November 13, 2006

Gammons: Red Sox Win Matsuzaka Bidding

Sources tell Peter Gammons that Boston's bid of $42 million for the right to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka "far exceeded any other team's offer".

At 2:59, SoSHer Carmine Hose posted this:
Just walked by Yawkey Way and there is a 3-man Japanese news team there. The on-camera guy is wearing a Red Sox jacket. They said it's not official, but it is the Red Sox who won the claim.


Jack Marshall said...

42 million for RIGHTS???
If the team can do that, how can they refuse to sign Pedro for four years and Damon for 5, even if they think both players will break down? How can they ever argue that they won't "over-pay?" For that matter, how can they refuse to pay a ridiculous price for the pitcher himself, if they'd pay 42 mil just to have the right to TALK to him?

Zenslinger said...

I'm sure it (or at least most of it) has to do with Japanese broadcast rights and promotions. Matsui plays with "Yomiuri Shimbun" (newspaper and owner of his former team, the Yomiuri "Yankees of Japan" Giants) in huge print behind him every game. Millions of Japanese see replays and highlights of those games. Ditto in Seattle - Japanese ads all over the stadium.

It wouldn't make sense for the Yankees to do something like this because the Japanese channel is already there and Matsuzaka's presence wouldn't bring in big money on his own. But in Boston -- recently solidified as a team of national interest and therefore international interest -- it's a whole new revenue stream.

Figure they pay him "normal" money for a star pitcher -- and that the posting fee is entirely an investment in the Japanese media bonanza.

Still risky, but it's not the same kind of money. Supposedly doesn't count towards salary total (i.e. luxury tax) either. And keeps him off the Yanks team.

As for his performance, there's never any guarantees, and it's possible we all could be shaking our heads for years over it. But I'd say the Japanese League is only a little behind the NL in terms of hitting. Someone posted in the other thread that he's never won more than 17 games -- well, it's a shorter season in Japan (about 140 games, I think?). 20-game winners are very, very rare if I remember correctly.

Neil H said...

They can refuse to pay Pedro for 4, and Damon for 5 because they don't think that is fair value for those players? Just because you, or I, or the media, disagree doesn't change that fact.

The Sox have a value system that says X player is worth X million over X years - presumably the people applying that value system believe that all of the actions they have taken are consistent with that value system?

gregpoole said...

Greetings from Tokyo.
I think zenslinger is spot on with his analysis. The business benefits of signing a Japanese player of Matsuzaka's status can not be underestimated. The high school baseball tournament in Japan is equivalent to NCAA in the U.S.-- nearly every Japanese adult remembers the emotional scene of Matsuzaka as a high school senior eight years ago singlehandedly pitching his team to victory (not to mention the national team this year in the WBC). This is magnified by the stature of starting pitchers, relative to other position players, amongst Japanese fans (largely because of the HS tournament). I am sure the Red Sox have calculated that the 42 million will be recouped very quickly with this kind of marketing power. He is the real thing as a player, too. Whether he will perform up to expectations in the majors is of course questionable, but is this not the case with every rookie no matter what kind of contract they receive (nay, every player for that matter, on a year-to-year basis)?

9casey said...

Jack , I have never seen you so shortsighted on a subject. Werner and Henry are smarter than we think along with the vast partnership with like 20 other millionaires.

This money I am assuming is aleardy back in the bank account.

Brillaint business and baseball decision.

Jack, Hop on the Matsuzaka rickshaw and enjoy the ride........

redsock said...

thanks for the insight, greg. it's much appreciated.

i agree 100% with zen: Figure they pay him "normal" money for a star pitcher -- and that the posting fee is entirely an investment in the Japanese media bonanza.

i may never love another pitcher like i did/do pedro, but he's now facing serious surgery and thinking about possible retirement. and he's many years older. it's comparing apples and mangos.

jack, baby, no one is asking you for a dime! ... sit back and enjoy it!

Zenslinger said...

Redsock: no one's asking us for a dime unless we dare to try to go to Fenway next year.

Greg: Thanks for writing in from the Big Mikan. As soon as you mentioned that high school tournament I realized I remembered it (I came back to the States from Tokyo at the end of 1999).

I was always a bit of a Yakult Swallows fan (for everyone else, they're sort of the "Mets" to the Giants' "Yankees"). Watched Dwayne Hosey play RF from a very nice seat in Jingu stadium once. Man, the food is good at Japanese games, though the chanting is annoying.