Negotiations between the Red Sox and Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka have essentially broken down, a source familiar with the talks said late last night, adding that unless there is an abrupt change of course, Matsuzaka will not be signing with the Red Sox before Thursday's midnight deadline. ...(Well, those are the only two options, aren't they?)
Long accustomed to negotiating with "multiple teams" in order to garnish rich contracts for his extensive client list, Boras has chafed from the beginning about the inequities of this system and has hinted repeatedly that the process will end either in Matsuzaka signing with the Red Sox or with Matsuzaka declining and having to go back to Japan.
From the standpoint of both the Red Sox and Masuzaka (on whose behalf Boras is working), there is absoutely no reason to think a deal will not get done.
Boras's only leverage is time. He wants the Red Sox to think he can convince Matsuzaka to go back to Japan. I don't see that happening. It would mean DM defers his dream of pitching in the big leagues for two years (thus risking an injury and no mega-payday down the line). The decision would anger Seibu, the team to which he would return (they lose out on $51.1 million), and would not look good to their fans (to whom DM gave a farewell speech).
At some point on Wednesday evening, Masuska will tell Boras: "Alright, that's enough, now get this deal done." The Red Sox will likely increase their offer to $10/year or so (shouldn't DM get Gil Meche money?) and everyone will be smiling during the press conference on Thursday.
With Hideki Okajima in the Sox bullpen and Matsuzaka likely to join the rotation, Curt Schilling is learning some Japanese.