December 7, 2006

Rolling The Dice

Not crazy about the sound of this. From Gordon Edes:
With a week to go before the clock strikes midnight on the Red Sox' quest to sign Daisuke Matsuzaka ... there is increasing anxiety on Yawkey Way that Matsuzaka's agent, Scott Boras, is posing an unreasonable, and immovable, obstacle to their bid to add Matsuzaka to their pitching staff.

According to sources with direct access to the Sox' view, there is an increasing feeling that Boras is setting the stage, both privately and publicly, that there is not going to be a deal. ...

The Sox' fear? That Boras persuades Matsuzaka it's in his best interests in the long term to return to Japan for two more years, become an unrestricted free agent, then command perhaps an unprecedented payday without having to share a cent with Seibu. ...

One major league power broker with firsthand knowledge of the negotiations said he does not share the Sox' pessimism that a deal might not be struck. "In the end, they'll get it done," he predicted. "There are too many reasons for this deal not to get done."
Seven days is a very long time, so I'll wait until Tuesday night or so before I get concerned. The rumours of Jason Schmidt getting 3/47 from the Dodgers and Rangers reportedly offering Barry Zito 6/102 aren't helping the Sox. ... And Ted Lilly (he of the career 99 ERA+) squeezed 4/40 from the Cubs. Damn!

Sources say talks between the Red Sox and Boras about Eric Gagne have heated up. Gagne is supposedly asking for $5 million guaranteed, which is quite a gamble for a guy who has pitched only 15.1 innings in two seasons because of elbow and back surgeries. The price is likely to come down.

Terry Francona says that Lugo will leadoff, Youkilis will bat second, followed by Ortiz, Ramirez and Drew. The bottom four? Probably Lowell, Varitek, Crisp and Pedroia.


Jere said...

I say they'll sign the guy tomorrow, if at all, with Xmas at Fenway being the following morning.

And about the closer situation, I still say, "Closer? We've already got a closer."

Pokerwolf said...

Yeah, and it's not in the interest of any Boston sports yak to float the possibility of a non-deal to scare the populace.

Yeah, right.

These big deals never get done until the last day. Everyone wants to use as much time for negotiation as possible. If Matsuzaka goes back to Japan, he loses all of his PR and gets labelled as "a problematic Boras client", which won't help him in the long run. Beyond that, the market is too juicy for pitchers for him not to be signed.

Woti-woti said...

So Boras convinces Dice-K to screw Seibu out of the posting fee by waiting 2 years for unrestrictecd FA. Meaning bigger commission for Boras as well. So does Dice-K sit out those 2 years or pitch for Seibu? And Seibu treats him with kid gloves because he's leaving soon? Another Japanese team will give Seibu something for a 2-year rental? So how do they like their 2-year workhorse? Boras does have the track record of advising some to chill for awhile (hiya, 'tek), but in this case I don't think it would be too hard to convince Dice-K that he'd be treated like shit. OTOH, we have no idea what visions of $$$$ are dancing in Dice-K's head. One thing we do know is that Boras will let it go right down to the wire. Especially if the Yanks are picking up Pettitte and Clemens in the meantime. More logs for the stove!!

Anonymous said...

They'll hopefully sign D Mat, but as is Boras' MO it probably won't happen on the last or next to last day. The brass will probably have to pony up 12-15 million/per to get it done. They might try to do an incentive laden contract to bridge some of the gap.

As if Gagne isn't a big enough risk, . Hopefully there interest in Dotel is as a set up guy. It is a threadbare market for relief pitchers, Theo will have to be inventive to get a solid closer.

redsock said...

I know I'm overreacting to this news and it's all part of the dance. I would be mega-surprised if DM doesn't sign. He wants to play in the US now.

I assume the annual salary will be about in the middle of the two offers. Boras may come up to 4 years and the Sox will try for 5.

Zenslinger said...

I made a bet in the Bar Downstairs last night (a shot of Jagermeister) that Dice-K would be signed. Dependenably drunk fellow Sox fan thinks they won't because the bid was purely to scare off the Yankees.

My real concern is having to drink a shot of Jagermeister upon winning this bet.

L-girl said...

I know I'm overreacting to this news and it's all part of the dance.

Typical media, trying to stir up trouble.

Anonymous said...

Used a very similar line up yesterday at Baseball Musings analysis database (I had Coco and Pedroia switched), the analysis put them at 907 runs per year. That would be pretty decent year offensively.

Sean O said...

Lugo leading off?

It's like this team relishes losing games. Yet again a completely indefensible move.

redsock said...

As long as Yook is #1 or #2, I don't think the decision is "completely indefensible".

Having Lugo and Crisp up top, yeah, that's no good. Anyway, it's always subject to change.

Anonymous said...

Lugo's OBP last year w/ TB .373
Youk's OBP last year .381

Lugo stunk in LA and you could argue that his career OBP is only .340, but it has trended upward the last two years. Again conveniently discounting his LA stint.

Lugo scores from first on a double. Youk doesn't always. Lugo goes from first to third on a single. Youk doesn't always. Youk can take pitches that will give Lugo a chance to run too.

Really either combination would work, and speed at the top of the lineup can be overrated. But if the OBP's are comparable the trade off might be warranted.