Karp and the New York Yankees. But stuff is stuff.
    Okay, Cash. Time for Zito!
    PS: Brad, I wouldn’t be so dismissive of the Yankee rotation at present. Wang, Zito, Mussina, Johnson, Pavano and a triple-a stacked with top-level prospects is nothing, nothing to sneeze at.

    YF November 14, 2006, 9:19 pm
  • yeah, TJ. That’s why I said ” it’s a different county”. I meant different between Japan and Taiwan. But yes, I meant Wang and the cultural similarites between the two. Both are very disciplined and respectful. One is able to strike guys out though:-P

    brad November 14, 2006, 9:20 pm
  • Brad: I haven’t said anything since the posting fee came out because I’ve said pretty much most of what I needed to say before the bidding start, which is basically what everyone’s been telling me how it would be worth it.. (you can go through the backposts)
    51.1.. I’m sure it’s not a zero-sum thing (where BoSox will sit around and do nothing because they can’t afford anything else) since they’re signing Drew. I just love how no one on the BoSox side even pretend that it’s a lot.
    Maybe 51.11 mil doesn’t go as far as it used to, but for that signing you can get Zito _and_ Schmidt. I’m not saying that it’s going to tank or that it’s necessarily a bad deal, but it’s definitely not as good a deal as SFs here keep making it to be..

    Lar November 14, 2006, 9:20 pm
  • Meant to say that signing + contract = Zito and Schmidt for the same contract length, but yaaa. It might not be necessary, but just putting in some perspective..

    Lar November 14, 2006, 9:21 pm
  • 51.1 mil.?!!!!! Gulp. It’s even higher than we thought. Way higher. Is it fair to say here that Theo went a little overboard?
    Guess that 3rd place finish and that 5 game beatdown in August at Fenway really stuck in Henry’s craw.

    whatever November 14, 2006, 9:23 pm
  • Brad, I seem to remember last off-season you letting us all know how much better the Sox’s pitching staff was than the Pinstripers’ going into 2006. How’d that work out?
    Anyway, my guess is that the Yanks go after Zito hard now. There have been leaks to the media that they’re more interested in Schmidt or mid-level starters. Cashman is bluffing. Zito is in the cross-hairs; he’s just trying to lower the asking price. Playing coy.

    Nick-YF November 14, 2006, 9:24 pm
  • I really need to read an entire post before responding :P lol

    TJ November 14, 2006, 9:26 pm
  • YF – the Yanks have all but, err, I mean only one of the pitchers you mentioned who can be depended on to win games this year: Wang. Mussina hasn’t signed, Unit may never be the same and if he is, it aint until June by some reports. Also, I applauded the Yankees for the moves they made, but those guys are exactly what you’ve said – prospects. Projecting them into a line-up is not only sketchy, but unrealistic statistically speaking. If one in twenty pans out, you’re ahead of the game.
    Oh, did you say Pavano? Carl Pavano? Really? That’s what you’re countering with, YF?
    Fine, the Red Sox have Clement too! At least he’s capable of winning a game or two along the way.
    Is there a minor leaguer named Pavano I’m not aware of?

    brad November 14, 2006, 9:27 pm
  • Nick: for the first half of the year, before the injuries, the Sox staff was better, so my argument was indeed valid.
    Also, play coy with Boras. It always works: ask Damon. Playing coy with him will land him somewhere else, as punishment for disrespect to him. You don’t play with Boras.

    brad November 14, 2006, 9:29 pm
  • I’ll be the first to say that this move doesn’t strike me as the most clever one in history. Thankfully, I don’t really care, either!

    SF November 14, 2006, 9:30 pm
  • …$51.1…damn, that IS a lot of t-shirts…all kidding and criticism aside sox fan’s [i’ve enjoyed the banter on this the past week or so], good luck with the signing piece…theo and co. outsmarted my team on this one, and i tip my cap…

    dc November 14, 2006, 9:34 pm
  • SF has been consistently honest and correct about this whole thing. Other sox fans…not so much.
    Brad, a 80 games does not a season make. The arguments against your insanely pre-season posts brought up the very real possibility of injuries affecting your rotation.
    And let’s not be disingenuos, Mussina’s signed. And if we’re talking about Beckett as a possible good pitcher next year, then I’ll include Randy as one as well. They did have the same seasons basically, and Randy actually has a better track record.

    Nick-YF November 14, 2006, 9:37 pm
  • Hey! SF sounds like a Yankee fan.
    By the way SF, thanks for being candid.

    whatever November 14, 2006, 9:37 pm
  • my sentiments exactly, SF. He wins games in the Bronx I could really care less. But it is funny in a sicko-wierd way to think that kind of money went to just talk to the kid. Me, you, and everyone I know won’t make that much money in our whole lives. Well, maybe you but I can’t imagine you’d be here all day talking with us if that was the case. Well, maybe. Anyhow, I’m sure the Red Sox were more than aware of what it would take to recoup the scratch in the long run. Also, by not doing anything stupid like getting Abreu in the off-season (which I lost my mind over) makes things like this possible.
    If the Yanks made the moves the Red Sox have made in the past two years, and bit the bullet every now and then (lead the sheep, as DC would say) maybe they would have ponied up the money. Spilled milk now.
    Also, the thing that makes Boras so hard to deal with is that everyone wants his clients. Every team in the majors want Zito, Nick. That’s why there is no guarantee he comes to NY. In fact, my bet from the start was LAA, which by the way, makes their rotation groooosss as well. Oh, and the have the money to give him what he wants, minus the lowballing.

    brad November 14, 2006, 9:38 pm
  • I’m going to throw this out there, but is it a strong possibility that the Sox misread the market on DM if they outbid the next team by $20 million. Maybe?
    And keep in mind, I think it’s an ok move by them, but there are questions.

    Nick-YF November 14, 2006, 9:38 pm
  • *insanely confident pre-season picks. Me no typo wello

    Nick-YF November 14, 2006, 9:39 pm
  • okay Nick now you’re just being silly. You’re going to base a prediction off a 43 year old’s broken back against a talented young fireballer who just possibly needed a year to adjust to the league?
    Really, Nick? You’re better than that. Even with all the ugly, nasty jealous statements that have been made here over all this, I konw you’re more baseball intelligent than that.
    Also, Mussina’s not signed. When he is, I’ll applaud the Yankees for keeping their most talented pitcher, and a great on at that, but unti then, he’s not on your team. Period.

    brad November 14, 2006, 9:42 pm
  • me having typing issues as well. Crap.

    brad November 14, 2006, 9:44 pm
  • Brad: yeah, there are questions. but how many ml games has papelbon started? any? zero? matsuzaka? zero. schilling, isn’t he 40? wake is, what, 43? it’s still early november. you’ve added one pitcher to a staff that finished 10 games out last year (and also lost your ace closer). nervous yet? and how’s that pen coming along?
    the yanks are well positioned to build a very solid staff. the sox should have one also. i wouldn’t be in too much of a hurry to count my chickens, though.

    YF November 14, 2006, 9:44 pm
  • Brad, the reports are from everyone that the Yanks and Mussina are on the verge of a 2 year extension. It’s on the net or some information highway.
    But, yes, I am serious about the Beckett-Johnson analogy. Beckett hasn’t proven anything except that he gives up a lot of homers in the AL. Like Johnson, Beckett suffered from the big-inning meltdown. I don’t care if Beckett’s younger. Javy Vazquez is younger and is a fireballer and hasn’t done jack sh*t in the AL for 3 years now. So what?

    Nick-YF November 14, 2006, 9:47 pm
  • Nick:
    They probably did misread the market, but maybe only marginally. I have been saying it for the past several days, but blind auctions are not easy, even for game theorists.

    SF November 14, 2006, 9:48 pm
  • okay, Nick. If given the opportunity to switch starters, would you? Let’s just hypothetically say that the Yanks get Beckett next year ( a year wiser in this beast of a leauge and better pitcher – maybe smarter) and the Sox get the Unit (again another year older (43..44..45???) who just had major back surgery and a histor of not being able to be consistent in this league minus the second half of his first year.
    If you said no, well I don’t know if I can chat with you anymore because I think you’re letting this whole thing cloud your judgement on baseball related topics.
    If you said yes, well, end of argument.
    Also, why do you suggest 20million? I wonder what the difference was, but if history has said anything, the Sox knew they would have to go intot the atmosphere on this one to outbid the Yankees. They always have. I could really care less, because for all purposes right now, the Sox will probably end up with the best available young pitcher on the market, but I’m curious if you think the Yankee bid wasn’t insanely high as well? Just not as insane.

    brad November 14, 2006, 9:51 pm
  • By the way, isn’t the last guy DMat gets out in that collection above one of the UFC fighters from the comeback Ultimate Fighter show on tv?

    walein November 14, 2006, 9:57 pm
  • okay, YF spin it however you want, but you know as well as I do, Schilling and Johnson are not on the same level any longer and Wake’s 43 isn’t nearly the same 43. Deny it, and you’re not looking around the blinders but through them.
    Also, I’m not counting chickens, I’m saying the Sox won today. This battle. The one we’re talking about now. You’re the one that needed to go back to last year to try to prove a point, which is dissappointing to me, since you were one of the Yanks who openly admitted the injury problem that kept the Sox out of the mix.
    I hate to call you this, but you’re a flip flopper with the face of envy today, YF.
    And again, they’re prospects. Papelbon hasn’t started games, but does that mean he’s going to forget how to do it? He’s been a starter his whole life. Plus, now that DM isn’t a yankee, I guess he’s nothing more than a prospect? Jeez YF.

    brad November 14, 2006, 9:57 pm
  • papelbon may be very good. He may also be like Byun Kim…in which case, move him back to closer.

    walein November 14, 2006, 10:04 pm
  • “So It Was Written
    So it is done.”
    Ha! I pictured Paul strutting around the room like a proud peacock after entering that post. Kudos Soxfans, you landed the big fish. Call it sourgrapes(because it is), I hope this guy pans out to be a 3rd or 4th stater type of pitcher in the Majors, and gets continually lit by Yankee batters for the next three seasons.

    bloodyank78 November 14, 2006, 10:05 pm
  • Now Papelbon may turn into BK. Holy cow, YF’s.

    brad November 14, 2006, 10:06 pm
  • The $20 million number is admittedly based on hearsay from many different reports. I agree you shouldn’t care really about whether Theo and company misread the market. It’s more a small poke at the idea that they’re just so goddammed brilliant. If Tom Hicks had made a similar bid, there would be much less talk of strategy, etc.
    And your question about Johnson-Beckett is misleading. Beckett’s cheaper. And they pitched at the same level last year basically.So, yeah, I’d prefer to have Beckett on my team, but I see very little reason to think that Beckett’s going to be better than Johnson NEXT year. Maybe when Johnson is retired in 2008, Beckett will be better.
    Keep in mind that Johnson in 2005 was a more valuable and better pitcher than Beckett was. Perhaps, Johnson’s back problems were responsible for his poor 2006. And if surgery is successful, then do we get the 2005 Johnson back? It’s possible.

    Nick-YF November 14, 2006, 10:06 pm
  • Really BloodyYank. I think either pitcher could go get whomever, but entering talent into this little rivalry is not really that smart. I’ve seen Roger get bumped after two innings and ten runs, and I’ve seen Mussina strike out 18. It matters how good they are against the other AL Teams, not in this rivalry.
    As long as he’s a quality starter who beats more people than he loses to (which seems to be the case, since none of us have seen that kind of stuff in this league), I’m fine with it.
    We’ve been witness to Miguel Cairo taking Pedro deep, each team scoring 20 on each other, and classic playoff games.
    I don’t really think it matters much between the two, but rather the rest.

    brad November 14, 2006, 10:10 pm
  • >>>I just love how no one on the BoSox side even pretend that it’s a lot.
    It’s a lot. A whole f*cking insane lot.
    (Happy now?)
    This guy is going to have to be the next Pedro to live up to that dough.
    Now, could someone explain in detail what those hypothetical “marketing revenues” might be that could offset the $51.11111111111111111111111 fee?

    Hudson November 14, 2006, 10:11 pm
  • Okay, Nick. So you want Beckett because he’s cheaper? Not because the very real possiblilty is present that he’s a better pitcher now, and next year.
    Really, I do hope that RJ is healty again. I’ve always liked him, but no way do I even begin to think Beckett isn’t going to be decidedly better next year than last.
    But, I guess we’ll have to wait until the two take the field.

    brad November 14, 2006, 10:14 pm
  • agreed, Brad. And with that I have to go to sleep. Good night.
    Did I mention I love Barry Zito. Love him!!!!

    Nick-YF November 14, 2006, 10:16 pm
  • Yeah, it’s going to be wonderful hearing some of the racist pigs at Fenway when this guy has a bad outing:
    Throw the ball fackin hardah ya fackin nip!!!!”

    anon November 14, 2006, 10:19 pm
  • The strategy came in deciding to make a bid that was sure to win. Face it, we SFs were completely unsure until Olney’s report whether the Sox were erious about this guy. Based on the reactions, particularly from NY and mainstream media, I’d guess not many others thought the Sox would spend the cash it likely would have taken to get him.
    I do think the Sox misread the market. Leaks have the Mets at 38M, the Yanks at 30M, the Rangers at 20-someodd. The fact that the Sox did the eBay technique and added $110,000 just in case shows they weren’t sure if New York (either team, I’d reckon) would act similarly and come way over the top. In that sense, they were right — the Mets did come over the top, just not as much as the Sox thought they would. $42M would have looked wise. $51.11M does look, how shall we say, a bit overeager?
    If I were a Yankee fan, knowing the next best starters out there are Zito and Schmidt, knowing the questions surrounding three-fifths of my rotation (Johnson/Pavano/ex-Wright), I’d be pissed the Yankees only finished third in the Matsuzaka bidding.
    On paper (and yes, it is only on paper), the Red Sox have clearly shot ahead of the Yankees in terms of their respective starting rotations.

    Paul SF November 14, 2006, 10:22 pm
  • somebody going to delete that idiot’s comment? Take that crap to LoHud where you’ll be on the same page, anon.

    brad November 14, 2006, 10:24 pm
  • Ooooh, anon can read Deadspin! Good job, anon!
    For the record, Papelbon made his major league debut in 2005 as a starter and started three games (16 IP, 15 H, 4 ER, 10 BB, 15 K). Doesn’t make him any less of a question mark there, but I did want to clear that up.

    Paul SF November 14, 2006, 10:25 pm
  • Yeah, I knew he did, but didn’t feel like backing it up with those numbers.

    brad November 14, 2006, 10:29 pm
  • Good thing baseball isn’t won or lost on paper. Or maybe in this case it should be. :)
    Man is this exciting. I applaud Theo and the rest of the FO for their boldness. And thank them for keeping things in RSN interesting even when there are no games to be played.
    Welcome to the “Lead Sox” Matsuzaka-san!

    mouse November 14, 2006, 10:30 pm
  • Paul – I love the ebay reference =)
    I admit now, by the way, that I was waaaay off, and that apparently even 39 mil seems to be smart, apparently. I could say that you don’t need to do math to win at 51 mil, but then we all thought that was the case at 39-42, so yaaaaaaa.
    Now that money’s in the bank (mostly), what is the break even record? 20-5 3 ERA?

    Lar November 14, 2006, 10:30 pm
  • considering the plethora of guys winning twenty games in the AL with and ERA of three, I’d say if he does that he wins the Cy, but we’re WAY ahead of ourselves there.

    brad November 14, 2006, 10:33 pm
  • “lead sox”..
    That’s funny. Did you think of it, mouse? It’s super original, and I LOVE it.

    brad November 14, 2006, 10:35 pm
  • No I didn’t, brad, though I wish I could lay claim to it. When you run Japanese news stories through translations, it’ll often write “lead” instead of “red” because there is no difference between R and L in Japanese.

    mouse November 14, 2006, 10:38 pm
  • yeah, my sarcasm isn’t always clear to everyone not named Brad, but thanks for playing along, and that’s info I did not know, so thanks there too.

    brad November 14, 2006, 10:40 pm
  • No harm, no foul. I’m often fuzzy on whether or not someone’s being sarcastic in web forums anyway…it’s gotten me in trouble sometimes. Or I just come out looking like an idiot. :-P

    mouse November 14, 2006, 10:53 pm
  • 15-18 wins in his first season would be more than enough for me, considering the transitions and all.
    Incidentally, Peter Gammons on ESPNEWS said the Sox are still looking for a sixth starter with the possible intention of going to a six-man rotation for parts of the year so as to ease Matsuzaka’s transition and give Schilling and Wakefield rests.
    Explains also why Cafardo reported today that the Sox talked with Adam Eaton at the GM meetings.

    Paul SF November 14, 2006, 10:55 pm
  • This is all very sketchy right now. Why do that? What about Clement? If you’re use a fifth starter, why not Tavarez (who pitched very well as a starter last year)? Something is going on here, and I’m anxious to know what it is.

    Brad November 14, 2006, 11:09 pm
  • This is all very sketchy right now. Why do that? What about Clement? If you’re use a fifth starter, why not Tavarez (who pitched very well as a starter last year)? Something is going on here, and I’m anxious to know what it is.

    Brad November 14, 2006, 11:09 pm
  • I like having a sixth starter just for the sake of insurance. Memories of Kevin Jarvis and Kyle Snyder still keep me up at night sometimes. [Shudder]
    Aside from Schilling and Wakefield being a little on the old side, our now three under-30 starters have their own question marks too. So having a guy like Eaton on board could be huge.

    Anonymous November 14, 2006, 11:10 pm
  • That unsigned post was me. Not sure why my name didn’t show up…
    Clement may never pitch again, let alone in 2007. He had to have “serious” surgery on his labrum and rotator cuff, according to reports.

    mouse November 14, 2006, 11:11 pm
  • Yeah, Clement won’t be around in 2007, and if he returns midseason, barring a crisis like last year, he’ll probably start in the pen. Don’t forget Tavarez is a legitimate spot-starter candidate. So the Sox clearly learned from past mistakes and are not taking pitching depth for granted… Good for them.

    Paul SF November 14, 2006, 11:54 pm

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