For $18 (to $25) million, is all this sturm und drang worth it?

December 13th, 2006 → 12:30 pm @ // 12 Comments

ESPN says that the Herald is reporting the Sox and Boras are about $3 million apart — the Sox are at $8 million per, Boras is asking for $11 million per — on a deal that’s supposed to be in the four-to-six year range. (I can’t find Michael Silverman’s Herald report — although the Globe is also acknowledging Silverman in its latest dispatch — or I’d link directly to that.) At the high end (in terms of years), that’s a differnce of about $18 million; if you add on the luxury tax and assume that’ll be somewhere around 40 percent of the Sox, the total figure is a bit over $25 million. At most, this should figure to be about 2.8% of the Red Sox’s annual payroll (if you include the luxury tax, although this would also add some money to the projected $150 million payroll…but whatever. You get the picture).

There are lots of ways you could look at this. The Sox, as many people are sure to point out if the deal falls apart, paid the Braves more than $3 million a year to take Edgar Renteria off their hands. Three million is about a third of what Matt Clement’s making a year. It’s approximatelty 20 percent of J.D. Drew’s annual salary. Etc.

All that’s all valid, but it’s also kind of besides the point. That kind of thinking can rapidly lead to profligacy. One of the Red Sox’s models has been to decide what a player’s worth and not pay above that amount; if you give everyone a couple of million bucks more than you think they deserve, you’ll end up with an out-of-control payroll. (The A-Rod deal, after all, fell apart over a similar amount of money. Well, a similar amount of money and Larry Lucchino’s squabbles with the players association. If you want to know more…yep, it’s in the book.

On the other hand, the marginal value of any one player to the Red Sox is potentially more than it is to a team like, say, the Royals…who are about as likely to make the playoffs as Paris Hilton is to win the Nobel Prize in physics. A win or two could be the difference between an October full of playoff games and an October full of finger-pointing. What’s more, the psychological impact of going all out on RSN is huge.

If Boras is really asking for $11 million at this point — and who knows if that’s truly the case; he was said to be asking for $15-$20 million per — then I think more than ever it’ll happen. But if it doesn’t, I’m not sure where the public’s reaction will fall; already Bob Ryan is saying the Sox should know what they were getting into while Nick Cafardo says Boras is batshit insane. (That’s not a direct quote.)

When this is all done with, I’ll have some more observations about Henry’s, Lucchino’s, and Epstein’s negotiating styles…at least as I observed them last year.


Post Categories: 2006 Hot Stove Season & Daisuke Matsuzaka & Red Sox Fans & Red Sox front office & Red Sox ownership & Scott Boras

12 Comments → “For $18 (to $25) million, is all this sturm und drang worth it?”


  1. bdpark

    11 years ago

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  2. HFXBOB

    11 years ago

    ‘One of the Red Sox’s models has been to decide what a player’s worth and not pay above that amount.’ That’s probably true in most cases, but I think they have clearly demonstrated they are willing to make exceptions. I can’t believe they came to a completely objective assessment of J. D. Drew’s worth at $14 million a year. If so, then who the hell knows how value is determined. I think instead that they decided they really wanted this guy and were willing to pay what it took to get him. And I think if the numbers are correct that Boras is looking for $11 million, and the Sox won’t pay it, there is little doubt that the Sox are going to end wearing the blame for this deal not happening.

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  3. tinisoli

    11 years ago

    What is interesting is the news (rumor) that Boras wasn’t asking for $20 million a year, that he was in fact only asking for a $11 million. Whether the former figure was simply inferred by reading into what Boras said the other night about what top-tier free agent pitchers are making these days, or whether Boras explicitly leaked that number to the media, it does put the Sox in the position of looking like cheapskates if the actual negotiations are over a difference of $3 million per year. For several days we’ve been moaning and groaning at the idea of anyone paying an unproven pitcher $15-20 mill per year, and Nick Cafardo’s piece was a perfect example of that. But now we learn (maybe) that Boras wants “only” $11 million, and suddenly that seems like a bargain. If this is indeed where they’re at–the Sox sticking to $8 mill and Boras asking for only $3 million more than that–then I gotta give credit to Boras for setting up the Sox (and us) like this. He created the impression among fans, the Sox, and the media that he was asking for the world, and now it turns out he wasn’t. John Henry could end up looking like Scrooge. And maybe all Boras did to create this atmosphere was to point out that young, talented pitchers are making huge money these days.

    Again, this is great entertainment. What will the Sox’ next move be? They storm off to the airport in a huff, and wait to see if Daisuke emerges from behind the curtain with pen in hand?

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  4. jim

    11 years ago

    Whoa, the difference between Lugo and A-Gon THIS YEAR was over 20 million at $5/year. That makes up the difference right now. If the Sox don’t finish this at those prices, they’re clearly fools.

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  5. ConsiderThis

    11 years ago

    The Sox are in excellent shape here. Boras has only one point of leverage, and that’s threatening that he can convince Matsuzaka to walk away from all that money until next year’s posting or else free agency in 2008. The Sox on the other hand know that if they don’t get him, they won’t lose him to any of their competitors. And next year will present new opportunities and further development of their prospects. Theo et al are not desperate. As much as the Sox would like to have him, they’ll be competitive without him.

    And from a cost/legal standpoint the Sox are correct: paying the posting fee buys them exclusive rights to decide the value of the contract. Until this guy is a bonafide free agent, he has no leverage. Boras’ railing against this posting system is bargaining bluster and nothing else. These are the rules, and it looks to me like the Sox are playing the game well.

    The Sox are not going to blamed for lowballing Matsuzaka, not when they are putting up a total offer of $100 million for six years for someone who has no major league experience.

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  6. bdpark

    11 years ago

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  7. tinisoli

    11 years ago

    He’s on the plane! He’s on the plane! Daisuke is on the plane!

    Reply

  8. Ogie Oglethorpe

    11 years ago

    I think one problem with questioning Drew’s worth at 14 million is that people are still thinking in terms of last offseason’s market conditions. Is Drew worth 14 million in the same market that the Sox were only willing to go to 10-11 million per year for Damon? No. Is he worth 14 million in this market where Soriano is making 17 million and Mathews Jr. is making 10 million? Who knows. I hope he is worth that in the end.

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  9. mkp

    11 years ago

    Both Edes and Silverman are reporting that DM and Boras are on their way to BOS with the front office crew. Finally.

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  10. dansoxfan

    11 years ago

    “the Royals…who are about as likely to make the playoffs as Paris Hilton is to win the Nobel Prize in physics”

    I’m trying to decide if that’s a harsher thing to say about the Royals or Paris…

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  11. sxturner

    11 years ago

    Get busy with the refresh button – the Globe is reporting that Dice-K is coming to town…

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  12. V06

    11 years ago

    I’d give Paris Hilton a fucking Nobel Prize if she’d persuade Britney Spears to start wearing some god-damn undies with her mini-skirts and stop flashing her gnarly c-section scarred groin to the paparrazzi.

    Not that I’d go out of my way to look at that kind of stuff, but there is only so much time one should devote to news all-Red Sox.

    Reply

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