Well…that was fun. We had Daisuke sneaking into back doors at 3 am to get past the throngs of reporters, we had cross-country flights on private planes, we had madcap dash to the hospital…and now we have a starting rotation of:
Man…it feels good not to need to write Matt Clement’s name in there. Sure, the pitching staff still has holes — I think it’s insane to assume Mike Timlin is going to be worth a roster spot, but then I also think it’s insane to assume Doug Mirabelli is going to be worth a roster spot. There’s no closer, or at least no obvious closer, and Craig Hansen ain’t gonna be one in the majors unless he learns that he’ll be a lot better off if he stops trying to blow his fastball by big league hitters and uses that nasty-ass slider more often.
Anyway, to go along with that pitching staff, if the season started tomorrow — and who doesn’t wish that it would? — there’d be this starting nine:
Lowell – 3B
Tek – C
Youkilis – 1B
Pedroia – 2B*
That might not be the record-setting ’03-’04 offense, but it’s pretty damn good.
Now, a lot will (and has) been made of the vast amounts of money the Sox have thrown around in the great free-agent spending spree of 2006. So let’s take a look at the $103 (or so) million Matsuzaka will cost the Sox. First off, despite the AAV of $10 million per year, the contract will end up costing the Sox approximately $14 mil/per, because of the 40 percent luxury tax (which, again, I’m assuming the Sox will need to pay). (Also, from what I can tell, the escalators in the deal will amount to a max of $8 mil over the life of the deal, so let’s leave those out for simlicity’s sake.) Let’s also assume that, as Rob Neyer points out, salaries will continue to rise at approximately 10 percent a year. That would make the $14 mil paid out to Daisuke in 2012 worth about $7 million in today’s dollars.** (I think — Neyer has the 10 percent annual depreciation on Drew’s $14 million deal worth $10 million in 2011; I have it worth $8.4. One of us is wrong, and it certainly might be me.) If you look at the pure AAV sans luxury tax, that 2012 salary would be worth $5 mil in today’s dollars.*** If Daisuke ends up being anywhere near as good as rumored, that’ll be one helluva bargain. (Another way to look at this: Manny’s contract was pretty outrageous in 2001; today it’s a relative — and I do mean relative — bargain.) Of course, he could also end up being the next Jose Contreras, circa his Yankees years. That’d make him far from the worst $100 million signing…but it still wouldn’t be good.
So, what does this all mean? Well, for one thing that the Sox didn’t get fleeced by Scott Boras — as recently as a 24 hours ago, he was arguing that Matsuzaka should be getting somewhere in the $20 million per range, which would increase the cost of this deal by $60 million bucks.
And..with that, my flight is boarding. So more later.
* As a couple of people have noted in the comments section, this batting order is likely incorrect. Unless the starting nine changes, it’s more likely to see something like:
Lugo, The Jewish God of OBP, Papi, Manuel, J.D., Lowell, Tek, Coco, Pedroia
** In my computations throughout, I used a $10 million/yr base for Matsuzaka; it’s actually (roughly) $9 mil. The full contingent of escalators would bring the AAV up toÂ¬â€ $10. Anyway, this’ll alter all of those slightly.
*** And if you add in the $51.1 posting fee, the contract would be worth approximately $24 mil, $22.6 mil, $21.2 mil, $19.8 mil, $18.4 mil, and $17 mil with the luxury tax or $20, $10, $18, $17, $16, and $15 million per. A couple of other quick notes on the luxury tax figures: the posting fee does not count towards the luxury tax and is paid out in one lump sum, which skews these numbers a bit, but not a huge amount. Also, the reason I’m including the luxury tax here is I’m assuming Dice’s contract will be one of the ones that puts the Sox over the luxury tax limit; in figuring out other AAV’s, you wouldn’t add on the 40 percent until the contracts starting going over that limit. Got that?