November 13, 2006

More on Matsuzaka; And JD Drew?

An official announcement by MLB and the Seibu Lions regarding Boston's winning bid is still almost 24 hours away (8 PM Tuesday night).

Peter Gammons reported that the bid was $42 million, but SI's Jon Heyman says it was between $34 and $38, while Orestes Destrade of XM Radio puts it in excess of $50 million. adds: "Several high-ranking baseball sources also said they had heard Boston was the winner at about $50 million."

Numerous reports say the bids from the Mets and Yankees were between $30 and $38 and the Rangers' bid was $27.

I agree with SoSHer DieHardSoxFan1:
Let's make no mistake about it -- this is an unprecendented deal orchestrated by the Red Sox organization. ... How many times does a pitcher of Matsuzaka's caliber and age, hit the open market? This almost never happens. ...

This has been mentioned before, but this move opens up a whole new world for the Red Sox organization. We may not feel these ramafications for another 5-10 years, but the Red Sox logo is now in Japan and all over the Japanese media. The team will exploit this and market the shit out of themselves over there. And in a country where the Yankees reign supreme and rake in millions of dollars while having the inside track to the top Japanese talent, this Red Sox infusion into the Far East cannot be overlooked or downplayed in the least bit.
Also, there are rumours the free agent the Sox have offered a contract to is JD Drew.


Woti-woti said...

Great move. On the business side, it's all about putting the 'brand' in a lucrative new market. On the baseball side, the Sox are still gambling only money and not losing any bodies. Would it be too much to ask that the 26-year old be given a decent chance before he's Foulked or Kimmed out of town?
Would love to see Drew in RF as long as he's hitting behind Ortiz and Manny. If he's just the means to trading Manny for 3 AA arms, tread carefully. Otherwise, now sign a good shortstop not named Lugo, find a lucky pair of dice to roll for the bullpen and let's play ball.

Peter N said...

Exactly precisely on target. The money to be reaped from the Japanese market will dwarf the $42 million. And we will have a great starter....a no lose proposition.

Jack Marshall said...

Ok, get a grip.

Let's say that the final deal with Matzuzaka will cost the Sox 75 MILLION dollars...and that might be conservative. For that they could sign Jason Schmitdt, Zito, J.D. Drew, AND Lugo. Now, if they had these players, would you advise trading them for this one pitcher, who has no MLB experience?

Let's look at it another way. Name ONE pitcher, just one, who has come out of a foreign market to become dominating or even a perennial All-Star. Trick question: there isn't one. So the Sox's "good gamble' involves betting about 75 mil. that something will occur that has never occurred before! Sound like a good gamble to you? Not to me!

Meanwhile, the 50 million buys NOTHING in terms of broadcasting or merchandising rights. Zip. And if Matsuzaka does a Liriano, or a Kerry Wood, or a Matt Clement, or if he turns out to be just mediocre and the Sox fans boo him off the field, that entree into the East will be worth about 75 cents.

Of course, we have every reason to trust the Sox talent judgement, now that we know about how smart they were to get rid of Hanley Ramirez, Cla Meredith, and Anabel Sanchez.

I hope this works out. But the only way it's a sane gamble is if we pretend that money doesn't matter.

Zenslinger said...

75 MILLION dollars...could sign Jason Schmitdt, Zito, J.D. Drew, AND Lugo.

I assume you know you're exaggerating, but I don't know if you're aware of how much you're exaggerating. To get those four players at, respectively (and conservatively) at $11m, $14m, $12m, and $8m for three years each is close to $150m.

Meanwhile, the 50 million buys NOTHING in terms of broadcasting or merchandising rights.

I don't understand this. The Japanese media outlets will be paying us for those things.

And if Matsuzaka does a Liriano, or a Kerry Wood, or a Matt Clement, or if he turns out to be just mediocre and the Sox fans boo him off the field, that entree into the East will be worth about 75 cents.

I don't think we should expect him to win 20 games and pull a Pedro. His first year may well be mediocore given the adjustment and such. But things would have to be pretty bad for this not to translate into big bucks for the Sox. I mean, yes, if he steps off the plane at Logan and his arm just falls off, it could be as much of a disaster as you fear. It's a sizable risk overall, but I don't think a mediocore performance on his behalf will lead to the sudden lack of interest on the part of Japanese fans. They'll be holding their breath with his every start, hoping for him to adjust and come back -- take a look at the previous thread's comment by Greg for how beloved Matsuzaka is in Japan.

Woti-woti said...

Jack, you're also forgetting that some members of the ownership group may have other interests in Japan and may just 'piggyback' the Red Sox into that market. Unless you are actually a senior member of the ownership group's accounting staff, you'll have no way of knowing where the posting fee is coming from, or what financial benefits ultimately accrue--and to whom (especially with MLB revenue-sharing). Face it Jack, to these owners and even with the existing market, the Sox are more than a baseball team.
And Zenslinger, you're right about the cost of all those guys, plus THAT move really does have tangible downsides.

Neil M said...

As myself and Neil H have been discussing over at 3,079 Miles... this is a fine move by the Sox, maybe they have paid proper top dollar, but they've (nearly) signed the best pitcher on the market.

Gotta give the Sox props fr that

Jack Marshall said...

Z: I bet your numbers are as too high as mine are too low, but it really doesn't change my point. Would you trade Manny for the guy? Papelbon? Really? All on speculation?

And does anyone know who gets the money for international broadcasts? I assumed it was MLB, not the individual clubs. I still assume that.

If this is such a brilliant move, why didn't more teams bid? And isn't it, by definition, paying too much when you apparently top the next largest bid by 100%?

I also think this move will have very bad consequences in dealing with other players and keeping the clubhouse happy. And if this Matzuzaka turns into, heaven forbid, another Byung Myung Kim, this will go down as a franchise wrecking move.

And I'm still waiting for the name of that great foreign pitcher who stepped in and became an ace...

Zenslinger said...


My numbers for each of those players is pretty reasonable. If they end up getting less per year, it will be because they got more than three years.

I assume when you say "Would you trade Manny for the guy?", you're making a comparison between the total amount of money invested in Matsuzaka vs. in Manny, I assume? And what I'm saying (and take a look at the other Matsuzaka thread) is that you have to break the posting fee off that total spent on Matsuzaka (which may be more than $75). Take the posting fee and let the Red Sox ownership, bean counters extraordinaire I am sure, look for the return on that investment in all the things discussed above (which we can collectively call the "Japanese revenue stream and associated synergies" or some such bullshit). Then you give Matsuzaka a Beckett-like contract. And if he gives you Beckett-like numbers (although the projections are much higher), that's the worst you can expect (barring catastrophic injury, which is always a risk).

Your point about foreign pitchers becoming aces, or at least perennial aces, is well taken. Considering, though, that not that many pitchers become true aces anyway, and in total not that many pitchers have come from foreign leagues, it's not statistically all that surprising that none have become a Pedro or Maddux.

Jackie said...

Curious - everyone keeps talking about how we'll make great inroads into the Japanese market. Does anyone think that we'll have less success than the Yankees/Seattle have (with Matsui and Ichiro, respectively) since they got there first?

I'm not sure how loyalty to US teams works in Japan, but I don't know whether kids who bought NYY hats three years ago are going to jump ship and invest in Red Sox gear now. Then again, I was also surprised that there's been little to no backlash or perception of MLB as being "poachers" of the Japanese league's best players. So what do I know? :)

Zenslinger said...

Well, some will trade in their hats because they were only watching Ichiro or Matsui because they're Japanese players, not because they were their favorite players. Seibu Lions fans will be more interested as well. The Red Sox story will probably have some underdog appeal, i.e. anyone who doesn't like the Yomiuri Giants (and they are annoying popular, almost a national team -- Yomiuri is certainly a national newspaper) might catch on to the Red Sox.

I think with more and more repetition, sure, this kind of thing won't seem quite like such a bonanza. But, for now, and given Matsuzaka's stature, sure.

As for poaching, there may be some people who feel that way. But, on one hand, we're certainly paying for the privlege. And on the other, who can blame a Japanese player for wanting to test himself against the best competition? Japanese League is pretty good, but still not quite MLB. Lot of national pride when someone can excel over here.

9casey said...

Jack Said: Let's look at it another way. Name ONE pitcher, just one, who has come out of a foreign market to become dominating or even a perennial All-Star...

Jack I am asuuming your trick question when you say foreign you mean asian....

Because major league baseball is made of predominantlly non-americans

El Dugue and Conteras both cuban have done well for themselves.

Domincans the list is too long
and Puerto Ricans as well.

I assume you are saying pitchers who played professionally in their homeland are only included in your question.

MLB has made it routine to pluck 16 year old kids from sandlots in the D.R. and make them all-stars...

Your not going to change your mind so just embrace it.