• Let’s Pretend For A Moment

    Posted by on December 14th, 2006 · Comments (14)

    Here’s a question for you.

    Say I told you of a smallish RHP, make him under 6 feet tall and less than 190 pounds, who had thrown 1,400 innings over the past eight minor league seasons – all before the age of 27.

    And, while he’s faced big league hitters in some exhibition games, he’s never pitched a “major league” game yet in his life.

    Further, let’s say that I told you that the Yankees went out and signed this pitcher to a six-year contract – for close to $9 million per season.

    What would your reaction be to this news?

    O.K., then that should be your reaction to the Red Sox signing Daisuke Matsuzaka as well.

    I really want to see the R.O.I. for RSN on Matsuzaka come 2010 through 2012. I almost can’t wait.

    Comments on Let’s Pretend For A Moment

    1. Raf
      December 14th, 2006 | 9:34 am

      I’d feel the same way I’d felt when the Sox landed Pedro. Happy for them, wish it were us.

      Will ST hurry up and get here!

    2. December 14th, 2006 | 9:57 am

      Pedro was proven on the big league level – more than proven. You cannot compare Matsuzaka to Pedro.

    3. Raf
      December 14th, 2006 | 10:06 am

      You cannot compare Matsuzaka to Pedro.
      ==========
      Hmmm, smallish RHP with power arms. Sure you can compare them. You’re just hung up on him pitching in Japan.

      Pitching is pitching, no matter where you are.

    4. Jordan Meisner
      December 14th, 2006 | 10:12 am

      Pitching is pitching, but we still have yet to see a pitcher come over from Japan and dominate for several years (though Nomo was reasonably close). My guess is Matsuzaka will have 2-3 good years before falling off sharply, due to both wear and tear and hitters making adjustments to him. It’s not a terrible pickup for the Sox, but they should by no means being seeing him as the savior of their rotation.

    5. December 14th, 2006 | 10:20 am

      Ditto Jordan.

    6. baileywalk
      December 14th, 2006 | 11:19 am

      Even when I thought the Yankees were going to sign him, I predicted Matsuzaka would break down in about three years. I think Pedro is the classic case of a small-framed guy with a big fastball. He has it, then it fades, then it’s gone, and then he’s hurt. In the span of four or five years, Pedro lost TEN miles an hour on his fastball.

      Even though the Red Sox had to bid 51.1 million to get him, the actual contract they gave Mats feels like a steal. I’m just not sure what the hell Boras was thinking. He simply caved. He took what was more or less the original offer. The thing I don’t get is why he would agree to a contract for six years. With the pitching market getting crazier and crazier each year, Matsuzaka’s yearly salary is going to be a joke in two years. I just don’t understand why Boras didn’t say, “Either you pay him less per year for fewer years or more per year for extended years.” Not only do they get him for a below-market price, but they get that below-market yearly salary for SIX years.

      Boras was right — the player is getting penalized for being so good and having such a huge bid.

      Matsuzaka hasn’t pitched here, but I think at worst he’ll be a number two. The only real issue with him is adjustment to pitching every five days and injury.

      I do laugh that people say this makes the Red Sox the favorites to win anything. They said Beckett made them the favorites too. Their rotation is a question mark in my eye. The fact that we elevate Matsuzaka to the position of their ace should tell us something. And that something is that Schilling is old, Beckett stinks (he always did outside of that stretch in the playoffs), Papelbon isn’t the same pitcher in the rotation, Wakefield is older than Schilling, and Lester is coming back from chemo AND got bombed before he got sick.

    7. redbug
      December 14th, 2006 | 11:21 am

      I hope Steve and Jordon are right and the Red Sox will regret this. But, Pags and Bobby Valentine and plenty of others (including the Yanks based on their bid) think he’s the real thing. I’d feel a lot better if he was with the Mets.

    8. Raf
      December 14th, 2006 | 11:43 am

      Boras was right — the player is getting penalized for being so good and having such a huge bid.
      ===========
      And not having much leverage to begin with. Seibu wants/needs the $$, and it was a given that Mats was going to sign here. To have the press conferences that he had over there, and then to go back, I’m sure thethe potential for loss of face was great.

    9. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 14th, 2006 | 11:47 am

      I really want to see the R.O.I. for RSN on Matsuzaka come 2010 through 2012. I almost can’t wait……………

      Should you not already know the R.O.I. for him? This is the Sox. They are not getting a bust like we got with Contreras/Irabu. I hope with everything I’ve got that they do get the same thing & then spin Matsuzaka for an Esteban Loaiza and we get the WS out of it. But they got the guarantee, I’ve got the hope.

    10. December 14th, 2006 | 12:49 pm

      red – didn’t Bobby Valentine say Irabu was the Nolan Ryan of Japan?

    11. #15
      December 14th, 2006 | 1:12 pm

      Distill it down to this, all costs considered, they are looking at $17.2 million per year for 6 years for the guy. That’s elite level compensation. Let’s consider which recent pitchers would have been, or would be, worth that at age 27…..Clemens (actually from age 31-33 he wasn’t that good, but he was great from 27-30, so 3 great, 3 so-so), RJ (3 great years out of 6, one injured, 2 so-so), Maddux (six exceptional years), Brown (2 great, 1 very good, 2 so-so, 1 bad), Pedro (4 great, 1 very good, and 1 good but shortened by injury), Glavine (2 great, 3 very good, 1 okay), Guidry (4 great , 2 so-so), and the new guys with great promise Oswalt (2 great so far), Halladay (1 great, 1 very good but shortened, 1 so-so, but shortened), Santana (1 great, so far). None of those last three have an equivalent contract (i.e., costing the team 17.2MM/year for 6 years), but they might get one if they were free agents right now). Oswalt is 5 years @ 73MM, Halladay 3 years @ 40 MM, and Santana (about 25 MM left over the next 2 years) all look like absolute bargins. There were guys that looked good/great early on, like Gooden, that were nearly washed up by 27-29. Okay, maybe double that list in the interest of time and space, and say roughly 20 pitchers in the last 20-25 years might have meet that elite threshold or looked good enough to warrant getting elite level compensation and a 6 year contract. In short, the odds are very, very long on this guy making the list of pitchers that warrant that kind of commitment. It might work, but they overpaid in my judgment.

      Bailey, the Beansox wouldn’t have gone for 3 years at 9MM/year, because that would have equated to 26MM/year. Boras was handcuffed if the guy wanted to come and play right now. He knew it and Boston knew it. As soon as Boras started talking about how the guy was a national treasure in Japan, you knew had didn’t have the cards. What would have made it fun is if the Botox would have lost say 50% of the posting if they failed to reach an agreement.

    12. redbug
      December 14th, 2006 | 2:32 pm

      Steve, I hope Bobby Valentine said Irabu was the Nolan Ryan of Japan. It’d make me feel a little better about this. Though, the Yanks, Mets and a few other teams did agree with him on this one.

    13. Raf
      December 14th, 2006 | 2:48 pm

      red – didn’t Bobby Valentine say Irabu was the Nolan Ryan of Japan?
      ===============
      I believe he did say that. He managed him in Japan, IIRC.

    14. December 14th, 2006 | 6:55 pm

      what’s Zambrano gonna cost next year?

      $20+ mil a year i suspect.

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