Author Topic: UPDATE: Red Sox Sign Godzilla-Size Deal For Matsuzaka  (Read 1437 times)

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Offline Senators2005

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Red Sox win Matsuzaka sweepstakes
By RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer
November 14, 2006
AP - Nov 14, 8:45 pm EST
LINK: http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20061113&content_id=1739983&vkey=hotstove2006&fext=.jsp

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox emerged Tuesday night as winners of the bidding for Daisuke Matsuzaka with a $51.1 million offer and have 30 days to sign the Japanese pitcher to a contract.

The Seibu Lions of Japan's Pacific League announced they had accepted the high bid for their prized pitcher, and the major league commissioner's office simultaneously confirmed at the general managers' meetings that the Red Sox had made the offer.

"We have long admired Mr. Matsuzaka's abilities and believe he would be a great fit with the Red Sox organization," Boston general manager Theo Epstein said. "Clearly, we believe Mr. Matsuzaka is a real talent."

If the Red Sox and Matsuzaka can agree to a deal by midnight on Dec. 14, he would join a talented rotation that already includes Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett and converted closer Jonathan Papelbon.

"We're excited to have won this part of the process and we're hopeful we can reach an agreement," Epstein said.

Matsuzaka is represented by Scott Boras, who last year negotiated the deal that moved center fielder Johnny Damon from the Red Sox to the Yankees.

Epstein said the team would invite Boras, Matsuzaka and his family to Boston to begin negotiations. Boras said the sides planned to set up a meeting soon, but wasn't sure whether it would be in Boston, Japan or California.

In assessing the amount of Boston's bid, Boras compared Matsuzaka's marketability for the Red Sox to what outfielder Hideki Matsui has brought to the Yankees.

"It's the value of a No. 1 starter. It's much like Matsui and the Yankees," Boras said. "It shows the value of a player like this. He brings advertising dollars. He brings a network presence in Japan."

The previous high bid for a posted player from Japan was $13,125,000 by the Seattle Mariners for Ichiro Suzuki after the 2000 season. For selling their star pitcher, the Lions get the $51.1 million from Boston -- only if the Red Sox sign Matsuzaka.

Unlike Matsui, Matsuzaka was not yet eligible for free agency.

"I'm very happy. I want Daisuke to realize his dreams of playing in the major leagues," said Hidekazu Ota, acting owner of the Lions. "I talked to him today, and he is very happy."

Even before the announcement, general managers had assumed Boston would be the highest bidder in the blind process.

"We'll congratulate the winner and move on," New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman said Tuesday afternoon.

The New York Mets also made an unsuccessful offer, while the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers were thought to be among the bidders as well.

"I'm very comfortable with the bid that we made," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said, sidestepping whether he would have topped Boston's offer now that he knew what it was.

Agents roamed the lobby at the hotel where GMs are meeting, discussing their free-agent clients. Some agents think the market will move more quickly this offseason because of the decision by management and the players' association to eliminate the Dec. 7 deadline for free agents to re-sign with their former teams unless they were offered salary arbitration.

"Pitching, as usual, is at a premium," Boras said.

Second baseman Mark DeRosa became the first major league free agent to switch teams, leaving Texas for a $13 million, three-year contract with the Chicago Cubs.

The Mets re-signed two players, agreeing to a $12 million, two-year contract with 41-year-old pitcher Orlando Hernandez and a $3.8 million, one-year deal with second baseman Jose Valentin.

Minaya said some teams are unsure of where the marketplace is going, "so if they could do something quick, they're going to try to do it."

Mike Mussina's agent, Arn Tellem, kept up talks with the Yankees on a new contract for the pitcher that likely will be worth $23 million to $25 million over two years.

"We're in the red zone," Tellem said.

With Barry Zito and Jason Schmidt heading a weak free-agent class, pitchers will get top prices.

"There are 30 clubs and probably three-quarters are looking for pitching," new Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "There's a lot of interesting pitchers out there. At the end of the year, the teams that have pitching, and healthy pitching, are usually the ones that are around."

GMs, as usual, will hold their annual discussion Wednesday of whether to have instant replay available to umpires, a concept commissioner Bud Selig opposes. In the past, the idea hasn't garnered enough support.

"I guess we'll get a sense of that tomorrow," said Joe Garagiola Jr., a senior vice president in the commissioner's office.

There will also be talk Wednesday of whether to eliminate tie games, having them instead become suspended games. On Thursday, the GMs will discuss whether to have uniform standards for storing baseballs, a talk prompted by the use of a humidor by the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

As for the postseason schedule, nothing seems to have come of the idea floated by Selig to give wild-card teams fewer home games in the playoffs.

"That is not officially on the agenda, so I suspect that will be some good lobby talk," Garagiola said.

GMs did vote on one rule change, proposing that outright assignments to the minor leagues not count against the number of optional assignments a team has on a player. That must be approved by owners and the union.

Offline Senators2005

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UPDATE: Red Sox Sign Godzilla-Size Deal For Matsuzaka
« Reply #1: November 14, 2006, 09:39:14 PM »
Quote
The previous high bid for a posted player from Japan was $13,125,000 by the Seattle Mariners for Ichiro Suzuki after the 2000 season. For selling their star pitcher, the Lions get the $51.1 million from Boston -- only if the Red Sox sign Matsuzaka.


$50 million just to win the rights to bid!  Sheesh this crap is getting out of hand.   :shock:

Offline Kenz aFan

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UPDATE: Red Sox Sign Godzilla-Size Deal For Matsuzaka
« Reply #2: November 14, 2006, 10:12:09 PM »
From the numbers that have been mentioned, the Red Sox could have bid $15 to $20 million less and still gotten Matsuzaka rights. Whoever decided on that dollar amount is frigging nuts.

UPDATE: Red Sox Sign Godzilla-Size Deal For Matsuzaka
« Reply #3: November 14, 2006, 10:59:15 PM »
$50 million?  Cripes!  You can buy three Kansas City Royals teams for that!

Offline 2k6nats

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UPDATE: Red Sox Sign Godzilla-Size Deal For Matsuzaka
« Reply #4: November 15, 2006, 06:48:26 AM »
Quote from: "Nat of the LivingDead"
$50 million?  Cripes!  You can buy three Kansas City Royals teams for that!


 :lol:

So they're gonna end up spending around 65 million this year for him (assuming they sign him) and then 15 million for the remainder of the contract.  Yikes.

Offline The Chief

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UPDATE: Red Sox Sign Godzilla-Size Deal For Matsuzaka
« Reply #5: November 15, 2006, 07:01:42 PM »
Imagine the pressure there will be for him to meet or exceed expectations.

Offline Dave B

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UPDATE: Red Sox Sign Godzilla-Size Deal For Matsuzaka
« Reply #6: November 15, 2006, 07:21:07 PM »
so its gonna be 90 million for like 3-4 years.

maybe you should have gotten two good pitchers, instead of 1 fairly unproven guy.  or sign EVERY teenager in the dominican republic

Offline Senators2005

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UPDATE: Red Sox Sign Godzilla-Size Deal For Matsuzaka
« Reply #7: December 16, 2006, 10:32:37 PM »
Sox Sign Matsuzaka for Godzilla Size Deal



BOSTON -- Daisuke Matsuzaka threw his first pitch off the Fenway Park mound Thursday, the end of an 8,000-mile journey for a player the Red Sox hope will be their new ace.

Boston announced Matsuzaka's $52 million, six-year contract at a packed news conference that ended several long days of negotiation. Now the Red Sox want the Japanese star to follow Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez as a dominant major leaguer.

"Today, what we're really doing is announcing the signing of a national treasure. We understand his importance in Japan. We know what he represents.  In our minds, it was not a certainty until the very end," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said.

Red Sox officials and the pitcher's agent spent the early part of the week negotiating in Newport Beach, Calif., where bargaining often bogged down.

But on Wednesday morning -- with a preliminary agreement and Matsuzaka and agent Scott Boras on board -- Epstein and other team officials got on principal owner John Henry's plane and headed east.

Despite the often contentious negotiations, Red Sox officials, Matsuzaka and Boras smiled broadly at a news conference that was punctuated by repeated flashes from dozens of media cameras.

"I'd like to contribute to the world championship," Matsuzaka said. "I'd like to meet Curt Schilling."

Pitchers and catchers report for spring training on Feb. 16 in Fort Myers, Fla. Matsuzaka, 26, will join Schilling in a strong rotation that includes Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon and Tim Wakefield. The Red Sox also will have another Japanese pitcher, left-handed reliever Hideki Okajima, in training camp. He signed Nov. 30.

"For the next six years we hope to get the prime of [Matsuzaka's] career," Epstein said. "We want Daisuke to be a Red Sox for the rest of his career."

They're certainly making a huge investment.

Add the team's winning $51.11 million bid for negotiating rights to the Japanese ace, which must be paid to the Seibu Lions by Dec. 21, to the $52 million contract and Boston's investment comes to $103.11 million. That doesn't include $8 million in escalators based on Matsuzaka winning awards.

Elias Says
On Thursday, the Red Sox officially announced the signing of Daisuke Matsuzaka. Boston's starting pitchers combined for a 3.53 ERA in 2002, the lowest in the American League that season and the best mark for the Red Sox' starting staff since 1990. But the ERA for Red Sox starters has increased in every season since then: to 4.30 in 2003, 4.31 in 2004, 4.56 in 2005 and 5.00 this past season. That matches the longest current streak of seasons in which a team's starters ERA has risen. The Giants have also had an increase in every season since 2002.

"Today, what we're really doing is announcing the signing of a national treasure," Theo Epstein said. "We understand his importance in Japan. We know what he represents."

Matsuzaka was then handed a jersey with the No. 18 -- the number worn by Johnny Damon before he left for the New York Yankees as a free agent.

Matsuzaka said he toured Fenway Park -- a place he'd seen several times on television -- and saw ongoing renovations before his news conference.

"Very beautiful and very impressed," he said.

The team's newest pitcher threw off the mound to Henry, with the soft toss sailing over his head. The owner fell backward before propping himself with both hands on the ground behind him.

"We didn't go over signals," Henry joked.

The bleacher fans no doubt will hang "K" placards from the green wall behind them every time Matsuzaka -- whose first name is pronounced "Dice-K" -- records another strikeout. In eight pro seasons, all with Seibu, he has 1,355 strikeouts in 1,402 1/3 innings.

"I'd like to contribute to the world championship. I'd like to meet Curt Schilling."
-- Daisuke Matsuzaka

"Matsuzaka called me after his press conference to thank me and he sounded very happy," Seibu acting president Hidekazu Ota said. "I wish him and his family all the best."

Matsuzaka was in the spotlight in 1998 when he led Yokohama High School to the Koshein Tournament championship. He pitched in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics and was most valuable player last March in the inaugural World Baseball Classic, won by Japan.

Matsuzaka passed a physical at Massachusetts General Hospital on Wednesday night. Minutes after Thursday's news conference, his deal was finalized when the terms were confirmed by the commissioner's office and the players' association.

"There were certainly a lot of ups and downs" during the negotiations Epstein said. "I think all the parties had a common goal which was for Daisuke to join the Red Sox and start his major-league career."

Epstein and Boras said the turning point came when Matsuzaka was satisfied that his wife and daughter would be taken care of during the transition to a new country.

"In any negotiation, there's a time limit," Boras said. "You make decisions and reach decisions based upon [the fact] you're forced to and the time frame for doing that obviously was escalated."

Had an agreement not been reached by midnight ET Thursday, 30 days after the Red Sox won the bidding, Matsuzaka would have returned to Japan and Boston would have kept its money.

Matsuzaka had a 108-60 record in Japan with a 2.95 ERA in 204 games.

He gets a $2 million signing bonus payable upon approval of the contract, $6 million next year, $8 million in each of the following three seasons and $10 million in each of the final two years.

Epstein wouldn't say if Boston has baseball's best starting staff, but Red Sox chairman and owner Tom Werner wasn't shy about doing that.

"We've certainly had some exciting days at Fenway Park in the past few years," he said, "but the excitement at Fenway Park in 2007 will really be ratcheted up another notch."

Offline 2k6nats

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UPDATE: Red Sox Sign Godzilla-Size Deal For Matsuzaka
« Reply #8: December 16, 2006, 11:58:20 PM »
I'd take nine million a year for this guy.  The $51 million isn't the best though :)