Shoot, I’d pay $40 mil for the right to negotiate with Scott Boras, too

November 10th, 2006 → 6:17 pm @ // No Comments

Even on North Carolina’s Outer Banks we got the word that the Red Sox seem to have posted the top bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka…and said bid is somewhere between $38 and $45 million dollars. (At least according to Buster Olney; the Globe‘s Nick Cafardo says there’s a growing consensus that Olney’s right.)

Let’s take this with an appropriate grain of salt. Many times over the past several years, Manny Ramirez has been all but traded…”according to [nameless] Major League Baseball sources,” who are cited in the Olney piece. (Cafardo also cites MLB sources as saying, essentially, “Yeah, that wouldn’t surprise me.”) According to Major League Sources, Boston was going to suit up Alex Rodriguez at short and Magglio Ordonez in left. And according to MLB sources, John Kerry won the 2004 election.

Winning the right to negotiate with Matsuzaka doesn’t mean he’ll be starting ahead of Curt and Beckett next year; all it means is that the Sox are the sole team with the right to negotiate with Boras (DM’s agent). And Boras has shown he has absolutely no problem keeping his players out of the majors for a year if it means they/he will get more money (see: Varitek, Jason). Forty mil is a lot. It’s conceivable the Sox wanted to make sure the Yankees didn’t get him, bid an outrageous amount of money but don’t think they can sign him for something reasonable. It’s also conceivable that the Sox will trade the right to negotiate with Matsuzaka to another team, pay a chunk of that $40 mil, and ask for a young, proven player who hasn’t yet hit free agency. (In some very weird way, this fits in well with the Sox’s roster development philosophy, but it might be too clever be half, just as it might be against the weird and wooly rules governing this whole “posting” phenomenon. But it also might be the kind of Red-drafting-Larry-when-he’s-a-junior type of thing that the Sox would actually put in play.)

If the Red Sox have put in the winning bid, and if they do end up signing him, I’m sure as shit be excited. I’d also be worried, for reasons I’ve previously explained. In either case, it’s an early sign that the ’06 Hot Stove season will be plenty active in Boston. But isn’t it always?

Post Categories: 2006 Hot Stove Season & Daisuke Matsuzaka

8 Comments → “Shoot, I’d pay $40 mil for the right to negotiate with Scott Boras, too”

  1. redsoxtimes

    17 years ago

    The bid and trade option is intriguing and downright clever. If the speculation is true, there are positive outcomes in the “trade” scenrio and “keep” scenario. I like the aggressiveness.


  2. branatical

    17 years ago

    I like it either way, if only to keep him out of the Bronx.

    It’s a bold statement and if the Angels really are interested and Weaver is really available, I see that trade happening. If they sign Daisuke I’ll be psyched because of his potential and all of a sudden Beckett is 3rd or 4th in the rotation. Not a bad rotation. Wosrt case, they sign him, he flops mentally or physically and it’s money down the drain, but beside that they don’t lose anything, just a ton of dough. Plus as Olney says, this says a lot about the Sox getting involved with the East, especially if Akinori comes to Boston too.

    Whatever, as long as he’s not playing for the Yankees it’s a good move. It’s a big F you to the Yankees and we all love that. Looking at their rotation, they’re in bad shape, taking Daisuke out of the equation is really bad news for them. Think Larry was behind this one?

    The traditional nickname for Daisuke in Japan is pronounced Dice-key.


  3. cursemyreverse

    17 years ago

    I think it is exactly what the sox should have done. Aside from keeping him from NY or another AL team, opening up a market in Japan for Red Sox merch and televised games makes a tremendous amount of sense. Watching the way the Mariners and Yankees were taken up by the general Japanese populace, I have always wished we had “one of our own” and frankly if this guy is anything like the pitcher he is scouted to me, then the sox may have gotten the most important Japanese player yet to enter the Majors. (although I think this mantle belongs to Ichiro, but not for championships apparently) (and thats if we even get him, I hate unnamed sources, for everything)

    Regardless, internationalizing the team as best as possible is one of the greatest ways we can stay ahead of other clubs. And it’s not about proving to the fans that Henry/Epstein are devoted to us – they are devoted to winning, which is all I want them devoted to (that and Jerry Trupiano)

    Several concerns though: 1) For all that money you may only get him for three years, as Boras seems to like these kinds of deals recently so as to better take advantage of later free agent markets (see Drew, J.D.) Granted 26-28 are great years, and if he sucks it would be nice to not have a ton of years on the books…. 2)I hope this kid really has a tough skin, because Boston is a make or break city, which could prove quite improper for a fresh Japanese arm. I’m still amazed the fans didn’t go after Coco this past season and I don’t suspect that was starting a trend. (although I wish we’d be a little more Cardinalian from time to time with our players)(like I wish people would remember Foulke as the real mvp of our 2004 postseason and not the jerk he let himself become)

    Lastly, imagine two things:

    1) Fans in Japan aligning themselves with NY or Boston and thus forming a satellite rivalry with the pinnacle moment being Daisuke vs Matsui. Red B’s and White NY’s on top of foreign heads talking smack in another language. Not that I like the saying, but what is “Yankees Suck” in Japanese?

    2) Three 26 year old pitchers with more than two plus pitches a piece, led along by a watchful V-Tek, taking advice from Schill, occasionally split up in the rotation by the One Who Throws Butterflies – and a hard training sentimentally motivated Clemens rearing to join the team in June.

    Who’s our shortstop? Who’s our right fielder? Who’s our closer? When do pitchers and catchers report again?

    The hot stove, in ON.


  4. madjackblack

    17 years ago

    I’ve been telling people all along that paying the high up front cost shouldn’t be a big deal. If anyone knows anything about baseball in Japan, it’s that this guy is HUGE. The Red Sox will make their money back in no time at all. It’s all about the revenue baby. Henry didn’t become a billionaire by making stupid business moves. The second thought all along should be, maybe he really is that good, and that would be just a bonus for the sox.


  5. Ogie Oglethorpe

    17 years ago

    If these rumors are true, this is a huge coup for the Sox. Keeping him away from the Yanks and generating new revenue streams by signing a Japanese player are two fringe benefits. I don’t envision a NFL type of parity in the MLB but the game is definitely changing. Sean McAdam wrote a good article recently about how revenue sharing is having an impact on free agency. He was right on the money with this one. Teams are locking up their own homegrown talent and keeping them off the open market or at least delaying their departure until they are in the latter half of their prime (31-33). I know a lot of guys are productive into their late 30s but I’m guessing that there will be less and less players extending their careers with performance enhancing drugs. Anyway, that being said, quick fixes through free agency aren’t going to be the preferred way of putting your 40 man roster together. Their will be more emphasis on drafting and developing your own players and filling your needs through trades. Those two methods will be closely tied together because if you can’t draft and develop players then you don’t have much to trade.

    Getting back to Matzusaka and the Sox, there are a few reasons why this makes a ton of sense for them:

    1. Schilling and Wakefield are hitting their 40s. Schilling is still the team’s ace even if he doesn’t have the best stuff on the team anymore but this is his last season and they need to find somebody to fill his role. I’m hoping Papelbon’s health will allow him to do that because he definitely has the mentality and the talent to do so. Beckett is still feeling his way around the AL and trying to learn how to pitch instead of throw but two seasons from now he COULD be the man. Matzusaka is rumored to have ace potential. Now that remains to be seen. He needs to get acclimated to the US and the majors. So, potentially there are three SPs vying to be the ace of this staff the season after Schilling calls it quits. Good plan. Hopefully one develops into an ace and the other two fall into place.

    2. Youth movement. The season after next the Sox could potentially have a rotation of Papelbon, Beckett, Matzusaka, Wake and Lester. That would be three 27 year olds, a 24 year old and a 40 something who can still throw the knuckler. That is a solid rotation that should be able to eat a lot of innings and save the bullpen which should be made up of youngsters Delcarmen and Hansen with all sorts of farmhands knocking on the door.

    3. Player development. It has been well documented that the Sox have had two top drafts in a row. They have a lot of intriguing/high ceiling prospects in the minors. But the Beckett and Crisp deals coupled with the promotions of Lester, Delcarmen, Hansen and Pedroia have cleaned out the upper levels of their minor league system. So basically with the exception of their CF prospect Ellsbury, the rest of their top prospects are in A ball. In other words, there isn’t much internal help in our immediate future. Getting Matzusaka will help bridge that gap.

    4. Supply and demand/opportunity. As usual pitching is in short supply. It is in such short supply that Barry Zito is asking for 16 million a season and Vincente Padilla is asking for 10 million. That should tell you something. It also isn’t very often that a SP with ace potential hits the market at 26 when he is about to enter his prime. It is a rare opportunity.
    Of course this line of thinking/game plan is rife with “ifs” and potential but who or what is a certainty these days. We are also not sure if the Sox did in fact win Matzusaka’s rights and then there is Boras who could single-handedly be trying to destroy baseball to deal with.


  6. dbvader

    17 years ago

    opening up a market in Japan for Red Sox merch
    Merchandise revenue is shared among the teams so there is no advantage to the Sox in this area.

    or all that money you may only get him for three years
    Japanese players are the same as any other first year player in that they are under the team’s control for the first six years of their career. Matsuzaka could negotiate for earlier free agency like Hideki Matsui did. Seeing as how Boras likes to negotiate major league deals for draft picks, he will probably ask for early free agency, so the point stands. But on third thought, I think Matuszaka will seek more than three years because of the injury/outright failure risk.


  7. Ogie Oglethorpe

    17 years ago

    Do they have to share their NESN broadcasting money?

    The people at Baseball Prospectus think that there is a good chance that he will suceed:

    Quick answer: yes and no. The Sox need to share the money NESN pays the team for the right to broadcast the games; they don’t need to share NESN qua NESN’s revenues. Confusing? I know. That’s MLB for you.

    — Seth


  8. dbvader

    17 years ago

    Sorry for the italics. I misplaced a backslash.

    This is presumptuous, but I would like to clarify Seth’s response. Merchandise revenue is shared equally at the MLB level. That’s exactly right – Seth Local revenue, NESN broadcast rights, is shared via revenue sharing, which is a 30% tax (my best recollection) on team revenue. Basically, that’s right – it’s actually 34 percent, and local baseball-related revenue (so not tix for Fenway concerts) – but the point holds. – Seth While the Red Sox will only see 3% of the sales of Matsuzaka t-shirts, it will see 71% of the potential Japanese broadcast rights. At the end of the day, it’s closer to 50 percent – see my previous (or next) post (it’s hard to tell from where I’m at). But even this figure is a bit deceptive if you’re looking at revenue in absolute terms, because then every dollar is worth less if your competitor gets money as well…as distinct from the dollar being worth less b/c you’re giving some of it away. Or being forced to give some of it away. – Seth

    This issue raises two questions for Seth:
    1. With the rise of team owned broadcast outlets in the era of revenue sharing, has MLB instituted a system to ensure that team-owned cable channels are paying fair market value for broadcast rights? Yes and no. It’s something I get into at the end of the book, and it’s the subject of enormous debate within MLB. Not surprisingly, the teams that own their own RSNs feel like the MLB revenue sharing committee – which arbitrates disputes over fees for related party transactions – favors the small revenue teams… – Seth
    2. How does MLB account for foreign market television rights? Does the team accept the fee or does the original broadcaster accept the fee?
    My guess would be that it functions the same way domestic rights do: the (foreign) broadcaster signs a contract with a team and this contract is treated as local baseball-related by MLB…but that’s just a guess. – Seth


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