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Moosusaka
2006-11-15 05:21
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yanks lost out on the Matsuzaka bidding as the Red Sox hope that they've landed another Pedro Martinez. However, the Bombers are this close to signing Mike Mussina to a two-year deal: reports from the Post and the News.

I would have loved to see Matsuzaka in pinstripes. Even though he'll be pitching for Boston I still hope he does well in the majors. The Yankees did hold their own against Pedro, after all. When the Sox ink Matsuzaka he sure will make them a tougher team. That'll give the Yankee-Sox rivalry more juice, which isn't all bad.

Comments (119)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-11-15 05:34:29
1.   C2Coke
The Moose deal is taking long enough. In terms of Matsuzaka, can't wait what the number figure is going to turn out. I liked that 51.1.
2006-11-15 05:35:33
2.   C2Coke
By the way, Alex, did you have Matsuzaka's name spelled wrong on purpose?
2006-11-15 05:44:34
3.   Alex Belth
Nah, just mad early and not spelling right yet...thanks, changed it.
2006-11-15 05:45:48
4.   kylepetterson
$51 MILLION! Holy crap!
2006-11-15 05:49:19
5.   The Mick 536
Will overpaying for the Japanese star silence the Sox fans about using deep pockets to win flags? They probably lack the insight or class to recognize errant uses of bankrolls. It is a result of "Yankee Blindness," a Yawkey/Sullivan caused virus enhanced by Steinbrennermania.

Keep Sanchez!

As for the Moose, talk about Mr. beginning-of-the-season. Nice to have him around, but not going to show up in October. My fear is that Schilling, Matsuzaka, and Beckett will.

2006-11-15 05:49:28
6.   Jim Dean
Anyone able to read what Gammons is trilling about this morning?
2006-11-15 06:00:42
7.   pistolpete
Here's hoping this is Jose Contreras, Part Deux. ;-)
2006-11-15 06:00:54
8.   kylepetterson
5 You're assuming the Red Sox are invited to October....
2006-11-15 06:11:01
9.   mehmattski
6 Gammons' article:
1. Matsuzaka is awesome, don't you remember the WBC?
2. The Red Sox have awesome pitching now.
3. Matsuzaka was worth more to the Yankees, who already have a 'niche' in the Japanese market because of Matsui.
4. Despite all I just gushed, health might be an issue because of all the innings.
5. The Red Sox are not blocking, they're trying to increase revenue and compete with the Yankees.

Typical stuff, especially the misuse of the word 'niche.' As a biologist, that's particularly grating. But yeah, mostly Go Red Sox, not sure he would have written such nice things if another team had gotten Matsuzaka (I will never, ever call him D-Mat).

2006-11-15 06:12:08
10.   jonnystrongleg
7 Jose Contreras - the guy who sucked against his team's archrival and got ran out of town, right?

Not Jose Contreras - the guy who led a team called the Sox to a World Series Championship?

2006-11-15 06:12:10
11.   mehmattski
9 Dammit... my third bullet should read "...worth more to the Red Sox, because the Yankees have a 'niche'..."
2006-11-15 06:22:57
12.   yankaholic
9 how about Door-Mat?

I hope hes the Yuanks Door-mat...

gyro balls go gopherballs..

i donno whether DoorMat is a bust waiting to happen.. i am just glad.. we wont be the ones showcasing his 'transition' to MLB..

2006-11-15 06:33:20
13.   jonnystrongleg
12 If anything, the recent Asian imported pitchers have had far more success early in their careers as the novelty of their stuff and deliveries baffles hitters.

Nearly everybody that matters thinks this guy is way better than those guys, so we're likely to see his best early and not the same kind of dropoff as the MLB hitters get used to him.

2006-11-15 06:35:12
14.   Sliced Bread
They're spending like drunks on Sake Way (formerly Yawkey Way).

To close the deal with Matsuzaka, now comes (with apologies to geisha culture) Theo's geisha dance with Boras the Spider, and what a dance it will be! Theo in his kimono and geta, coyly hiding his make-up caked mug behind a folding fan, the powerful Boras demanding that Theo tie his obi in front, as geisha prostitutes do.
Oh, the yen that will be spent before this dance is ovah!
2006-11-15 06:39:19
15.   Chyll Will
I have a legitimate question: I'm curious how the scouting process works in Japan; (if there really is one) I mean, are the Japanese leagues the only places where players are allowed to play baseball? Is there a moratorium on international scouting before they play in the leagues? Are they required by law to play in the leagues before they can play in America? Or is there a concerted effort by Japanese officials (whomever they may be) to keep the international market at bay while sheparding youthful players into the leagues for a determined amount of time? Players from other countries can sign as free agents at a young age and are often developed through the farm system of the team that signed them, why is Japan an exception?

The only sense I can make of this is that they don't want what happened to the Negro Leagues after baseball finally broke the color barrier to eventually happen to them. From a purely business standpoint it makes sense for the bottom line, but in my opinion good businesses adapt to changing climates, and unless we're willing to speculate on the level of inherent racism from both sides, I'm willing to bet Japanese owners would readily adapt if they competed likewise in the international market. But I'd really like an answer on the first question.

2006-11-15 06:39:19
16.   militello
The Daily News is reporting that the Yankees have had discussions with free agent catcher Henry Blanco. His career line: 225/290/367 and he's going to be 35. It's like every year the yankees try to have the worst hitting backup catcher in baseball. To be fair, there isn't much to choose from but Blanco is horrible.
2006-11-15 06:44:24
17.   Jim Dean
11 Thanks. It is typical Gammons. What about Buster? Is anyone out there saying: WTF? It defintely reeks of anti-yankee bias.

This is going to turn out fun. I was much more concerned about Beckett and look how much fun that was! Now either DM is going to be:

a) Very overpriced = hampers their flexibility
b) As good as advertised = meaningful baseball in September
c) Injured = huge stomach punch

Of course, I still want to see him get signed. Anyone see the dollar figure ($51.11 million) as a loud desparate and paranoid move?

2006-11-15 06:47:29
18.   Jim Dean
16 I just threw up in my mouth.

I could understand if they had a prospect ready, but good god! What the hell is Cashman's problem with the understanding the catching position? What's so damn complicated?

At least Gregg Zaun seems to have some life left.

2006-11-15 06:48:05
19.   rsmith51
So if the bidding was reversed and the Yankees bid $51 million and the Red Sox bid around $30 million, what would the stories be saying? I am guessing it would be a little different perspective.
2006-11-15 06:49:41
20.   wsporter
14 Is Theo Epstein reviving "Tea House of the August Moon" at Fenway? Maybe he'll bring back "No, No Nannette" while he's at it.

The image of Theo as a Kabuki character is going to stick with me all day: pancake makeup, kimono, fan and that overtly coy stance. Thanks a lot Slice, once again I'll be laughing when I shouldn't be and its all your fault!

2006-11-15 06:53:19
21.   Chyll Will
14 Or is it too early in the morning?

12 He'll certainly have success on the early part against the Yankees, simply because he'll be an URP (unseen, as opposed to unheralded.)

2006-11-15 06:56:47
22.   Chyll Will
21 Well, I actually meant 15, but the way it is seems okay too >;)
2006-11-15 07:02:11
23.   Sliced Bread
20 "Tea House of the August Moon." Heh.

Now that the formerly frugal Boston Red Sox have become the Bonzai Red Sakes, the Theo as Kabuki Kid image will endure.
The geisha get-up is more befitting of Theo's personality than the gorilla suit, no?

2006-11-15 07:07:05
24.   Knuckles
$51.1 million is 6.01 billion yen. I'm going to refer to the latter when talking about Matsuzaka, in honor of his homeland.
2006-11-15 07:14:23
25.   Shaun P
23 Sliced, I have no words, I'm laughing too much.

24 I can not wait to throw that number around with my Red Sox-loving friends.

2006-11-15 07:28:08
26.   Bob Timmermann
15
A Japanese player could, if he so choose, sign directly with an MLB team as Mac Suzuki did. But in general, they don't. The players prefer to come up through their own domestic leagues.

It's not like the Japanese are Dominicans trying to get out of poverty. They get paid a decent salary in Japan. But if they make it to this side of the pond, the salary becomes extremely decent.

2006-11-15 07:44:32
27.   Chyll Will
26 Thanks Bob. Mac Suzuki jumped into my mind yesterday and I didn't know why until now.

The Dominican comparison is fairly valid, but what about Taiwan? And what's to stop big market teams from building academies in Japan if it's simply a matter of tradition? My thought is if MLB is trully trying to expand globally, that's something they would encourage teams to do, especially if they consider Japanese leagues second tier.

2006-11-15 07:54:29
28.   joejoejoe
The NYPost story talks about the Yanks being in the Gil Meche sweepstakes. Excited?

Here's RHP Meche outside of Safeco Field from '04-'06.

Gil Meche - 224 IP, 5.31 ERA, .286 OAV, 31 HR, 151 K, 112 BB

I'd take my chances with Karstens, Rasner, or Sanchez before spending a dime on Meche. Maybe Cashman sees something in the fact that Meche's strikouts spiked in '06 and the fact that he's only 28 but I'm not seeing any point in pursuing Gil Meche.

2006-11-15 07:55:46
29.   RIYank
It's done: Moose is signed up, for $22.5 for two years.

http://tinyurl.com/y7kqsm

(It's The Post)
They're also talking about signing Gil Meche.

2006-11-15 08:02:25
30.   Schteeve
Gil Freakin Meche? Gadzooks, is the pitching market really that thin?

Also, there's pretty much no way that Matsuzaka won't underdeliver on the hype.

2006-11-15 08:04:59
31.   RIYank
28 Maybe (some of) Karstens, Rasner, Sanchez are going to be traded?
2006-11-15 08:17:22
32.   jakewoods
gammons basically wrote a love letter to boston for getting him.

no mention of the 100 mill it will cost or the answer to why didnt boston pay their own guys the past few yrs.

2006-11-15 08:18:06
33.   jakewoods
I wouldnt mind Meche as the 4th starter.

Bout time they took a chance on someone with some upside.

2006-11-15 08:20:48
34.   Andre
I for one would love to have seen the Yanks outbid everyone for Matsuzaka. It's not my money, so I really don't care how much he gets overpaid. I like the headlines and I like the excitement of seeing this supposed phenom in action in the MLB (especially if he was playing for NY). I loved the offseason that we signed Contreras, and I loved the anticipation. Too bad it didn't work out, but I don't think they should stop trying when there's as close to a legitimate thing as Matsuzaka seems to be. The worst that can happen is what has happened to us in the past with high priced newcomers. We've been through that before so it's nothing new. I might be singing a different tune if we had some really good prospects that could slot in this year, but our prospects don't seems to be all that good yet. Maybe (hopefully) the Yankees have been under-hyping these guys so they'll be a surprise to everyone (like Wang was) but I'm not really seeing a pitching plan for next year. The options they're talking about seem really underwhelming.
2006-11-15 08:21:32
35.   JL25and3
14 "Boras the Spider" is just sublime - at least for those of us old enough to get it.

By the way, kudos to Orestes Destrade, the only guy who got the amount of the winning bid correctly.

2006-11-15 08:23:21
36.   jakewoods
ill give cashman the benefit of the doubt and assume he has a plan for the pitching.

since the hitting is basically done save for a right handed 1b and a backup catcher (henry blano?)

cash knows he cant go into april with rj and pavano as key members of a rotation so i expect him to sign 2 guys. maybe one of the big guys zito or schmidt. maybe one or two from meche, wolf, lilly, batista

or maybe he works out another brilliant trade for a willis.

2006-11-15 08:29:00
37.   Shaun P
32 The reason Boston didn't pay its own guys (ie Damon, Pedro, and Lowe) is abundantly clear, and I'm amazed that people still talk about it. Its all about risk vs cost.

The Red Sox didn't offer Damon more than 4 years/$40 mil because they bet that in 2009, maybe even in 2008, he wouldn't be able to play CF and hit like he does, and that makes him a light-hittng DH (Boston already has two DHs) or a light-hitting 1B, which to them wasn't worth more than $10 mil/year.

Similarly with Pedro - the Sox didn't want to go more than 3 years because they were afraid his arm troubles wouldn't get them more than 3 years, and they didn't want to be on the hook for the cash if his arm did go out before the contract ended.

Lowe hadn't pitched well in '03 or '04, and they didn't feel he was worth bringing back for the prices they paid. They felt someone like Clement was a better option, and at the time, a lot of people agreed.

The Yanks, Mets, and Dodgers obviously made very different calculations - the Yanks felt Damon's contributions in '06 and '07 would be worth whatever happens in 2009 (or 2008). The Mets felt Pedro was worth it even if he only pitched two years, which is looking like it will happen. The Dodgers thought Lowe was worth 4 years/$36 mil.

The only real unanswered questions by the Sox are why they didn't pony up the extra $17 million for A-Rod, and why they wouldn't take on Abreu's salary last summer. That's the baffling part, especially now when they spent 6 billion yet just to negotiate with DM.

BTW - thanks Buster, for bringing up the opt-out clause in A-Rod's contract. Couldn't leave well enough alone, could you? Sorry I could leave that one alone myself.

2006-11-15 08:31:07
38.   jonnystrongleg
32 Gammons didn't mention a word on why they wouldn't pay for their old guys because it's probably not that relevant: Those guys were old and declining. This guy is not. To pay those guys, they would be penalized for crossing the salary threshhold. The post is NOT SALARY.

33 Matsuzaka vs Meche at the Stadium Sept 21st, 2007 as the Red Sox try to clinch the division with 10 games left in the season!

(actually, I don't think that this gives the Red Sox that big an advantage - I was convinced that Clement in 2005 would give them the edge and Beckett last year, so I'll wait and see this time)

2006-11-15 08:31:25
39.   dianagramr
Gil Meche?

I call him "Cheesecloth"

2006-11-15 08:31:52
40.   mehmattski
33 Er... what upside would that be?

2006: 186 IP, 156K/83BB 24 HR, 4.48 ERA
2005: 143 IP, 83K/72BB 18 HR, 5.00 ERA
2004: 127 IP, 99K/47BB 21 HR, 5.01 ERA

As the low IP totals indicate, he's usually dinged up. Scott Proctor 2006 almost pitched more innings than Meche did in 2004. Expanding on 28, his three year totals away from the pitching friendly Safeco:

12-12, 5.31 ERA, 212 IP, .286 BAA

His Defense Independent Pitching (DIPS) takes into account only the K, BB, and HR (which have no bearing on defense), and it's 4.57, good for 24th in the AL last season, behind Mussina (3.45), Wang (4.04), and even Johnson (4.21). It should also be noted that Meche is ahead of Ted Lilly (4.61) and Barry Zito (4.87) in this statistic.

Anyway, on Meche: lots of HR, walks a lot, strikeout rate improving but still not great, four injury plagued ML seasons.... no thanks, I'd save my money and stick with KarRasChez (The three headed back of the rotation monster).

2006-11-15 08:34:05
41.   jakewoods
They nickel and dimed there own guys. Something you dont do.

They could have brought Damon back for an extra mill a yr. For a team that gave 52 mill to talk to a pitcher who hasnt pitched in america, i think that was doable.

they could have had pedro if they gave him an extra yr. they didnt even have to give him the extra money the mets did. they probably repeat if hes there in '05.

They fought tooth and nail over Variteks deal and he was the freakin captain there.

so they can cry about fiscal responsibility all they want. but every player knows it now that they were cheap and unloyal.

You will see how that effects them. When they start signing the JD Drews of the world. Team mercenary.

2006-11-15 08:36:38
42.   jakewoods
When did Darrel Rasner become a good pitcher?

I mean hes not bad in long relief, spot start here and there but hes not a playoff caliber starting pitcher.

If we're pinning our hopes on Rasner or Karstens, we're in trouble.

2006-11-15 08:41:01
43.   jakewoods
38
The post fee may not be salary but its not funds that just come out of thin air. They are funds that are used to pay for salary among other things.

that 52 mill (not to mention the 15 mill a yr he'll command in salary) could have been used say on the extra for Damon, the extra yr for Pedro, Abreu, A-Rod, 3-4 bullpen guys, a 2b, a SS, clemens, etc.

it definately has an effect and it cant just be written off as saying its not part of their bottom line.

They're paying 100 million on spec on someone whos never performed here.

2006-11-15 08:45:54
44.   SF Yanks
I don't understand why they would sign Gil Mess. I mean, c'mon, lets give the young guys down on the farm a chance. I understand that Randy's back might act up and Pavano doesn't count, but if they sign Zito/Schmidt, that leaves two spots for the youngster. I ain't buyin' it.
2006-11-15 08:51:00
45.   mehmattski
42, 43 I agree it's a lot of money for one player... then again, Gil Meche has performed here, and has thoroughly been awful. You haven't explained what upside you see for Meche...

And I never said Rasner was a good pitcher, I'm that some combination of the three young guys should equal or exceed Meche's production in 2007. Plus I'd like to know which pitchers you think are both proven postseason performers, as well as have the upside you desired in 33...

2006-11-15 08:53:23
46.   Knuckles
In an of itself, throwing buku bucks at Matsuzaka doesn't represent a philosophic shift in the Sox approach to player evaluation, retention, and acquisition. But, if they sign JD Drew to replace Trot, for more than the Yanks paid for Damon, it starts to show 1) a clear misinterpretation of the future FA market by Theo as of last winter, or 2) a panic move by a team realizing that the bloom wears off the rose rather quickly, when you start finishing in 3rd place and missing the playoffs.
2006-11-15 08:54:32
47.   jakewoods
meche is 28 years old. Has a good, live arm and a pretty good K ratio.

Is he Santana? God no. But he may be someone like Chris Carpenter. Someone that once he gets to a new team will blossom and harness all the talent he has.

It's someone we havent had in a long time. Someone with some obv upside. Unlike RJ, Brown, Wright, etc.

Its a risk but sometimes you got to gamble.

2006-11-15 08:56:41
48.   OldYanksFan
41 I disagree.
We overpaid Damon and the Mets overpaid Pedro... in that in each case you're getting a declining player whose 4th year will be useless. Not that I'm complaining, but we paid Bernie like $15+ mil in 2005 to be about the worst in the league at his position.

The truth is, some teams will take a big hit in the future, to win now. I mean, Beltran was ONLY 2 mil/yr more then Damon. Not signing Beltran... big mistake. Signing Damon... fun, but overpriced.

If Matsuzaka pans out, at least he will be effective for the life of his contract.

Damon, while a very good player, has a career OPS of .789. This year, he posted .841, so he may have been worth $13mil. Next year? 2008? 2009?

Same with Pedro. He's pitched 2 of 4 years, and he might be done (although not done getting paid). This year he was 9-8 for the NL's best team, with a (less then league average) 4.48 era. This is worth $15 mil?

Letting Damon, Pedro and Lowe go were all painful, but smart moves.

2006-11-15 08:58:52
49.   jakewoods
45

By playoff caliber SP i meant someone who could actually start a playoff game for you. Not a proven guy. Only proven guy out there under 30 is Zito.

Can you see Rasner starting Game 3 of a series? He's too hittable. Hes got pedestrian stuff.

I wouldnt mind Rasner being an option for the 5th spot, long man, or waiting at Scranton (weird saying that) but we cant rely on him.

2006-11-15 08:59:24
50.   jonnystrongleg
43 As I've stated b4, I don't think the Red Sox set their salary level at what they can afford, I think they set it at the threshold becasue they don't want to exceed limit because of their "shared philosophy"/tacit agreement with Bud.

The money for the posting fee is not money they could have spent on their own free agents. It's part of the gobs of profits they've been making while not chasing the Yanks payroll.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-11-15 09:04:12
51.   joejoejoe
40 What do you think of Scott Proctor joining the rotation? He was a starter in the minors making 25 starts in 2002. Proctor could be a poor man's John Smoltz in the 4th or 5th starting slot. Britton and Bruney could fill the Proctor role in the pen.
2006-11-15 09:04:39
52.   SF Yanks
47 Who's to say that Rasner, Karstens, Sanchez, etc. can't blossom into something great. They can't be any worse than Gil. Especially if it requires giving up something they are trying to get, young prospects (Sanchez).
2006-11-15 09:11:28
53.   OldYanksFan
40 Good post. Meche is interesting. He had his best ERA in a while, and his strikeouts went way up, but so did his BBs and HRs allowed. Young is nice, but we have a farm full of young. You need to be GOOD also.

Meche looks to be league average. For a team looking at the Post Season, is he a decent #4 or #5 guy? Do we NEED a #4 or #5 guy?

Are we at the point where a league average pitcher is worth over $10 mil?

Cash is a smart guy. Cash making calls to guys inflates their price. I would like to see him express 'extreme interest' in every decent pitcher, and then let everyone else overpay for them.

I hate to say it, but at least Zito is a decent #3. Based on what pitching is available, like last year, we will need to win the division on offense and C+ pitching, and hope our bats show up in the post season.

The Post season is a crap shoot. Detroit's pitching sucked the last 6 games of the season, stomped the Yanks and A's, then died for The Cards.... a team a few games over .500 in baseballs weakest division.

Yes.... in general, pitching wins the post season. But we could have easily won it this year with offense, and will have the same opportunity next year.

2006-11-15 09:13:19
54.   RIYank
52 What giving up prospects?
Meche is a free agent.

Meche is a pretty good pitcher, not 'awful'. He's a perfectly fine #4 or #5.

As I said, I think maybe Cashman might be preparing to deal some arms, so Meche could be a replacement for Rasner or Karstens.

2006-11-15 09:15:14
55.   SF Yanks
53 You said what I was hinting at in 52 only a lot better.
2006-11-15 09:17:05
56.   OldYanksFan
46 Damon has a career OPS of .789, and Drew has a career OPS of over .900. Yes, there are other factors to consider. But paying Drew (Yankees) Damon money is not outrageous.
2006-11-15 09:21:31
57.   SF Yanks
54 I read in one of the articles above that the Yanks were prepared to give up Sanchez, or other prospects for some pitching, hopefully not Meche.
2006-11-15 09:27:21
58.   SF Yanks
54 Sorry, I just got what you were saying. I missed the whole, "Meche is a free agent" part. Probably the most important part.
2006-11-15 09:29:35
59.   Jim Dean
56 Drew is getting Shef money - that's the proper comparison as both play the same position. Damon was overpaid - but as a CF for a team in desparate need of one. There's a reason "strong up the middle" means something. Matsui got the same contact, but that was overpriced because of the extra 3 million a year they make based on him.

57 Meche is a free agent.

2006-11-15 09:58:36
60.   bartap74
Thankfully, the Cubs have resigned Blanco to a 2 year(!) extension. Maybe the Yankees could coax Girardi out of retirement - he could probably hit as badly as Blanco.
2006-11-15 09:58:57
61.   Count Zero
57 Sanchez' name does appear to be popping up here and there because many of the low payroll teams are interested in him. The strongest one I have seen was Sanchez, Melky and another prospect for the D-Train. I'm not sure I would go for that, but then again I doubt the Marlins would consider Melky a viable CF in that ballpark either. Heilman & Milledge seems more likely.

Most of the FA pitching out there is crap. Padilla might be the only guy I would go for given what the prevailing pay rate will be for these guys...but we really need a southpaw. Therefore, Zito is not totally out of the question...nor is a flyer on Mulder or Igawa.

Personally, I would love to work a deal for Garcia. Barring that, I would take Mulder and go into the season with Wang, Mussina, Johnson, Mulder and Karstens/Rasner. Then I would expect Hughes and/or Sanchez to appear in July. Or how about a Mulder/Zito reunion with Giambi and Damon? Hmmmm...

How many days till pitchers and catchers again? ^_^

2006-11-15 10:31:21
62.   buffalocharlie
Hello Bronx Banter,

I was just looking at Mussina's stats at B-Ref. and noticed that Moose is about 2 1/2 seasons away from 3000 k's and would, at the point in time, most likely have issued less than a 1000 base on balls.

Is Fergie Jenkins still the owner pitcher to have 3k strikeouts and less that 1k walks?

thanks,
charlie hanlon
buffalo, ny

2006-11-15 10:32:43
63.   buffalocharlie
ok, I see that Greg Maddox is also in the 3000k / less than 1000 walks club....

still, Fergie Jenkins, Greg Maddox, and possibly Mussina....nice grouping.....

charlie

2006-11-15 10:35:55
64.   Chyll Will
61 Oakland East? Jovial and loose, but consistently coming up short? Not my cup of cocoa. Mulder is a Fabrage egg set on an unused whoopie cushion. I'm telling you... that would necessitate getting Zito just to eat innings. Stand back and admire, but don't touch.

Yunnow, all these years of getting to the playoffs just for old times sake would make more sense if we can develop a cadre of strong, consistent arms along the way.

I could hold up a little while with the posse coming. And since I'm on some twisted-logic tangent, why not just forfeit the next couple of seasons and show reruns of the 1998-99 season on the JumboTron until we get a strong staff together? >;) (um, /sarcasm)

2006-11-15 10:36:07
65.   thelarmis
greg maddux is in that "club." pedro is about 2 k's away. smoltz is even closer than moose, but will most likely reach 1,000 walks.
2006-11-15 10:50:05
66.   jakewoods
how does anyone know what "overpaid" is?

to who? the industry is making billions and the players are pretty responsible for that money. who says anyone is overpaid? maybe they're all underpaid

obviously the industry is doing well if guys like ted lilly are in line to make 9 mill a yr

the only people i consider overpaid are the guys who dont play and loaf. ie pavano

2006-11-15 10:51:41
67.   jonnystrongleg
63 schilling, sadly, dominates that club.

3015 K's - 688 BB's

2006-11-15 10:55:12
68.   JL25and3
Curt Schilling has an absolutely insane ratio of 3015 strikeouts to 688 walks.
2006-11-15 10:55:44
69.   JL25and3
Damn. Beat me to it.
2006-11-15 11:04:13
70.   Zack
The issue is less about overpaying and more about philosophy. The Red Sox, until this moment, had claimed a philosophy of not spending wildly on any one player. Look at their attitude towards Manny and trying to trade him. Whether or not it counts against the cap, 50 mill is 50 mill, and thats a lot to invest in one player, let alone the salary to come. Clearly the Sox are either changing philosophy or, more likely, conveniently ignoring their "philosophy" for the moment...
2006-11-15 11:04:25
71.   YankeeInMichigan
Manager of the Year awards will be announced in a few minutes. Leyland will probably get the AL award. Here are 4 reasons why he should not:
1) He could not stop his team's 7-week slide at the end of the season.
2) He couldn't even hold onto a 10.5 game division lead.
3) He played Neifi Perez.
4) He batted Neifi Perez leadoff.
2006-11-15 11:12:46
72.   kylepetterson
71 If you watched any of the playoffs on Fox this year, you should know that he deserves to win because he wears cleats. Joe Buck thinks that is awesome.
2006-11-15 11:15:18
73.   Chyll Will
71 Neifi! When they traded for him, I just blinked a couple of times, shuddered involuntarily, vigorously slapped myself twice in the face and read it again. Neifi! (followed by Pete Puma-sneer...)
2006-11-15 11:20:20
74.   jonnystrongleg
70 51.1 is not an investment in one player. It is an investment in a region vis a vis a player. If they do their job correctly (big if) their presence will remain strong after the player is gone.
2006-11-15 11:22:49
75.   Chyll Will
68 Curt Shilling is an absolutely insane ratio...
2006-11-15 11:24:46
76.   Chyll Will
75 Schilling... I must have been thinking of his FOX-worthy tendancies...
2006-11-15 11:36:52
77.   Shaun P
71 No offense YFiM, but who would you rather have won? It wouldn't be hard to make up similar lists for every other manager. None of them are perfect. Given the expectations for the Tigers versus what they achieved, I think Leyland is a fine choice.
2006-11-15 11:37:24
78.   Jim Dean
Mark (NJ): Where would Humberto Sanchez have ranked in the top 10 list as a Yankee prospect?

Jim Callis: (2:16 PM ET ) I believe he'll check in at No. 3, behind Philip Hughes and Jose Tabata, in the revised list in the Prospect Handbook.

2006-11-15 11:43:20
79.   Chyll Will
74 I'm curious again... if they're investing in a region, what esle do they want from that region? Are the allegiances to certain players as transitory as they are with players like Pedro (Boston caps in Inwood switched to Mets caps in a hurry when he went to Queens) and if so, are they simply renting him for the short-term interest (and wins) he potentially brings? It's certainly not to satisfy the less-than 2400 people of Japanese descent who live in Boston and I somewhat doubt that they have in mind to establish themselves a likely destination for permanent settlement. To me, this is simply a talent-grab with no strings attached.
2006-11-15 11:47:01
80.   Chyll Will
77 I would have said Bernie, especially after inserting himself as a late-inning pinch hitter and getting a double. Literally a stroke of genius!
2006-11-15 12:05:21
81.   Simone
The Yankees should consider siging Zito. They would have to pay him lots of money, but he is healthy and young with experience pitching in the AL.
2006-11-15 12:08:15
82.   kylepetterson
77 MotY has always seemed like the "Which team exceeded expectations" award to me.
2006-11-15 12:09:34
83.   jakewoods
Leyland deserves it. he took a dead team/franchise to 95 wins. They had a bad last 60 games but they still won 95 games.

And your Neifi Perez argument is flawed. He HAD to play him. Thats a sign of good managing. They won in spite of having to play a terrible guy like that.

Im biased but I loved the job Torre did.

2006-11-15 12:10:57
84.   jakewoods
At this point I wouldnt mind Zito being the 3rd starter. Then again I'd take Ted Lilly at the rate we're going.

We really only have 2 arms slotted into spots.

2006-11-15 12:21:13
85.   YankeeInMichigan
83 He did not have to play Perez (Omar Infante hits better than just about any utility infielder in the league). He didn't even have to acquire him. He certainly didn't have to bat him leadoff (Carlos Guillen's OBP was 50 points ahead of anyone else on the roster, yet Leyland burried him at #5).

#1 - Torre, for keeping his team in contention when decimated by injuries and then going for the kill when the reinforcements finally arrived.
#2 - Gardenhire, for revamping his roster and going on a tear when all seemed lost (he would have been #1 if the mess had not been of his own creation).
#3 - Leyland.

2006-11-15 12:31:00
86.   Simone
84 I think the Yankees should pursue Zito first, then Ted Lilly and the Japanese pitcher Igawa. Other than Wang, the starting rotation is aging and injury prone as it stands right now.
2006-11-15 12:31:02
87.   Shaun P
85 Four reasons Joe Torre shouldn't win AL manager of the year:

1. Playing Terrance Long over both Kevins
2. Playing Scott Erickson over anyone else
3. For 3 months, he forgot Ron Villone was on the team. Then he spent 2 months running Villone into the ground, rendering him ineffective for the end of the season.
4. He gave such ridiculous workloads to Scott Proctor - pitched him in completely unnecessary situations - that it rendered EDSP completely ineffective for almost 2 months.

Four reasons Ron Gardenhir does not deserve to be manager of the year:
1. Playing Juan Castro over Jason Bartlett on the basis of Castro being sure-handed defensively, even though his defense was awful.
2. Playing Rondell White regularly for May and June after he was 0 for April.
3. Playing Rondell White after he was 0 for the first half when the Twins had Jason Kubel available.
4. Batting Mike Redmond third, ahead of Morneau and Cuddyer, when Mauer sat, just because Mauer hit third when he played.

Those things are equally as 'bad' as what you've listed that Leyland did.

2006-11-15 13:09:17
88.   choirboyzgirl
71- 4 Reasons Leyland deserved to win

)He got the Tigers to end their 7 week skid at just the right time (the playoffs, its unfortunate it only lasted 2 series but it was farther than 28 other teams got).

2)He called out the entire team early in the season including the coaching staff (not just one or two players) and made it very clear that losing all the time was no longer a option... and more importantly the team got the message. He lit the fire that had been missing from the team.

3)He believed in his younger players and trusted they could do the job.

4)He took a team that a year ago finished under .500 and 3 years ago had the worst AL record ever to the 3rd best record and all the way to the world series.

The only thing he didn't do was bring home the championship....

2006-11-15 13:10:09
89.   jonnystrongleg
79 I think Boston, as did the Yanks, realize the opportunity for revenue as the game expands globally. The future of the game, with the ill conceived WBC as an obvious indicator, embraces the international interest. We could see two phases. We are at the outset of phase one. An influx international talent, previously restricted to Latin America, from Asian countries. After temporarily weakening (but not by that much) the Asian Leagues, the spotlight will get turned on their players and their teams, as we are doing now. More interest will create more revenue for the teams, higher salaries for the players and more talent attracted to their leagues.

The international baseball community could eventually end up a version of international soccer. it will take a lot longer, but getting in early and establishing your team as a pillar - a core team - is key. Arsenal, Real Madrid, Manchester United, AC Milan, these teams attract the best talent and win year after year. Chelsea had to spend so much money that it makes the Yanks look destitute to break through into power franchises.

Just a theory - but I think the Red Sox want establish their brand in the international community now the way the Yanks have already done because it could way more do it later.

After getting Matz, I expect them to look for another marquee player from Japan to join/replace him at the end of his contract.

2006-11-15 13:23:20
90.   Andre
I like Lilly, simply because he seems to consistently do well against Boston (I have not checked facts to back this up - just based on comments from my co-workers here in Burlington, MA)
2006-11-15 13:25:43
91.   Harley
89 Agreed. The Sox not only want but need to get into this market. They can't let the Yankees dominate as they do now. There's another top flight pitcher who will be available next year (his name escapes me) and if memory serves, this is a free agent, not a posting situation. And then there's Ichiro, who may be a free agent sometime soon.

Seems to me both teams are gearing up for a war of sorts for these and other players. Signing Matsu at the very least gets Boston in the game.

2006-11-15 13:26:53
92.   Count Zero
64 Agree Chyll -- but that's why I'm tempted to go after Mulder...

a) He should be cheap coming off his '06 disaster
b) He should be cheap coming off RC surgery
c) He should be willing to sign a short-term, incentive-laden deal

I see Mulder as this year's No-mah -- everyone's deathly afraid of him because of the injury. So he might go for a one-year deal at around $6-8 million just to give himself a chance to prove he can still pitch. Maybe he still can -- if he can't, then he gets released as soon as Hughes or Sanchez gets called up and you're only out one year's salary. With most of the FA crowd, you're going to be on the hook for 3+ if they suck.

2006-11-15 13:29:29
93.   Harley
Koji Uehara is his name. Former Matsui teammate.
2006-11-15 13:56:44
94.   vockins
There could be a great deal in the following post that is completely and totally wrong. I'd love it if someone set me straight.

That said:

The TV revenue in Japan is split between all MLB teams. The merch revenue is split as well. Right?

The only thing that the Sox get to keep for themselves is the in stadium ad revenue. Matsuzaka will pitch twenty games in Fenway, maximum. So they'll have some behind the plate Komatsu ads when he's on the mound, but the other 80% of the time it's going to be Giant Glass.

As for the "Japanese tourists" argument, I don't think there's a problem putting asses in seats at Fenway. Japanese don't spend special money that's worth triple what everyone else uses.

Even if those arguments about revenue potential were valid, they are making the assumption that Matsuzaka is as popular as Hideki Matsui or Ichiro. I'm not getting the impression that he is as popular. (Again, maybe I'm wrong, but I haven't seen the 5500 square foot Matsuzaka museum anywhere, but the Matsui one still stands) I'm not saying the guy won't be as valuable on the field - the guy could get 25 wins next year - but there just isn't the cult of personality about Matsuzaka that there is about Matsui and Ichiro. It's like assuming that Vince Carter will bring a team more revenue than Michael Jordan in 2002 because Carter was a better player at that point in time. (Please do not bother posting stats comparing Carter and Jordan's 2002 seasons - you get my drift)

I don't mean to imply that the Red Sox front office is retarded for thinking they'll get money - I know that they know the additional revenue they stand to get is negligible. The reason they signed this guy is to win games now. That's obviously the number one reason. The whole Japanese market thing is barely significant.

Again, maybe I'm 100% wrong.

2006-11-15 13:59:08
95.   Chyll Will
89 An interesting theory and I'd like to believe the intentions are such, but I'm not certain that they have such magnanimous intentions. Investing so heavily in one player, as opposed to opening a market with such synegistic enterprises as TV partnerships and cross-marketing deals with particular teams only signals that you are willing to beat all comers when that league is ready to sell off their top talent. If they wanted to establish a presence, there are economically saner ways, as the Yankees and perhaps the Dodgers have done.

91 It seems that teams are not patient enough to wait on free agency, for various reasons that include the bottom line. The Lions had to know that once Boras was involved, the resulting bids would go beyond what they could have imagined in the beginning, so it makes sense for them to post a top-flight player early and collect while there's still insane value, especially if Boras and his client decide to turn back and wait another year. They at least are in a win-win situation. Free agency means nothing to or for them.

92 Mulder is a Lieber risk, but is Mulder willing to take a Lieber contract with the Yanks, especially knowing those circumstances? A lesser team might be willing to offer more security simply because they don't have the overall talent to compete on that level immediately, but can grow stronger as he heals. Just like Wright. I think the Mets have their eye on him, and would be willing to outbid the Yanks just to match him up with Peterson.

You all make very good points, but cynicism is blocking my view at the moment.

2006-11-15 14:07:22
96.   Jim Dean
Theodore Lilly (GS IP H ER BB K W L ERA)
BOS 15 88.2 84 37 35 78 4 3 3.76
ANA 8 46 35 17 16 34 5 2 3.33
2006-11-15 14:26:02
97.   jakewoods
89
I think Boston went after him not because of marketing opportunities but because he's the best SP on the market.

All the other stuff is a bonus. Obviously they have the money.

2006-11-15 14:28:06
98.   jakewoods
I dont think anyone should give the Sox the AL East crown just yet.

I seem to remember a guy that was the Nolan Ryan of Japan too.

Now you can say "hes better than that"

Yeah, how do we know? All the same people said Irabu was a cant miss and so was Kaz Matsui.

2006-11-15 14:29:31
99.   RIYank
94 I'm confident that you're right, vockins, or at least much closer to the mark than what I'm hearing on ESPN and seeing in the other pundit outlets.

It helps talking heads to speak of "the Asian market", which conjures visions of a sleeping giant, of billions of naifs each with a few coins ready to spend on MLB. But it's not really 'the Asian market' we're talking about here, it's Japan. Which has a lot of people, no doubt about it.

Then you'll also hear people say things like, "They can be creative about it." Whatever that means.

2006-11-15 14:45:12
100.   Shaun P
96 I think Lilly could be a worthwhile signing because he's a lefty (lefties tend to pitch very well in the Stadium) and he has good strikeout numbers. That's one thing the Yanks don't have among the young pitchers.

But the Meches, Eatons, Padillas etc of the world don't inspire me. I see them as Wright + 1 - in other words, they would put up Wright-like numbers but typically pitch past the 5th inning. I think Rasner could do almost as well as any of those guys at a fraction of the cost. Maybe Karstens and Steve White could as well.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-11-15 14:48:03
101.   OldYanksFan
Let's just tip our hat to Theo for making a very bold move. Why second guess whether this 'fits their philosophy', or 'how much Japanese market' is too be gained, or how many 'Japanese live in Boston'. Theo did it, and will have to live with it.

The ONLY downside is money. They got a stud and some international attention. If J. Henry wants to open his wallet and play ball with George, God bless him.

The truth is, if Cashman thought they couldn't win without Matsuzaka (we need a nickname for this guy), the would have posted more then 30mil. Boston wanted him more.

Honestly, I, and many others thought that even at 30mil, the guy was too expensive and the chances for problems too great. It might be real nice for US to watch the Sox take a fall for spending big bucks this time, instead of the other way around.

We are not out of options. If Pavano is healthy, and/or Unit's surgury went well and he is healthy (he had a bad back most of 2006), considering the trades already made and maybe Hughes in Sept., our pitching may already be better this year then last.

And Cashman still has plenty up his sleeve.

2006-11-15 14:56:05
102.   Simone
Arrgghh! Gammons, the Red Sox schill, was just on PTI. Why am I not surprised that he wasn't throwing dollar bills around in outrage that the Red Sox just bought a player. Gammons is so predictable in his Red Sox love. He was giving Henry and Werner big fat smoochy kisses.
2006-11-15 15:02:38
103.   smingers
I don't have any special insights, scouting reports or statistical arguments to make, but I am so bummed we didn't get Matsuzaka. I don't fault Cashman--he made a reasonable bid. Plus I think he's done a great job already this offseason.

But based on what I've read from baseball people it sounds like Matsuzaka is for real and I got my hopes up of seeing him at the front of the Yanks' rotation for the next several years. With the new financial landscape in baseball, pitchers with his ability of his age are almost never available for just money, even if it is a lot of yen.

2006-11-15 15:42:56
104.   C2Coke
99 That's what I said. It is essentially the Japanese market not all of Asia. I like johnnystronleg's theory in 89, and as much as I enjoy baseball, I still think he was overestimating baseball's postition in international sports. WBC is not the World Cup, and it won't be for decades or maybe it never will unless there are European baseball teams. I agree with vockins' view in 94 more, especially taken into account of the revenue sharing.

53 " Cash is a smart guy. Cash making calls to guys inflates their price. I would like to see him express 'extreme interest' in every decent pitcher, and then let everyone else overpay for them. "
Somehow, I'd like to believe he already did in the Matsuzaka deal.

2006-11-15 15:48:25
105.   Jim Dean
100 I agree on Lilly. He'd be a decent #5 and if they signed Zaun, they could reunite and give Jorge his 1 in 5 day off. After that, I'm not too concerned with the pitching. When Meat splits a fingernail, I'd like to see P-Huge get his shot. As the best minor league pitcher in all of baseball, he's our #1. And otherwise, they have the pitching to win enough games with that offense. Between Wang, Moose, Unit, Meat, Huge, Kartens, Rasner, Sanchez, and then Lilly - that's a deep organization pitching-wise. Who knows, Clippard may even be ready by September. Sure, if they want to spend for Zito, that wors - but I'm not all tht convinced he's necessary.

BTW: Anyone else see Pilittere is tearing up the AFL? If he starts the season in Trenton, we may have found our BUC prospect.

2006-11-15 15:51:43
106.   OldYanksFan
104 Really.... we need to discuss jusy why the Sox thought it would take $50 mil, when there were rumors that the bidding might go 'as high as $30 mil'.
2006-11-15 15:53:13
107.   C2Coke
By the way, Chyll Will, regarding what you talked about in 27, I may have a point or two since I've checked into it before because of Wang.

I agree with you on MLB trying to expand globally, but the case with Taiwan v. Japan kind of differ. Japan has a more comprehensive baseball system; and Japan as a country is what the players truly love. I believe the players actually want to play in front of their home country first and then challenge themselves perhaps by joining MLB.

On the other hand, while Taiwan demonstrates some potential in its Little Leagues and Junior Leagues, the Professional Leagues were shadowed by lack of budget and, believe or not, corruption and politics for years. It's unfortunate and the problem is now in the process of being corrected, but the system is still somewhat flawed. Talented Taiwanese players (ie. Wang and Guo) came to MLB to earn more money (even with the MLB minimum wage, it's still a lot more than they would make in Taiwan) and to make use of their talent; and in their own way, they are helping the system because more people in Taiwan are once again paying attention to baseball.

Aside from all that, can someone please explain why Greg Zaun would possibly sign with the Yankees as a backup catcher if he was playing full time with the Jays last year? I mean, it'd be excellent if he would but why would he?

2006-11-15 17:04:08
108.   Chyll Will
107 No problem with that, I admire a positive value when it manifests. I'm under the impression that they have to play a minimum number of years in the league before they can become a free agent and play in the States if they wish, unless their team posts them. I suppose that's not different than here (except with arbitration), but I suppose this is a rare circumstance because he's said to be the best pitcher in the country and they were honoring his wish to play in the majors. Well, that's one to grow on >;)
2006-11-15 17:11:54
109.   Paul in Boston
I find myself wishing for M to fail as a pitcher exactly as Irabu did for the Yanks. This is how I counter my wish that he hurts his arm, because I never want to wish someone gets hurt.

Too bad we have to wait until April to find out.

2006-11-15 17:39:26
110.   Yu-Hsing Chen
27 Taiwan's league is payed like crap, the highest paided guy (Chen Chin Fung, former Dodger prospect) is paided about the same as the MLB minimum this year. and the league is poorly runed, many of Taiwan's best young prospects are indeed in the US or Japan right now, you will probably see a few more TW players in the bigs next year or the year after. (Chen Yun Chi is probably the most likely next TW player to make it, a decent well-rounded 2B with solid speed power and contact discipline in the M's system)

As for Japan, the raeson is simple, they are paid much better drafted out of highschool into the NPB than if they were in the minor leagues in the US (remember low A players are paided like garbage) even if you take signing bonus into consideration it's not attractive enough to take on all the risk and pain espically when you could make it there in 26-27 years old anyway after having made much more money than most minor leaguers.

109 it is unlikely that Matsuzaka will fail in the big leagues like Irabu barring injuries, for one, his controll is exellent, his secondary pitchs are great (both of whom Irabu was bad at) his NPB records reflect that too, as Irabu wasn't all that great in the NPB in reality, only that he had a wicked fastball and high Ks, and also put a couple of good seasons before comming to the US.

Matsuzaka is also not a deception pitcher like Nomo or Otsuka or others, his delivery is very textbook . he's simply a solid pitcher with above average fastball, great control and good secondary pitches as well and great poise. if you want to run a comparason, Roger Clemens, his fastball isn't as great though, so a lesser version is perhaps Mike Mussina in his younger days.

2006-11-15 19:12:55
111.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Wow, the Jays are giong to sign Frank Thomas
2006-11-15 19:52:33
112.   Simone
Thomas will be a great pick up for the Blue Jays. The AL East is just getting tougher.
2006-11-15 20:38:54
113.   Sharkie
What about Gyroball-Man or Gyro-Man for his nickname?

FWIW, I think Boston made a smart move. Matsuzaka has numbers translated by Clay Davenport to be on par with Clemens for the years 2003-2006. That's about 7-8 wins per season over an average player. So if Boston pays a total of 85 million of Matsuzaka for 3 years, then Boston is paying about 3.7 million per win over an average pitcher.

Zito is going to require about 18 million for 5 years is reasonable guess. Zito is probably worth an average of 4.5 wins over an average pitcher (according to the BP guys), which equates to 4 million bucks per win over the average hurler. Gyro-Man has upside above 7-8 wins over an average Aaron Sele-Posturepedic-Make-LA-Fans sleep pitcher.

This doesn't include all the money Boston will make selling Gyro-Man jerseys and the TV deals with Japanese networks. Japan has a population of 150 million people. That's 10 times bigger than the big US markets.

2006-11-15 20:50:07
114.   C2Coke
113 How is it 10 times when the US has twice that 150 million population?

And once again, Revenue Sharing.

2006-11-15 21:05:43
115.   Sharkie
big US markets are like LA, NY, that's about 15 million.
2006-11-15 21:12:10
116.   pistolpete
113 Ah, but don't forget - Matzusaka only plays once every 5 days - guys like Matsui and Ichiro are in there every day.
2006-11-16 04:44:57
117.   wsporter
The Hardball Times did an initial little look at the potential contract value of Matsuzaka that combines on-field and revenue stream analysis. Their numbers concerning what a reasonable contract length and total payout would look like is about in the range of numbers folks have been discussing. The merchandising revenue the Sawx could earn is about what one would have thought would drive a $51 million posting bid if they 1. intended to block other teams or 2. sign him long term. My bet is it's a long term signing. For anyone so inclined here it is:

http://tinyurl.com/yh9au5

2006-11-16 06:27:53
118.   Jim Dean
117 Gassko is taking the best case scenario. $10 million a year in additional revenue, based on the Yankees and M's, is a flawed assumption on a number of levels. But foremost, the M's had a new ballpark to fill in 2001. The Yanks were reaping the benefits of the dynasty in 2003 as attendance really started to establish itself at record-setting numbers.

By contrast, the Sux already sell out their games. That's not going to increase any more. TV revenue is already set, though maybe they could milk advertising rates. Mechandise sales are already high.

In Japan, all MLB revenue (TV and mechandise) is split evenly. Further, that market has already been mined - it's not Yao in China.

Zimblast estimated an additional $3 million a year. That seems right. Even if that's conservative, let's say $5 million a year, that would take ten years to make back.

No, this was far from a business decision. In that realm, it wasn't "worth it". This was a baseball decsion by a desparate third place team with management feeling the stings of last year. They're willing to lose money if it means meaningful baseball in September. Too bad, for them, that DM's much more likely to underperform than match expectations. At those prices, he needs to throw 200 innings, with 18-20 wins, 200 K's, and a 3.00 ERA. It's going to be fun to watch!

Go baseball!

2006-11-16 07:42:32
119.   vockins
117 This is a repeat of some other points I made earlier in 94, but screw it:

1. The Mariners also assembled a team that set an MLB record for wins in 2001. I'm sure that had something to do with the increased revenue.

2. The Yanks went to the WS in 2003. At least four of the five teams he compared to the Yanks didn't do that. (I was surpised that the change from 2002 to 2003 wasn't more than $8 mil, actually)

3. I don't get the impression that Matsuzaka has the marketing clout that Matsui or Ichiro has.

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