November 10, 2006

Have Sox Made Top Matsuzaka Bid?

Buster Olney, ESPN:
The Boston Red Sox may have posted the top bid for the right to negotiate with Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, according to Major League Baseball sources.

There has been no official announcement, and the Seibu Lions, Matsuzaka's team in Japan, have until Tuesday to accept or reject the high bid.

But, according to officials monitoring the bidding, the Red Sox bid may be between $38 million and $45 million. ...

If the Lions accept the top bid, the winning bidder has 30 days to reach an agreement with Matsuzaka. If a deal cannot be reached, he would return to the Lions for the 2007 Japanese baseball season.
I would have expected Theo to submit a bid, but I figured it would fall short (signing Matsuzaka would mean dropping a total of between $80-90 million (though the bid presumably would not come out of the team's payroll budget)). Then again, if Boston is serious, they'd have to submit a mega-bid to make sure they ended up on top of the MFY.

SoSHers have been trying to get a handle on what his Japan numbers might translate to in the AL. Also, Olney's short article mentions nothing about a Yankees bid.

Nick Cafardo adds some info from the Globe:
There's growing steam behind a report by ESPN's Buster Olney that the Red Sox might have submitted the top bid for Seibu Lions righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka.

One major league source indicated, "That wouldn't surprise me one bit. I have heard the Red Sox were very competitive. It would be a strike against the Yankees, who have been considered the front-runner, and it show Red Sox fans the team is serious about rebuilding what happened last season." ...

If that should happen, the Sox would have three starters -- Jonathan Papelbon, Josh Beckett and Matsuzaka -- all within that prime 26 years old range and the hope that lefty Jon Lester can eventually rejoin the staff.
Cafardo notes that a Fort Worth Star-Telegram report earlier today stated that the Rangers might have made the top bid.

16 comments:

s1c said...

Reason why I don't have my hopes up! Because the MFY's traded Sheffield for minor league pitchers, I don't think they would have made this trade if they didn't have the inside track on Matsuzaka.

redsock said...

Not sure about that. They've already got Abreu in RF -- from the sounds of it, they made out pretty damn good in that trade. One thing we don't need is the MFY to start getting a clue.

Jack Marshall said...

I heard Kevin Kennedy say on XM radio that this was "a good gamble" by the Sox. Well, if it's not his money or mine, maybe it's a good gamble. I'd say "gambling" 20 million plus is NEVER a good gamble (unless you're one of those morons on "Deal or No Deal"), and gambling it on a pitcher is crazy, on a pitcher without major league experience is crazier still, and on a pitcher without major league experience who only won 17 games against Japanese players certifiable. Yeah, I think I'd rather take my chances with whatever his name is than on Zito, but not at those prices.
You are doomed to become your enemy, and this is the Red Sox acting like the Yankees. Not something to cheer.

Woti-woti said...

I'm convinced that if it is true that the Sox are bidding a fortune, that JWH and partners consider the posting fee to be an 'investment in foreign market'. They've already made a sizeable NASCAR investment.
Like I said earlier, these guys already know how much a World Series win is worth in their current market. Obviously, they think they need to incur startup costs in a juicy foreign market, like one which won the WBC. I'm sure they've analysed the investment risk as thoroughly as any other. What they actually pay him is a separate issue and obviously impacts the whole payroll. Sox need a good pitcher. Go for it. How about JD Drew?

9casey said...

The last real shot in the dark the sox took was Papi, How did that work out. I say bring on the sushi bar.

Jack Marshall said...

"Last real shot in the dark?" How about, say, Wade Miller? Mark Bellhorn? Josh Bard? Jason Johnson? Bruce Chen? Before Papi we had the "mystery man," Robinson Checo. Tim Wakefield. Troy O'Leary.Steve Avery. Bret Saberhagen. Pedro's big brother Ramon. Gambles all, and some worked, but the cost of all of them combined wasn't 20 million dollars.

9casey said...

Jack you can predict the Red Sox to win 102 games .. And you can't be optimistic about this kid ..I thought you were a glass half full kind of guy.....

Jack Marshall said...

9casey: Well put. I am a glass-half-full guy, and I'd be happy to have Matsuzka. But it's not my money. All I'm saying is that it's a Yankee- type move financially, like paying Mike Mussina almost 20 million a year when he had never won 20 games...and guess what? He's STILL never won 20 games! Would I have liked to have him in the Sox rotation rather than David Wells or assorted other place-fillers? Sure. Has he been an asset to the Yankees? You bet! Was he "worth" what they paid to get him? No, just like Damon won't be worth what they paid to get him, and just like the one good year the Mets are going to get out of Pedro isn't worth what they paid him. I'm close to 100% sure that Matsuzaka, if they sign him, will make the Sox stronger, and almost as sure that he won't be good enough to justify what they will end up paying for him. He'd have to be Pedro good, Santana good, Clemens good, and it's ridiculous to gamble that anyone is in that class until they prove it on the major league level.
That's all I'm saying.

9casey said...

As woti points out he will pay for himself. No doubt about that.
This move will make the red sox a global team, and they know that.. the risk is worth the reward.

redsock said...

Speaking of Clemens, the BP staff sees a remarkable similarity between Matsuzaka's stat translations over the last four years and Clemens's 2003-06 performance.

Clay Davenport adds:

Beyond the Clemens comparison, the next most-comparable pitchers over the last four years include Roy Halladay, Brandon Webb, Chris Carpenter, Jason Schmidt, Josh Beckett, Pedro Martinez, Tim Hudson, and Jake Peavy. In other words, a short list that includes most of the true right-handed rotation aces in the game over the past four seasons.

Starting pitchers with a better translated four-year NERA than Matsuzaka's 3.37: Johan Santana 2.84, Clemens 3.11, Halladay 3.21, Roy Oswalt 3.29, Carpenter 3.31, Pedro Martinez 3.35.

In PERA, Matsuzaka has a 3.41. Beaten by: Santana 3.02, Curt Schilling 3.23, Martinez 3.26, Clemens 3.30, Ben Sheets 3.32, Halladay 3.40, Oswalt 3.40.

The only pitcher I would say he seems to be clearly behind is Santana. I think Clemens has been ahead, but I'm not sure you can continue to project that at a coming Age-44 season. It's also safe to put Halladay and Oswalt ahead too, although the difference there is slim.


This could be a huge coup.

Jack Marshall said...

That comparison is certainly impressive and encouraging, EXCEPT THAT THE GUY HAS NEVER PITCHED IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES!!! I'd say Bill James' "similarity scores" system would punish him severely for that, no?

Then again, I have to admit, they were saying the same things about Jose Contreras, and HE has certainly delivered on all those predicted 20-win seasons..well, OK, not exactly, but then he's never had a good offense behind him with the Yankees and the Chi...no, that can't be it...but the Yankees sure are glad they won the bidding war for him...well, Ok, not that, really...forget about Contraras. Matsuzaka is another young horse like..like... Josh Beckett! Yeah, that's a better comp, and who can forget how impressive HE was when he moved to a stronger league...oh...right...hmmmmm.....

Jere said...

"and this is the Red Sox acting like the Yankees. Not something to cheer."

Jack--Any time the Red Sox act like the Yankees, it's because they're forced to BY the Yankees.

But I agree with you on the whole "he's never pitched in this league" thing. I mean, these guys better be pretty damn close to 100% on this thing before pulling the trigger.

9casey said...

I'd be happy if Theo said this guy has a 50 percent shot to be great..

I would take the upside of this kid before wasting 10 mil a year on Schmidt or Zito...

Jack , Beckett was barely a .500 pitcher when he came here, but you assumed he would excel here..

Buy into this kid now and ride the wave, bumpy or smooth...Theo is being proactive something we all ripped him for last year...

I hope it happens...

redsock said...

the more i read about matsuzaka -- and i saw some video on youtube -- the more excited i get.

Pokerwolf said...

I saw a report awhile ago that Matsuzaka wasn't interested in playing for the MFYs because he didn't like New York City for some reason. I hunted around for the article, but I couldn't find it anywhere.

Woti-woti said...

According to SoSH, Gammons is reporting on ESPN that Sox won bid at 42 mil. This despite Seibu board meeting wasn't supposed to be until 8 tonight. SoSH should crash any minute now.