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Big Doings in Beantown
2006-12-14 05:25
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

While the Sox finally landed their man from Japan (a baby-faced killer if there ever was one), the Yanks are considering a minor deal for pitcher Joel Pineiro. And what about Bernie?

Comments (169)
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2006-12-14 05:40:46
1.   Yankee Fan In Boston
did this cross anyone else's mind?

last night a local newscast mentioned that matsuzaka's wife is a sports reporter.

my first thought was that she'd end up working for NESN, covering the team in japanese, and would be paid about $4M per year, essentially paying matsuzaka $12M per year and bypassing payroll/luxury tax issues.

2006-12-14 05:43:34
2.   Jim Dean
Seems old friend Pags runs a consulting business based on scouting the Pacific rim. Not much interesting here, except that he says the Sox really did their homework in posting at $50 million:

http://tinyurl.com/v4bnj

Even if DM wins the Cy Young for six straight years, I'll still be glad the Yanks didn't take on that risk and stress. They seem to be moving in the right direction - except when you see guys like Pineiro being discussed.

2006-12-14 05:50:38
3.   jonnystrongleg
2 Thank goodness you've been spared the stress! 6 straight Cy Youngs for the Sox is a small price to pay for your even keel! ;)
2006-12-14 05:53:47
4.   Yankee Fan In Boston
2 good to see pags is getting some ink.

3 i'll believe that when it happens, and even if it did, i wouldn't.

yeah.

i know that made no sense, but i'm surfing a wave of cold medicine, so i don't particularly care...

2006-12-14 05:56:53
5.   Dan M
I like how Josh Phelps is referred to as "Tommy Phelps" in one of the linked articles, and "Josh Phillips" in another. No respect.
2006-12-14 06:03:38
6.   mainmanmaitland
DM won't get 6 Cy Youngs. Matsuzaka going to the BoSox doesn't make Santana go away (or Wang for that matter).
2006-12-14 06:03:39
7.   Jim Dean
1 Well it seems they put Michelle Damon on the air, so it wouldn't be a surprise. But still that's high. If she's good, sure an extra bonus, but how can she really report on her husband's team and still be seriously considered a reporter. Now, a TWIB style show in Japanese about American baseball - though there has to be one already? If she's hot I'd watch it.

3 If any Yankee fan comes back in two years and says they should have gotten DM for 103 million, they're lying. The vast majority though that: a) 50 million was too much; and b) the contract would be more. Even if folks thought he'd be affordable for contract, they still thought that 50 million was too much just to talk to him. High risk, high reward for the team that desparately needs the reward.

2006-12-14 06:05:17
8.   mikeplugh
Mrs. Matsuzaka is not going to be on the air. Japanese wives accompany their husbands, stay home, and take care of the kids. I'm not trying to stereotype, or sound sexist. It's a cultural pattern. Ichiro's wife did the same thing.
2006-12-14 06:06:19
9.   Simone
2Matsuzaka is worth all that risk and stress. He will be a good pitcher for the Red Sox. It is a shame that the Yankees worth able to sign him.

IMO, the only positive of the Matsuzaka signing that all the Red Sox trolls should be retreating back into their roach motels soon enough.

2006-12-14 06:07:20
10.   Simone
9 I meant "...were not able to sign him."
2006-12-14 06:07:58
11.   Jim Dean
6 It was an extreme example to show how silly the whole situation has been - just like Dog Mirabelli getting a police escort for an early season game. BTW: They re-signed him yesterday. Don't be surprised when he's released in May. And to realize they traded Bard and Cla for him - except to shudder to think that a similar deal could be in the Yanks future if Jorge goes down.
2006-12-14 06:10:55
12.   mikeplugh
7 Also, there is no such thing as a serious Japanese reporter. (To be honest, there are a few....very few.) Not that the American media has much serious journalism in 2006.

Japanese reporters are almost always completely in bed with the people they are covering. Take this snippet from a very interesting research piece:

"The Press Club System

A major reason for this is the press club system through which mainstream media cover Japanese government, politics, business, labor and even crime. Japan's "press clubs" share nothing in common with press clubs in the United States, where reporters eat, drink, talk, and occasionally listen to guest speakers. In Japan, the press clubs at government ministries, business organizations, labor federations, sports teams, and even police stations throughout the country provide an exclusive venue for news to be announced; and they designate the reporters eligible to cover the announcements.

The designated reporters are the members of the clubs. News organizations whose reporters are entitled to membership run the clubs, and those who don't belong-such as all reporters for all of the magazines in Japan-cannot attend press conferences. Japanese reporters, not government officials or businessmen who give news conferences to the press clubs, determine who can and cannot attend."

http://tinyurl.com/sbzvw

2006-12-14 06:12:42
13.   Jim Dean
8 I like the servient bit. But is she a nice piece of sashimi?

9 Please point to where YOU said 50 million was good just to talk to him? Even Mike got off the bandwagon at that point. Otherwise, no second guessing allowed.

2006-12-14 06:15:55
14.   Sliced Bread
I'm over my initial shock and bitterness of seeing Matsuzaka go to Boston for an Adam Eaton salary.
Good luck to him, but hopefully the Yanks will have success against him.

1 Interesting theory, but I'd be surprised if a NESN reporter made more than a tenth of that amount.

2006-12-14 06:18:15
15.   Yankee Fan In Boston
12 interesting stuff.

i was just looking for a way for the sox to cheat the system. by having the missus do a few fluff pieces here and there, they could pay daisuke through NESN... essentially laundering the money to avoid paying luxury taxes.

...i don't honestly expect this to happen, just blowing smoke.

2006-12-14 06:18:50
16.   mikeplugh
13 Yes, she's beautiful.

I'm with Simone on one aspect of her statement. I think Matsuzaka will be one of the Top 5 pitchers in the world when all is said and done. The Red Sox just made a total coup in my opinion. The part I step back on is the $51 million posting fee. I think it was stupid and cold have easily backfired on them had Matsuzaka played his cards better. Had he waited to say goodbye to Japan, publicly announced that he may be back if the situation isn't right, and held his cards closer to his vest, he may have made an extra 10-12 million more over 6 years.

It's a moot point though. The Sox scored big. If you could have guaranteed me a month ago that I could sign him for $9 million a season, I would have bid $52 million. No one knew that though, so it's 20/20, and I'm glad we stayed out of it.

2006-12-14 06:19:37
17.   Yankee Fan In Boston
13 from the fottage i saw, she is a beautiful woman.
2006-12-14 06:20:27
18.   mikeplugh
Enough of Matsuzaka. Over at Peter's blog, there's talk that the Yankees are looking at Mientkiewicz. I wouldn't touch him with a 500-foot pole. The last 3 years have been injury rittled, powerless, left-handed, and below league average defensively. Phillips is fine with me if Wilson isn't signed.

Anyone hear anything on Wilson? Is Cash even seriously considering resigning him?

2006-12-14 06:20:38
19.   jonnystrongleg
7 I understand that the financial commitment to this guy scares you. But by saying: "If any Yankee fan comes back in two years and says they should have gotten DM for 103 million, they're lying" you're way off base. Several Yankee fans wanted the pitcher at whatever cost it took.

You may be proven correct, you may not, but don't paint future regret as dishonest second guessing from the Matsuzaka supporters.

2006-12-14 06:23:25
20.   Yankee Fan In Boston
18 "Enough of Matsuzaka."

that's funny, coming from you.

2006-12-14 06:25:08
21.   mikeplugh
I know. Kind of ironic, but you have to understand that the news over here is plastered wall to wall with Red Sox now. They are doing fluff pieced on David Ortiz, and showing A-Rod getting suckered by Varitek and his mask.

People are wearing Red Sox hats...ALREADY!

I hate this shit.

2006-12-14 06:30:05
22.   Sliced Bread
18 Yo, Mr. Plugh with the boy on the way!
Best to you and your growing family.

I agree it looks like the Sox scored big with Matsuzaka - but enough talking about how the deal went down. Next time I want to read about him is in one of Cliff or Alex's pregame write ups.

I also agree say "no-kiewicz" Phillips or Wilson works for me.

2006-12-14 06:31:06
23.   mainmanmaitland
I believe (and I hate to admit it) that Matsuzaka will be a good (maybe great) pitcher for the Sox and like Mike I'm sorry we didn't get a chance to sign him.

The situation with him and his posting still annoys me though. Once the Lions got that bid they were so determined to keep that money I get the feeling that the Sox could have offered Matsuzaka $5 million a year and the Lions would have still made it impossible for DM to return to play in Japan if he wanted to.

It's like it was DM's fault that the Lions were in financial trouble and he had to take the hit when negotiating with the Red Sox for his contract to get them out of it.

2006-12-14 06:31:32
24.   mikeplugh
22 Thanks Sliced. Baby is two weeks away. My wife is a lefty, and I've got my fingers crossed.
2006-12-14 06:32:20
25.   Yankee Fan In Boston
21 if it helps at all, i endure the same thing.
of course, it must be bizarre over there...
have they started imitating the accent yet? 'cause that's when i'd wave the white flag.
best of luck. stay strong.
when i feel that i'm being bombarded with red sox-itude, i usually pop in a yankeeography dvd, pull the shades, and crack a bottle of liquor.
2006-12-14 06:35:15
26.   mikeplugh
23 The thing is, there is a cultural imperative to fall in line with your employer. It's a thousand year old remnant of the feudal mentality. Even though Seibu and the rest of the old guard ownership subject their athletes to a kind of indentured servitude by forcing them to sign 10 year contracts, there is no strike. There isn't even so much as a complaint.

Once guys hit free agency, they are usually signed to one year deals so the team can reduce their pay if they don't put up the same numbers. If your average drops 10 points and you hit 5 less homers, you get a pay cut.

There's so much collusion here it's criminal. The players won't strike, and actually feel grateful that someone will pay them to play baseball. It's sick.

2006-12-14 06:35:17
27.   Yankee Fan In Boston
24 awesome. congrats.
2006-12-14 06:36:21
28.   Jim Dean
12 & 16 Interesting, and thanks for your honesty.

See, I think I'd be more worried about DM, if it wasn't for the Beckett episode last year. He was supposed to come in and be the lights out ace, had beaten the Yanks in the Serious, and was still very young. I felt a real stomach punch from that move, combined with the lingering effects of a piece of Meat that just didn't taste Wright.

One year later? The team finished in third place. And Beckett was far, very far, from advertised. Oh, and the Sox lost heavily in the deal. Now I'm supposed to forget all that and assume they made an amazing deal?

I just can't get out of my head that the best hitters (Ichiro, Godziller) from Japanese baseball come over here and hit fewer homers and walk less while K'ing more. And those were their iconic players akin to Pujols and A-Rod and Vlad and Manny, even as the number of American players are restricted. In America the Japanese stars are above average players - there are three of them on every team. What's going to happen when DM has to face 8 guys in a lineup that hit like Godziller, as on the Yanks?

Beckett came to the AL East and gave up more homers while walking more and K'ing less. And we saw what happened. DM's now got to prove it on the field, in the most demanding town in the league, to justify a huge salary and satisfy an even bigger fan base. Let's see him do it.

2006-12-14 06:36:26
29.   yankz
11 Dog Mirabelli...was that money shot typo intentional?
2006-12-14 06:37:43
30.   mikeplugh
25 I'm not too worried come March. There will be Matsuzaka craze for a while, but he only pitches every 5 days. I'll get plenty of Matsui, Ichiro, and Iguchi. If Iwamura ever signs in Tampa he'll get some run too.

My greatest fear is that the Sox continue their big spending ways, sign Ichiro in the offseason, and take over all of Japan. It could happen. There is also the matter of Kosuke Fukudome, the Central League MVP, who is a FA next season. He is a doubles, gap hitter with a .400+ OBP. He's a perfect fit for Fenway.

Next year is when the shit hits the fan.

2006-12-14 06:38:46
31.   mikeplugh
Gotta sleep. See you in the "morning" y'all.
2006-12-14 06:42:00
32.   Jim Dean
19 Show me the money quote from anyone on this blog, or any other, that said - "What!? Why didn't the Yanks bid 52 million!?"

Revisionist history is a wonderful thing. But it doesn't apply in this case.

24 That's funny.

2006-12-14 06:42:14
33.   mainmanmaitland
Mike (all the best to you with the baby on the way) and thanks again for being the Banter's eyes and ears in Japan. Sorry you have to deal with all the Red Sox coverage due the signing.

With luck you will get to see their reaction when the BoSox finish 2nd or (if we are lucky) 3rd again next season.

2006-12-14 06:48:15
34.   Yankee Fan In Boston
in other news, joel zumaya was injured at the end of the season.

he injured his pitching arm playing "guitar hero."

http://tinyurl.com/y9df8a

that is one of the best injury stories i've heard.

2006-12-14 06:52:19
35.   Andre
32 I said just prior to the close of the posting period (if you search on my name I'm sure you'd find it). I'm of the mind that I don't care what the Yankees pay for a player - if he's that good then I want him on our team. I think I did suggest $50million at the time too, although that turned out to be just a bit short. Do you think I'd cry if the Yanks spent $20million for 2 months of Clemens? Would it be financial insanity? Yes. But if it helps the Yanks win another World Series then I'm all for it.
2006-12-14 06:54:21
36.   Jim Dean
11 Initially no - then I left it. Seems about right.

BTW: I just can't believe how much an 8 game win streak at the right time in 2004 changed perceptions so wildly. Now I'm supposed to be worried about every move they make?

They just signed Nancy Drew, Julio ".760 OPS" Lugo, and a piece of sushi to $200 million worth of contracts after finishing ten games out in 3rd place. I'm supposed to be afraid of the big bad bloody tampon? Am I really alone here?

By contrast, the Yanks have done nothing but get younger and better without dropping serious cash. They have the prospects and flexibility to trade for anyone that's available. And they'll lose close to $40 million in salary next off-season (Abreu and Unit) with reinforcements from the farm on the way.

I really can't wait until April...

2006-12-14 06:58:22
37.   jonnystrongleg
32 You're basing the opinion of the entire Yankee-fandom on what appears in Bronx Banter - it's a big city. Since you're being antagonistic and combative, I'll just say:
1)I am a Yankee fan.
2)I wish the Yanks bid more than the Red Sox.

I know I'm not alone in that, sorry if your exposure to alternative opinion is limited.

2006-12-14 06:59:53
38.   Jim Dean
35 You wanna prove it - you show me. And then show me ten other people that thought the same way. That feeling was the vast minority but always exists no matter who the players are. And they're usually the same folks (not saying you are) who bemoan all the money down the line.

The problem is that "if he's that good" qualification. No one who really thought he was "that good" thought he was worth a $50 million posting fee. And if it was the Yanks the coverage would have been brutally negative.

Still, let's see him prove that he's "that good".

2006-12-14 07:02:47
39.   jonnystrongleg
38 I hope you realize you are posting on blog of Yankee fans and nobody has to "prove" their opinions to you. Seriously, Back the f up.
2006-12-14 07:06:36
40.   Jim Dean
37 You're saying that now and you post on the Banter. Why didn't you say it here thirty days ago?

Further, show me any Yankee blog anywhere where a significant number of people were posting the same thing.

There will always be a certain segment of Yankee fans that thinks they should always spend more than anyone else. Me and those folks don't have much to talk about because their reasons are seldom based on facts. Group yourself where ever you'd like.

2006-12-14 07:09:24
41.   Jim Dean
39 Whoa, easy buddy. Taking this a bit seriously, no?

It's easy to play the second guessing game. In this case it doesn't apply.

2006-12-14 07:18:57
42.   jonnystrongleg
41 Here is your proof from the post: WRIGHT AWAY when we found out the Red Sox won the bid.

Now that I have wasted my time to go back into archives to "prove" to you that my opinion is not "second guessing" I'd like to take this time to bash myself in the forehead for blowing the last 10 minutes of my life on you.

"153. jonnystrongleg
147 & 148 Not crazy at all. Assuming the Boston rumors are true, the pitcher and the agent represent the only question mark. I work at a Japanese firm and everybody here is bummed the Yanks didn't win but they are convinced he will signwith the Red Sox because more than anything else he wants to pitch in MLB ASAP.

2006-11-13 13:45:11154."

2006-12-14 07:35:48
43.   Jim Dean
43 Alot of anger there. Congrats. You deserve a pat on the back. You were in the vast minority.

If you want a good laugh, my words from yesterday were stolen verbatim by the old Soxholix. I wonder if he's the troll "ric"? Still, if he was going to steal my words, the least he could have done was given me my own character.

I'm glad the games are played on the field. The season will be entertaining, at the very least.

2006-12-14 07:38:24
44.   jonnystrongleg
43 Yeah, I guess it does make me angry to have fellow poster demand proof of when I formed my opinion and insinuate that I'm lying. Congrats for causing that anger.
2006-12-14 07:38:24
45.   jakewoods
Why would Pineiro sign with the Yankees to be the long man when he can be a starter somewhere else and up his value?
2006-12-14 07:45:07
46.   Jim Dean
44 Sorry man - never said you were liar. But if you look at your own quote - it's not like you were saying the Yanks should have done it - just that it was reasonable. There's a difference. And no I'm not a lawyer.
2006-12-14 07:49:17
47.   Just fair
I am certainly not freaked out that Matsuzaka will somehow shift the balance of power in the AL East. We all remember Irabu and more recently Contreras. Jose had his moments with the Yanks before finding a better groove with the White Sox. I will look forward to the first time Matsuzaka faces the Yankee lineup. I hope he gets pummeled then and each time thereafter.
2006-12-14 07:51:06
48.   jonnystrongleg
46 The media led us all to believe the winning post would be around 30 mill. we were all in a state of shock when we heard the sox bid 51. Nobody knew what to make of it. Since it was a blind bid, it wasn't like the yanks ran out of the kitchen cuz they couldn't take the heat. they just didn't/couldn't know what the sox & mets would bid. So there will be no statements saying the Yanks should have bid X. After the bid you could either be happy or disappointed that they lost. I stand in the disappointed camp.

So when you said any yankee fan who says the yanks should have paid 103 million for this guy is lying, how was I supposed to take that?

2006-12-14 07:56:10
49.   jakewoods
51

Key thing. Never listen to the media.

2006-12-14 07:57:01
50.   Count Zero
46 Commendable restraint on your part. :-)

Personally, I'm with you -- whether or not D-M turns out to be worth $103MM over 6 remains to be seen. Beckett is a good example. And Schilling did get them that ring '04, but he hasn't exactly been dominant since then.

My real concern is this: I was (and I think many other were, although I'm not putting words in anyone's mouth here heh) quite happy with our direction when we traded Sheff for pitching prospects and stood on the sidelines as the ridiculous FA signings went zooming by. I really believe that developing our farm system the way "The Stick" did in the early 90s is the way to go.

But now...we sign a 34 year old FA with a history of elbow problems to what will most likely be a two-year deal. We're talking about Clemens and Pineiro and all manner of bad FA moves. We let Wilson and Guiel walk, and Melky's name is in a trade rumor every day. I'm getting a bit nervous now...beginning to look more and more like "business as usual" every day.

If the Sox want to try "big spending" their way to limited success the same way we have for the last 5 years, let them do it. I think it will work just about as well for them as it has for us.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-12-14 08:00:22
51.   williamnyy23
2 I wouldn't put much weight in Pagliarulo's opinion. Here is a 2002 MLB.com profile on Pags that mentions his assessment of Kaz Ishi.

The latest Japanese import is pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii, who is likely headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers after his Japanese team accepted a bid of more than $11 million for his rights. Pagliarulo is very high on Ishii, whom he told many teams about during last month's Winter Meetings in Boston.
"I was telling everyone about this guy at the Winter Meetings," Pagliarulo said. "We gave the Dodgers a full scouting report with video clips on this guy. Willie played with him and I played against him. We had really good information on him."

I also don't get the notion that the Red Sox are getting a steal. When you add in the posting fee, perks and incentives, the deal could cost the Red Sox $19mn per year. Correct me if I am wrong, but outside of Clemens, no pitcher has ever made such a high annual salary. As much as I would have liked to see Boras gouge the Sox, I think he did pretty well in battle with both hands tied behind his back.

The glamour of adding a name like Matsuzaka is undeniable, but the fact remains that he is an unproven commodity. Scouting reports are all well and good, but they also dubbed Irabu as the next Nolan Ryan or Roger Clemens. Also, the reports on Irabu were that he threw a 99mph fast ball…did anyone ever see that when he pitched for the Yankees?

Finally, with D-Mat signed, it looks as if the Yankees could find up with Igawa for $7-8mn/year (including the posting fee) if they go to six years. Even if Igawa does turn out to be Irabu, he will wind up being paid accordingly. If you don't believe that, just compare Irabu's numbers to Adam Eaton and Gil Meche.

2006-12-14 08:01:31
52.   Jim Dean
48 I don't think said camp is as small as you think.

a) Happy
b) Disappointed
c) Angry
d) Sad
e) Shocked
f) Glad it's not us
g) Laughed
h) Many, many more as expressed here.

Put me squarely in camp f.

And you didn't say they should have spent 103 million. You didn't even say they should have spent whatever it took (which no doubt some fans did say). You didn't even say they should have posted $52 million. So take it however you want but don't take it too literally.

2006-12-14 08:06:51
53.   jonnystrongleg
52 Great so we both agree that your comment saying "If any Yankee fan comes back in two years and says they should have gotten DM for 103 million, they're lying" is the problem. Sorry for taking it literally. My mistake.
2006-12-14 08:10:18
54.   jonnystrongleg
52 That's a nice list of words, and many of them mean about the same thing. But surely there were 2 general camps.

1) for winning the post at 51 million
2) against winning the post at 51 million

2006-12-14 08:11:48
55.   Jim Dean
50 51 Finally, some sense around here. :)

Count me as one that is both worried about the rumors and happy that the cost/benefit of Igawa will be reasonble. Cash did still make some silly moves last off-season and the BUC seems to be the organization's new blindspot, so I'm never sure what to think next. I did think Pettitte was a solid signing based on his history, his second half, and the insurance he offer until the kids arrive.

Anyone pay for baseballamerica and see the GM rankings (hat tip to waswatching)? I'm just curious what the top ten was.

2006-12-14 08:11:49
56.   williamnyy23
50 CountZero...I don't think Cashman is reversing his strategy.

First off...getting Clemens for one year would never be a bad thing. Also, if they sign Pineiro, it would be a minor league deal. Those two scenarios shouldn't be lumped in with Pettitte.

The short-term nature of Pettitte's two year deal actually support the goal of getting younger. For one thing, at 34, Pettitte isn't exactly ancient. Also, if the elbow is a problem (by the way D-Mat also missed a good part of a season a few years back with an arm injury), the deal could become only one year.

Secondly, with Pettitte signed, the Yankees still have two open slots. Even if RJ recovers and pitches well (which would be a good thing), there still is an open slot to go with the likes of Hughes/Sanchez/Clippard/Igawa.

In other words, the Yankees can use this season to establish a frontline starting pitcher for the next 5+ years without having to make any panic driven moves. Also, with RJ and Pavano coming off the books in 2008, the Yankees can move another young option into the rotation. Finally, both Mussina and Pettitte will be off the books in 2009, allowing the Yankees even further long-term flexibility.

I like the way the Yankees are set-up for the near-term and intermediate-term and wouldn't worry about a backtrack.

2006-12-14 08:11:54
57.   ack
Folks, do you really think it's smart to assume that DM is the best pitcher ever to step on a mound, even though he never played in the Major Leagues?
Writers are saying he's a "big game" pitcher, but what is the definition of "big" in Japan?
He's gonna have to be big in another Universe for him, and nobody, i mean NOBODY, knows if that will be the case.
Is he, at 26, better than Pedro Martinez at the same age? If so, remember how Pedro fared against us. I don't think we had bad days against him.
Did i wish the Yankees had him? Sure.
At that price? NO WAY.

That said, i hope our bats make him look like a Yakuza guy.

2006-12-14 08:20:16
58.   Yankee Fan In Boston
56 factor in that ca$hman had slashed payroll in excess of $14M before signing pettitte, and the signing looks even better.

the moves the yankees have made might not have been the headline makers that we're used to, but i think the team is still on track.

2006-12-14 08:21:17
59.   williamnyy23
57 We are all reading the cliches and quite frankly I find them all amusing. I remember reading about how Contreras had pitched in big games with his life on the line, so pitching in New York wouldn't be a problem. How did that turn out?

Also, if D-mat is the greatest thing since sliced bread, why has he only won 2 ERA titles and 2 strikeout titles in the SIX team Pacific League? I believe Igawa has won at least as many strikeout titles in the more highly regarded Central League.

2006-12-14 08:23:37
60.   Jim Dean
53 You've misunderstood my point all along.

You're telling me that thirty days ago if you knew it would have taken (actually) 124 million (don't forget the luxury tax like I did) to post and sign DM, you would have said 'yes'?

54 Ok, fine two camps: 1 = for the posting fee; 2 = against the posting fee.

My guess is the vote was:
1 = 5% of Yankee fans
2 = 95%

Then of that 5% how many, say you, then spend another 73 million (tax included) to sign him?

Now we're just dealing in trivial fractions. But if you answered 'yes' above, then I'm indeed sorry if I implicated you as a "liar".

My point all along: You can second guess Cashman on alot, but not on this.

2006-12-14 08:24:53
61.   JL25and3
5 He's obviously the player to be named later.

Tip of the hat to the late Jose Uribe, of course.

2006-12-14 08:27:58
62.   yankz
We should all chill and read this heartwarming blurb from The Griddle:

"The Red Sox gave up both Cla Meredith and Josh Bard to the Padres to reacquire Mirabelli last year. Mirabelli had a .595 OPS last year. Bard, who should be starting for San Diego in 2007, had an OPS of .926. Meredith had a 1.07 ERA in 50 2/3 innings for San Diego."

2006-12-14 08:28:38
63.   jonnystrongleg
60 Cool. I guess we finally put an end to that. I would have said yes to that investment in Matsuzaka and I'm sure I would have been in the minority, though I disagree with your 5% estimate.

But also I've never blamed or second guessed Cashman for not winning the bid. I just wish he had. It's a blind bid, nobody knew anything about the other's bids, obviously or else the sox wouldn't have won by so much.

2006-12-14 08:34:22
64.   jonm
Based on the projections, signing Matsuzaka certainly seems like a great move for the Red Sox. Right now, I can only hope that the projections are wrong.

The move does seem like something that the Yankees should respond to. That is, they should try to match it with some improvement on their roster. The obvious place for that seems to be at 1B. At the very least, the Yankees should pick up a good left-handed hitting 1B who can platoon with Phelps/Phillips. After the Matsuzaka signing, it would particularly bother me to see the Yankees sign Doug Mientkiewicz.

2006-12-14 08:36:23
65.   Jim Dean
63 Everybody in the Banter who agrees with jonny please stand.

[counts and looks around. Even Mike Plugh isn't standing].

Even though BB isn't a representative sample, 5% (1 in 20) seems high. Unless alot of peple who agree with you aren't saying something.

2006-12-14 08:40:37
66.   williamnyy23
60 Just one more note on the cost of D-Mat to consider...the Red Sox are required to pay the $51mn posting fee to Seibu in one-lump sum. The opportunity cost of paying the posting fee in one lump sum instead of on an annualized basis would be approximately $25mn in current dollars based on a 10% interest rate compouned annually for 6 years.

So, while the posting fee doesn't count against the luxury tax, it does carry a significant opportunity cost of capital.

2006-12-14 08:40:54
67.   standuptriple
I'd like to see the Yanks go in a direction of resisting any long term contracts. They have the resources to overpay for flexibility (ex: Jason Schmidt's deal) and not get tied down with deals like Giambi's in the future. I know it's a fine line and will cause the Yanks to miss out on some players but I think it will also let them pick up guys on the back end of their contracts that teams just want to get out of (Abreu). If this is actually what Ca$h is doing, then Bravo.
2006-12-14 08:43:01
68.   jonnystrongleg
65 Let's see - my entire office place, probably 50 Japanese rotational staff just stood up and 20 Nyers. Did you count them? In fact the only guy still sitting is Mets fan in the corner.
2006-12-14 08:44:49
69.   jonnystrongleg
67 long term deals with pavano and the like are to be avoided. but what about passing on carlos beltran? there are times when the long term deal is called for.
2006-12-14 08:48:29
70.   jonm
I wonder what it would take to get Teixeira from the Rangers.
2006-12-14 08:51:52
71.   Count Zero
56 Good points - I hope you're right.

Although I beg to differ on the Clemens issue -- I think if he reappears in the AL East, he will get rocked just like he did in the ASG in '05. I just don't believe he can get through lineups with patient, high OBP hitters that don't have a rest break in the 8-9 slots at this stage in his career. I project him (with no statistical backing whatsoever) as a 4.50+ ERA guy in the AL East.

Big Papi would eat the Rocket for breakfast, lunch and dinner. ;-) If the Sox sign him, I predict Abreu and Giambi would have a field day. I actually hope he does go to Boston, although I might live to regret that statement. :-D

2006-12-14 08:52:24
72.   Jim Dean
68 My mistake for being rational. Your "whole" office, huh? Every single one of them would say - rationally - yup, DM's worth over $120 million right now? There you're either being ignorant, dense, or lying. Take your pick. :)
2006-12-14 08:57:14
73.   jonnystrongleg
72 How about "joking" since I thought the hostility ended with your last post?
2006-12-14 09:01:42
74.   Jim Dean
73 Hey, you were joking to make a point. So was I. Peace and love, and maybe ice cream.
2006-12-14 09:03:17
75.   Bama Yankee
70 I've been wondering the same thing. Would the Rangers take Pavano, Duncan, Sanchez & a prospect?

Although someone the other day (sabernar IIRC) quoted Teixeira's splits that showed he did not hit well outside of a hitters park. But I would take my chances since he is very good with the glove and might like to come to NY since he is a big Mattingly fan.

2006-12-14 09:06:42
76.   RIYank
66 I was thinking that same thing. 10% might be high, but the 'present value' of $51 mil up front is significantly more than the value of $51 mil in salary over 6 years.

Here's how I see it (I have a feeling we're all getting our last licks in on D-M, at least for a while).

1. If he's a true ace, say Santana - 1, then the Sox have made a good deal.
2. If he's a very good starter, reliable and strong but never Cy Young material, then it's still not an albatross around their necks.
3. If he's a mid-rotation guy, that's a definite disappointment.
4. If he gets injured or pulls a Beckett, then it's a disaster.

I also think the Boston front office took a real gamble bidding as much as they did, and then given that high bid did a very good job in getting the contract they got.

2006-12-14 09:08:24
77.   RIYank
70, 75 Teixera is the only 1B I'd pay premium prices for -- aside from Prince Albert, of course, who I assume to be untouchable. Aside from him I'd be thinking short-term solution plus development of prospects.
Are we writing off the Eric Duncan experiment?
2006-12-14 09:08:28
78.   standuptriple
69 OK, I'll refine my theory...avoid long term pitching contracts. I think we can all agree bats, in general, are a much more reliable venture.
2006-12-14 09:09:39
79.   Jim Dean
75 I agree with you guys, but I don't like having an All-Star 1B on the team if Giambi is still around. Then one sits in the Serious - I know it's weird. Plus, I think Texeira's contract is up wehn Giambi's is and maybe a Manager Mattingly at the same time?
2006-12-14 09:11:27
80.   Jim Dean
76 What he said.

77 I think he's got one more year to take the 1B job himself.

78 Yup.

2006-12-14 09:12:25
81.   RIYank
79 Good point.
Okay, so maybe it would have to be a trade-and-sign with an extension for Texeira. (Since we're fantasizing.) I'm not gonna get all worked up about what would happen in a Series, frankly. Jason's a big boy.
2006-12-14 09:13:39
82.   RIYank
80 You think Duncan has a legit chance to win the 1B job in '08? That would be extremely good. My guess is he's not a good enough hitter, but I'm still happy to hear that he's a genuine possibility.
2006-12-14 09:14:37
83.   jonm
75 If I were the Rangers, I think that I would take that package if the Yankees picked up most of Pavano's contract. A free Pavano seems like it would be a fairly valuable commodity in this market.

I wonder if they would take Melky, a free Pavano, and Cox. I think that is fair, but I'm not unbiased, of course.

2006-12-14 09:18:10
84.   Bama Yankee
79 I understand what you are saying. But that would be a great problem to have. First, it would mean that we are back in the Serious and second, Giambi off the bench as a pinch hitter(or Teixiera as the LIDR) is not a bad thing in my book. But that only assumes that Texas takes my offer mentioned in 75 (which I doubt that they would).

Also, since Texas was looking for a CFer (ultimately signing Lofton) I am sure Cash called them with a Melky package that they must have rejected. So I doubt that they would be willing to trade Teixiera so easily.

2006-12-14 09:25:25
85.   Schteeve
9 There is absolutely no way that that statement can be considered valid. Nobody knows if he's worth the risk and stress yet. It's un-possible.
2006-12-14 09:28:59
86.   Shaun P
84 (and many others)

The way the Rangers are built right now, they need Teixiera. He and Young are the cornerstones of their offense, which is the strength of the team. To trade either would significantly hurt them.

When Teixiera becomes a free agent, unless he really wants out of Texas, the Rangers may be very happy to give him his own bank. Tom Hicks will gladly throw money around like candy - cough*outbiddinghimselfonA-Rod*cough. Maybe playing for Donnie B would be enough, plus a pinstriped bank, but who knows?

All that said, I too would like to see what he does outside of Arlington this year before I say the Yanks go after him. In theory at least, a pretty good first baseman is easy to find.

2006-12-14 09:29:28
87.   Shaun P
Oh, and if I didn't make it clear enough yesterday -

I hope Bernie retires.

2006-12-14 09:33:09
88.   jonm
86 Shaun,
What do you think that the Yankees should do about 1B in 2007?
I think that is the most obvious place where the team can upgrade and respond to the Sox' improvements.
2006-12-14 09:37:51
89.   Start Spreading the News
Anyone see NoMaas.org's headline for today? That site is awesome.

"Matsuzaka arrives in Boston, increases city's diversity by 35%"

2006-12-14 09:57:23
90.   mehmattski
77 I agree that Duncan has one or two more years before he gets written off completely. The fact that he was a top-notch prospect had expectations high. But the guy turned 22 last week, and was probably playing over his head at AAA last year. I would bet there's a peak still to come in his development. I'm trying to think of who else would have a familiar track to his development... most of the top firstbasemen today went to college and were not in the minor leagues from 18-22... a big difference when comparing players. But there is one very good comparison:

Here's what Justin Morneau did in his fourth minor league season, at the age of 21:
New Britain (AA) 494 AB .298/.356/.474 16 HR

And what Eric Duncan did in his fourth minor league season, at the age of 21:
Trenton (AA) 206 AB .248/.355/.485 10 HR

In his age 22 season, Morneau spent half a season at AA and was then called up to AAA, where he raked. It might be that Duncan was rushed up a level a little too early.

2006-12-14 10:07:45
91.   Bama Yankee
86 I agree, I don't see them trading Teixeira now that they have lost Carlos Lee and Gary Matthews, Jr. I thought we might have had a chance at getting him if they could have kept Lee. We could have offered them Melky, Pavano, Duncan and a prospect (they could have used Wilkerson until Duncan was ready to play first), but who knows if that would have worked.

The only way I see them trading Teixeira now is if he makes it known that he plans to try the FA market and they want to get as much out of him as they can before he walks. But, like you said Hicks has deep pockets and is not afraid to use them...

2006-12-14 10:11:14
92.   standuptriple
90 Those aren't that bad considering he got almost 300 less AB's. Yeah the avg could use a boost but the rest of the numbers are pretty comparable or at least to be taken with a grain of salt due to sample size.
2006-12-14 10:11:52
93.   Shaun P
88 In '07, any platoon combo of Wilson/Phillips/Phelps/Guiel would make me happy. Giambi ought to play the field every once in a while, too. I think that will be fine.

Beyond '07, I just don't know. Like I said above, first base is usually one of the easiest positions to fill. Would it be nice to have a guy like Teixiera (presuming he really can hit out of Arlington)? Sure. But the future of the 1B slot doesn't worry me. The future of the catching slot, on the other hand . . .

2006-12-14 10:29:19
94.   jonm
93 I would have agreed with you about the cheap, slapped-together platoon before yesterday. As it stands, the Red Sox have upgraded at SS, made a bigger upgrade in RF, and made a huge upgrade in the rotation with Matsuzaka.

The left-handed part of any 1B platoon is going to get roughly 425-450 plate appearances. That would be Guiel (presuming that they bring him back on a minor league deal). Guiel's an okay hitter, but his production and that of the platoon as a whole would almost definitely be below league average at 1B. Such a level of production would probably cost the Yankees two wins. Those two wins could easily be the difference between the Yankees and the re-charged Red Sox in the standings.

2006-12-14 10:44:55
95.   yankz
Something far, far more important needs to be discussed. If Minkle Winkle is indeed signed, his nickname is the top priority, even ahead of a new moniker for Igawa. No way in hell am I typing out that last name over and over again.
2006-12-14 10:45:14
96.   Jim Dean
94 Watch - Lugo isn't that much of an upgrade even if he is. He's much worse defensively (for which the fans will soon be all over him) and his lifetime OPS is a mere .46 more than AG. Plus he's a year older.

Nancy has to stay healthy. And don't forget they've taken a step backward at 2B.

And DM we've beaten to death. He's got to prove it on a MLB field before I give him anything.

And you're discounting what others have been saying - Giambi is that lefty part of the platoon or Melky doesn't start, ever.

Further, it's not like the Yanks have been standing still. Full seasons from Abreu and Godziller, Melky instead of Bernie, and Pettitte rather than Wright means the Sox will probably have to win 100 games next year to take the East. That's a 14 game improvement. Good luck there.

2006-12-14 11:01:54
97.   jonm
96
You're right. I am discounting the argument that Giambi is the lefty part of the platoon. Right-handers start about 70% of games. I don't think that the Yankees want Giambi in the field 70% of the time. I think that they want Giambi in the field 25% of the time, tops. As the roster stands right now, that means that the Yankees have a below average hitter, because he is playing against the platoon advantage, for roughly 50% of the first baseman's at-bats.
2006-12-14 11:09:20
98.   thelarmis
we just had a minor league pitcher - Hector Noesi - suspended for 50 games. feh! he pitched for the gulf coast yanks last season. 20 yr. old pitching prospect...

i tried to copy/paste the link but it was very long and i don't know how to do that cool url thang. go to nomaas - they have the SI article linked. sorry for my lack of technological skills. : ~

2006-12-14 11:10:28
99.   thelarmis
Bama - if you're reading, the Pitch Back at ebay did not sell...
2006-12-14 11:11:09
100.   Jim Dean
97 jon, that's the one weakness in the whole lineup. It's not perfect, but short of carrying 3 1B's, I'll take it.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-12-14 11:12:16
101.   Jim Dean
98 Go to tinyurl.com, paste it in there, and hit enter.

Paste the result here.

2006-12-14 11:13:38
102.   Andre
I don't understand the fans' concern with the money side of these signings. Sure ticket and concession prices will go up, but this is a business. Don't you think they'll go up anyway? Red Sox ticket prices are the highest in the country, even though they don't have the highest payroll. It's supply and demand, and as long as the Yanks are the most popular franchise in baseball, the prices will continue to rise.

I live in Gloucester, MA (originally from Jersey). I buy the cable MLB package and watch every game on tv. If I'm lucky, I go to a few Sox/Yanks games at Fenway each year. If there's a new stud pitcher on the market (a la Contreras at the time, Matsusaka, etc.) I want him on the Yankees at any cost so I can watch him every 5th day. If he crashes and burns, it's still entertainment to me - I like to see if these guys that are so hyped up can live up to the hype.

I balance my position by realizing that the Yanks don't have to do that for every position. Every year there's one or two "can't miss" prospects or free agents to go after. If we have any opening and the hype seems real, I say break the bank. If we don't have the opening or the hype doesn't seem real, no loss.

I'll never be disappointed if the Yanks overspend for someone as hyped as Matsusaka (or even Contreras as much as he was at the time) because they both seem (seemed) like the real deal at the time.

I [think] my position is probably in the majority of non-hardcore, non-stat obsessed fans. I [think] the average baseball fan just wants to go to the park and see his/her team win, and doesn't concern himself with salary.

I could be wrong, but I know lots of people who watch baseball that don't know what BABIP, OPS, or other stats mean, and would have no idea what a player makes if it wasn't broadcast non-stop on local news and radio.

2006-12-14 11:18:10
103.   thelarmis
101 like this?!

http://tinyurl.com/ygm3we

let's see if that works. thanks, jim! : )

2006-12-14 11:19:40
104.   thelarmis
101 a-HA, it does indeed work, wahoo! thanking you...
2006-12-14 11:35:47
105.   Bama Yankee
99 Thanks for the update thelarmis. I knew I should not have tried to "low ball" them. I gotta start letting Theo Epstein handle my ebay bidding...
2006-12-14 11:37:50
106.   RIYank
With Firefox, and probably some other browsers (not with the version of Safari I have though) you can put Tinyurl on your bookmarks bar. If you go to the page you want to tinify and click on the Tinyurl button on your bar, you get a tinyurl for it in one step. It's amazing how you feel like you're gaming the system when you can save about 1.7 seconds.
2006-12-14 11:39:42
107.   jonnystrongleg
102 In addition to your POV, plenty of people who know what BAPIP stands for aren't opposed to breaking the bank for necessary components either. Carlos Beltran was available and the Yankees desperately needed a CF. They didn't use their financial clout and paid a dear price. That move would have satisfied the casual and the sabermetric fan.

The key is need and availability. They need starting pitching now, but after losing the Matsuzaka bid, they appear uninterested in what's available for long term deals.

2006-12-14 11:41:42
108.   yankz
You can actually download a Firefox TinyURL extension. I just right click on a page, click "create tinyurl," and it's automatically saved to my clipboard. So you save about 1.9 seconds!
2006-12-14 11:42:04
109.   RIYank
102 Andre, the thing is, even the Yankee budget is finite. Spending a huge sum on one player does make it less likely that the front office will splurge on another. (And in the post George era that constraint will be sharper.)

I do think, though, that Yankee fans in general are and should be less upset about the team overpaying really good players, like maybe Giambi. Less upset than other teams' fans, I mean.

2006-12-14 11:43:46
110.   RIYank
108 My method also saves the tinyurl to clipboard, so I think I'm still milliseconds ahead of you.
Can you imagine if you could collect all the time Firefox saves you? At the end of the year you'd probably have a coffee break.
2006-12-14 11:46:44
111.   yankz
Doesn't the tinyurl bookmark redirect you to the tinyurl page? And then you have to click back to get to the original site? At least that's how I remember it before I switched to the extension.

And yeah, I love Firefox.

2006-12-14 11:49:02
112.   thelarmis
yankz & RIYank -- thanking you for the tiny url help! i'll have to re-read it a thousand times to understand, haha! i'm sooo technologically challenged. for now, i'll stick w/ Jim Dean's old-fashioned way of going to the tiny url website. i'm slow, forgive me...

but now i have to go teach. i assure you, it has nothing to do w/ computers!!! ; )

2006-12-14 11:51:10
113.   RIYank
It does, but it also puts the tinyurl on the clipboard at the same time.
2006-12-14 12:01:23
114.   Jim Dean
109 Exactly, especially with the luxury tax now equaling the payroll of some teams.

In hindsight Beltran probably should have been signed, but that's still a huge commitment. I think the Yanks are smartly moving away from Giambi contracts and instead paying more on a annual basis for the flexibility of shorter term deals. Most the longer ones end up being money losers any ways. Better to lose the cash in the short-term and have the flexibility later on. The Yanks will always be able to re-sign a guy they like.

2006-12-14 12:03:40
115.   yankz
112 Anytime, you'll catch on fast ;)

113 I'd rather right click than press back. To each his or her own, eh?

One last firefox thought for now: The ultimate lazy man's plugin is "Auto Copy," where text is immediately copied to the clipboard when it is highlighted. No more ctrl + C for me!

2006-12-14 12:09:02
116.   Simone
Mike, I want to prepare you. The Red Sox are introducing Matsuzaka at 5:00 p.m. today. ESPNews is carrying the press conference. Just pretend that it isn't happening.
2006-12-14 12:31:11
117.   jakewoods
I can guarantee that Bernie WIlliams Day at the Stadium in a few yrs will be a great time.

Bern Baby Bern!

2006-12-14 12:33:22
118.   sabernar
Yankee prospect Hector Noesi just his with 50 day drug ban.

http://tinyurl.com/y87yzl

2006-12-14 12:33:52
119.   sabernar
118 Darnnit! 'hit' not 'his'
2006-12-14 12:45:37
120.   rsmith51
115 Is there a setting to get "Auto Copy" to work for Firefox?
2006-12-14 12:49:27
121.   yankz
120 I installed the extension. Try here:

https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/383/

Alternatively, I just thought of this and don't know if it works, you could open a new window, type about:config in the address bar, go down to clipboard.autocopy and set it to true. The extension should work though, it does for me. AutoCopy has changed my life.

2006-12-14 13:58:59
122.   Andre
I'm all for more money/less years. There aren't many teams that can outbid the Yankees for a player the Yankees really want (barring a blind posting system like the Matsusaka deal, where the Yanks may just have been caught underestimating their opponents in the bid process).

Should be another exciting season seeing how our staff matches up with theirs. Many question marks on both sides with high upside and equally high downside.

2006-12-14 14:41:13
123.   mikeplugh
Good morning everyone. (for me)

Hey Jim....you sure have rattled johnnystrongleg's cage. I think you both represent the sides of the argument well. I can't say I know which of you is right. When you made your poll earlier, I probably wasn't standing, but my legs were definitely twitching.

On the debate about spending, here's my take. The Yankees for years spent 150-200 million, won the division and got close to 100 wins every season, and they didn't win. The playoffs are generally a kind of crap shoot. A couple of hot pitchers (Kenny Rogers) is enough to get you to the Series. Does anyone actually want to stand up for the Yankees acquiring Kenny Rogers?

With the state of the market today, the Yankees have a choice. Do we panic and try to win it all, at all costs? Do we spend $100 million on Barry Zito or Matsuzaka and send the payroll through the roof? You could answer, "Yes." as some here have in the past. The thing is, with the playoffs as a crapshoot, if you don't win it, you wasted a lot of money that you could have used more wisely.

The best way to use that money is:

1. Redirect it to development and international signing.
2. Invest in the minor leagues
3. When you can't develop the bats, buy them
4. If a Johan Santana or Carlos Zambrano are available break the bank

If you do #1, as the rich and powerful Yankees, you can dominate the field for the young kids with potential all over the world. For every 25 busts, you get an ace. If that also holds true for the Majors, you may spend a billion dollars to find an ace, but in the minors each one costs much less and starts earlier in your organization. If you do #2 the average player stands a better shot at being above average, and the above average player just might be great. If you do #3 you get a lineup like the one we have now. Posada, Jeter, Cano and some former MVPs. If you do #4, you add established dominant pitchers to a mix of homegrown Phil Hugheses and maybe a solid vet or two.

It saves you on luxury tax, and it assures you of having a talent pool that isn't open to anyone but you. It's the Branch Rickey vision of the minors. The Yankees just need to spend 10fold more than other teams in building theirs, instead of 10fold more on veterans.

2006-12-14 14:45:53
124.   standuptriple
mikeplugh, I was wondering how liberal the strike zone is in Japan for a guy like D-Mat, you know, with him being a "national treasure" and all? Is it Maddux/Glavine-esque? I think we can all agree the umpiring in the WBC was less than stellar and I thought they wanted to expand the zone a bit to keep offenseive #'s decent. Any thoughts?
2006-12-14 15:02:50
125.   mikeplugh
124 Going to work....I'll respond in a bit.

Damn work. Why can't the Banter just pay decent wages, so we wouldn't have to live this charade anymore!!!!!!!

2006-12-14 15:28:50
126.   Jim Dean
123 Come on, Mike - 130 million for six years? For a pitcher? That's iffy for you?
2006-12-14 15:42:16
127.   Shaun P
123 Great points all, Mike. The current free agent market is overcrowded with mediocre talent and rising costs, so the route to go is to spread the Yankee wealth in other markets.

That's why I've been so happy to see the Phelps Rule V pick, the Miranda signing, the talk of bringing back guys like Guiel and Wilson, the Piniero rumor - the Yanks are (finally) playing the 'free' talent market. The Yanks can offer a little more cash than most teams would, as well as the chance to play in pinstripes, win a lot, etc. If those guys stick and help out, great. If not, its not like they cost much.

We've already seen the Yanks throw big bucks around in the draft - Chamberlain, Kennedy, Melancon, Betances, all got big bucks and all signed - as well as the international market (that catching prospect earlier this year).

Its the way to go to help keep the team competitive.

BTW - congrats on the almost-arrival!

2006-12-14 16:06:05
128.   mikeplugh
126 Yeah. It's still a little iffy to me. I'd pay that for Santana in this market. I'd pay that for Roy Oswalt, maybe Brandon Webb, and Carlos Zambrano. If Liriano could guarantee me he'd stay healthy, I'd pay $21 million a season for him too.

There are only a handful of guys who are south of 30, and regularly put up ERA+ numbers in the 130s and up. In my philosophy, I think the key to overpaying for a pitcher is consistency at that level. If a guy, without fail, pitched to an ERA+ of above 130, and if he can even hit 140 or 150 on a regular basis, he is an ace. There are only ever 2-5 of those guys in baseball under the age of 30. If the playoffs are a crapshoot, you need to load the dice with the best pitcher twice in the series. The Yankees used to do that with Roger Clemens, and even David Cone. We haven't had the best pitcher in most of the series we've played in recent years.

It's not to say that you can throw 4 league average guys out there and win the World Series. It's a longshot, but I'd say it's possible under the right circumstances. I like the idea, though, of having a guy who can dominate two games on his own, with a Yankee lineup behind him.

The main catch to the whole thing is 6 years. If pitchers are fragile creatures, that's a hefty expenditure. As I said, my legs twitched on Matsuzaka, but I didn't stand. I think he's as good as the pitchers I named in the first paragraph, but we do know less about him than the others. I've seen him pitch for 3 years, and I have confidence, but at the same time laying out the money the Red Sox did for him is a gigantic leap of faith.

2006-12-14 16:12:29
129.   mikeplugh
124 The strikezone in Japan can get a little liberal. I'd say, and this is only my unscientific opinion, that it's more likely that a pitcher will get the benefit of the corner than get squeezed.

The game is played differently in Japan. The Japanese game is generally a "play for one run" mentality that favors pitching over offense. In many ways, Japan's game today looks a lot like the era that Tim McCarver loves so much. It's changing though, thanks to guys like Bobby Valentine, Hillman, and other American managers that have come over and put a few wrinkles in the system.

What they are doing now wasn't possible even 5 years ago. The Japanese believe in doing things the same way their grandfathers, great-grandfathers, and great-great-great-great grandfathers did. There's a lot of foreign influence in Japan today (my presence here speaks to that) and people are adjusting to new ideas slowly but surely. The strikezone may not change, but you do see guys like Nobuhiko Matsunaka and Kosuke Fukudome with OBP of .400+.

Matsuzaka will do fine with the US strikezone, because he adjusts instantly to any situation that he's faced with. Bases loaded and no one out? No problem. He's ice, and he has the control to put the pitch wherever he wants.

2006-12-14 16:37:16
130.   mikeplugh
128 One last thing to expand on my point....(am I the only one here now? lonely)

Overpaying is also an artform. Things you should overpay for:

1. Ace caliber pitching (under 30/130+ career ERA+)
2. Consistently high VORP guys to the left of the defensive spectrum
3. No doubt Hall of Famers still in their primes

That's it. Things you should never overspend on:

1. Mediocre pitching
2. Old pitching
3. Anyone to the right of the defensive spectrum (save, MAYBE, sure fire Hall of Famers in their prime)
4. Guys with injury histories

By this logic the current Yankees have met the positive criteria for:

Derek Jeter
A-Rod
Jorge Posada
Mariano Rivera
(The jury is out on Damon, but he looks good so far)
Bobby Abreu (We inherited his contract, but he's a VORP monster)

They have blown it with these guys:

Randy Johnson
Carl Pavano
Jason Giambi*
Hideki Matstui*

We are fortunate to be paying Wang and Cano league minimum, thanks to our good strategy with the minors. We are overpaying both Moose and Pettitte, but Moose was a good expenditure at the time, and both pitchers are kind of emergency short term deals until we get the new philosophy up and running full steam.

* I have both Matsui and Giambi in the unecessarily overpaid section because it's not really a need to spend $100 million on a part time 1st baseman/DH. I give the Yanks a little mulligan on that one because it looked like he was a 1st ballot HOFer when he signed. Matsui is overpaid because he's a league average left fielder at best, and while he shows great steel with RISP, he makes $13 million a year for very good, but not great play. The asteriks here is his Japanese market influences, and I think the jury is still out on his power. I'd like to see what he does in 2007 before I jump on the bandwagon of doubters. I'm guessing he'll top 30 again this season.

2006-12-14 17:26:36
131.   kdw
130 Catching up and enjoying your posts, especially the investment strategy.
2006-12-14 17:52:46
132.   Schteeve
130 Yeah but definig "overpaying" is a critical piece in any analysis of "overpaying."
2006-12-14 17:54:55
133.   OldYanksFan
I'm with you Mike.
I made a comment on your site about the nature of future 'posting' negotiations, in the light of the Sox's lowball offer being accepted,and the inability of Japanese players to say 'No', and therefore have to return to Japan.

This could have vast influence on the future.
Care to comment?

2006-12-14 18:04:47
134.   mikeplugh
132 That's true Schteeve.

I suppose "overpaying" has a lot to do with the general fair market value of a player. Evaluating that is also opening a can of worms. You could use MORP, but I think a room full of intelligent people could also hash over what the teams in baseball are paying for a certain caliber player (considering VORP, EQA, WARP3, and other metrics as a foundation) and determine the going rate. Then you have to apply the logic that I used above.

The one caveat to that is, each team has needs that are more easily filled by what's in their minor league system. Speaking of the Yankees, it would be foolish to overpay for a starting pitcher of anything but the highest caliber because our minor league system is stocked with players who project to be league average or above. We might, on the other hand, look to pay a bit extra for an outfielder for a lack of players at the higher levels of our minors. (Hence Abreu and Matsui). Tabata will solve some of that down the road.

2006-12-14 18:08:55
135.   Chyll Will
130 I'm here too, Mike! Congrats on the souffle on the way >;) I don't know what everyone's getting so unnerved about concerning DM; if he's anything like Pedro then we win around half the matchups over the next three years, then whatever happens to Japanese pitchers after three years in MLB happens to him. Besides, with your investment strategy, I don't see why we wouldn't be looking at the best rotation for years since 1998-2000. Feh, I'm not a hot stove guy, I guess. It's almost like a game thread the way everyone's wrapped themselves in Boston's underwear this week. No offense... oh well, dinner for me, take care of yourself Mike and if you get lonely, write a script for players or BBrs concerning a particularly bizzarre baseball moment. I think I can speak for Sliced and say that it is one of the most liberating experiences about Banter >;) Speaking of which...

59 (almost feel as though I'm talking to myself) the next best thing after sliced bread will always be peanut butter and milk >;)

Thelarmis, don't forget to use TinyHyphen, for when you really want to get sarcastic, but not all browsers are capable of interpreting such. It's rather (TinyHyphen'd) cool...

Bama, forget the Pitch Back and hook up with some fly kicks for running after the ball. It's (TinyHyphen'd) good exercise.

Now, I'm off to get some (TinyHyphen'd) food and get some (extra TinyHyphen'd) sleep. Good (TinyHyphen'd) Night... >;)

2006-12-14 18:18:53
136.   Chyll Will
125 Even though I'm pursuing an MBA in January, I'm a union man at heart. I'm down for better wages anytime. Boo feudalism! Hooray Curt Flood! (or the Japanese version, whomever that may be...)
2006-12-14 18:24:58
137.   mikeplugh
133 I'll take a look at it and get back to you....

I have some thoughts of my own on that.

2006-12-14 18:31:41
138.   yankz
Knicks fans, don't go here: http://tinyurl.com/ydahkr

28 million higher than second place? Good god...

2006-12-14 18:34:11
139.   RIYank
Chyll, a guy has to work (TinyHyphen) hard to get your humor. The memory of your original TinyHyphen fiasco hit me all-in-a-flash.
2006-12-14 18:50:31
140.   Jim Dean
128 All the pitchers you name - yes, but for four or five years. Japanese import with no MLB history for six years at what would have been $22 million/year - No.

129 I'm completely on board and agree with regard to the current Yanks. Abreu even more so because it was like a two-year free agent deal in the heat of a pennant race. Giambi would have been perfect at four or five years. Even Jeter and A-Rod for shorter contacts.

That's only place I'd add more: Pay big money for short contracts, then re-sign them to current market values. Both are still overpaid in this market as is Jorge and as was Moose. Now Moose is a great value contract. Mo's been great because he keeps taking short deals. Damon will be overpaid by years 3 and, most definitely 4, but we knew that when he signed.

Have a great day at school - fill those kids' minds with thoughts of the Yankee great and rings - you've got to fight that war on the ground, soldier!

2006-12-14 19:10:21
141.   mikeplugh
140I'm not sure how overpaid Jorge is....

He has a balloon payment of $12 million in 2007, but he signed a contract that paid him 5 years and 51 million, which included a $15 million signing bonus. That $15 million was kind of a thank you for playing at nearly league minimum during the championship years. If you look at the contract that he played for from 2002-2006, he made a little over $6 million a year. His VORP over that period was:

2002 42.1 (2nd among MLB catchers)
2003 54.6 (2nd)
2004 41.4 (3rd)
2005 26.8 (5th)
2006 38.0 (4th)

At the toughest position on the field, he is among the best of his generation, and has been paid, basically, $6 million a season. I'd say he's been a steal. (That's what you get for developing your own players!)

2006-12-14 19:34:45
142.   Simone
141 Exactly, Mike. Jorge Posada is one of the best catchers in MLB. Considering the years when he first came up and his first big contract, he is far from being over paid.

Oh, word on Giambi being over paid. I was so thrilled at that signing too. At least, Matsui brings the Japanese business deals.

2006-12-14 20:16:33
144.   Raf
123 I'll bite. Kenny Rogers 1996 was in line with his career. 1997 wasn't. Probably didn't help that he was coming off arm surgery.
2006-12-14 20:21:04
145.   yankz
143 My nomination for post of the year.

As for the crime thing: http://tinyurl.com/yjhql4

Ain't the truth a bitch?

2006-12-14 20:29:50
146.   thelarmis
143 my faves: ridicilous and infintiely, not to mention sentence structure. too bad they left "Spelling" off the crime charts...
2006-12-14 20:34:52
147.   mikeplugh
143 I second the nomination.

Let's take the points one by one.

1. Yankees blow (Yes, as in "the answer my friend...")
2. A-Rod blows (out less candles on his cake than Manny Ramirez)
3. Jeter blows (wads of cash on hot women)
4. All of us blow (milk bubbles from our noses from time to time when we read posts like yours)
5. A team that has done nothing (but win the division 9 straight years)
6. Disgusting, crime-filled city of bums (which is still more popular and famous around the world than any other city, save maybe Paris)
7. Then there's the rest about Boston, which even Bostonites hate. Big Dig and all....

I usually don't reply to trolls, but that was entertaining.

2006-12-14 20:38:43
148.   yankz
Dang, that was some quick deleting, Ken.
2006-12-14 20:39:36
149.   OldYanksFan
Cliff/Alex - In regards to 143, I really don't think we should allow Curt Schilling to post here anymore.

With real men like 143 in Boston, it's no wonder they have a Rape rate 3 times higher then NY.

Mr. ihateny - I'm sure all of Boston and RSN is proud of your wit and intelligence.

2006-12-14 20:41:01
150.   OldYanksFan
NO!!!!! Please put 143 back up. Visitors here from RSN should see what we have to put up with.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-12-14 20:45:30
151.   yankz
Do Yankee fans go to Sox blogs and post junk like that? I'd just feel humiliated if they do.
2006-12-14 20:47:38
152.   thelarmis
151 i sure hope not! ya never know with kids and the internet though... : /

nice work, ken! and keep those cool photos comin' at catfish stew!

2006-12-14 20:47:52
153.   Chyll Will
143 Serpentine, hater, serpentine!!

139 That's why I know I'll make a good manager >;) That also explains why precious few reply to my comments. Too much sugar one way, not enough sugar the other...

This is odd. My stupid Windows Explorer browser is hyperlinking the last few comments that reference another comment. In fact, the screen is littered with mumbo jumbo right now. It looks almost like the front page of the newspapers I try to read in my dreams. See for yourself:

"yanklow arodlows jeter lows and all of you low for being on this ridiciloulog about a team that has done nothing in years. For all the money that s out of steinbrenner nothing is accomplished for your eless team. You city is disgusting, filled and minals. The Red Sox come from the proud, clean independent city of Beball and will ever be rs/pntproy better then the clowns in the p>"

I swear I didn't do anything to this, my computer is having a spasm or something. Although, it makes a lot more (TinyHyphen)sense this way than it originally did...

zzzzzz....

2006-12-14 20:50:59
154.   Chyll Will
Umm... okay Ken, feel free to delete 153 if you like, too. I need sleep a lot more than my computer does, apparently...
2006-12-14 20:53:57
155.   OldYanksFan
151 I am originally from LI, NY, but left when I was 18. I have lived in NH now for 34 years, and consider Boston as 'my City'.

Bsoton is a very cool City... more of a very big town, but for some reason Bostonians have a very sick need to constantly compare themselves to NY.

Boston has a lot going for it, in many ways. But there is only one NY, and thats something they just don't get.

Having Red Sox fans display the most disturbed behavior I have ever witnessed. I would love to have an intellectual baseball conversation with a Sox fan... and I have tried many times.... but it is impossible.
They have a 'my Dad can beat up your Dad' attitude that is impossible to penetrate. They deserve Fenway Park.

It's sad really. Must be something ibn the water.

2006-12-14 20:57:00
156.   OldYanksFan
155 I really need to start proof (TinyHyphen) reading my posts. I'm beginning to sound like a real Bostonian.
2006-12-14 21:05:48
157.   Chyll Will
I'd help you, but my computer is dreaming in front pages now. Apparently my name is now Chyll stat and everyone is writing in HTMglish. OYF, are you really from seballps? (You really don't want to know how drunk my browser thinks you are now, and I'll be surprised if I can make heads or tails of this...) Is anyone else having this dream right now or is it just MY computer?
2006-12-14 21:11:48
158.   mikeplugh
It's all you Chyzzy Wzzl beohuf nhfkas nkdsan dsknnpp lld'kdckk

Right?

2006-12-14 21:14:04
159.   thelarmis
158 !ynnuf s'taht won
2006-12-14 21:15:51
160.   Chyll Will
158 Stop that >;)
2006-12-14 21:33:42
161.   C2Coke
I cannot believe the one day I couldn't make it on Banter in the afternoon is when I missed the apparent entertainment in 143. I could've used the laughter.
2006-12-14 21:35:57
162.   Zack
Darn, I missed the crazy, irational Sox fan post! Good thing I am going up to Beantown this weekend to visit all of my crazy, irational Sox fan friends so I can get my fill.

The way I just ease all my "anxiety" over all this is that I know that:

Hughes
Wang
Sanchez
Igawa
Clippard
Rasner

will beat
Matsuzaka
Beckett
Papelbon
Lester
Buchholz

For so much of a fraction of the cost...Add that to the fact that the Sox have basically zero positional prospects, and I don't cry at night...

2006-12-14 21:37:54
163.   Zack
And by the way, if anyone hasn't made it over ot bostondirtdogs.com to check out their predictable, totally off the wall response to all of this, please do. Its all dead serious too, which is what's so great about it. Theo is once agian king, the spending issue seems like a non-issue, and the Sox are all set...

And Mike, what do you think about all of the perks in DM's contract, is that a surprise?

2006-12-14 21:56:41
164.   mikeplugh
163 Perks are a masquerade for lowballing him. If I was Matsuzaka I would have told them to jump off a bridge. I would have set myself up with a comfortable set of endorsements, invested my money in a safe interest bearing account, waited to say goodbye to Japan until I was guaranteed to be paid full market value, and then stuck it to the Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers, or whoever won my rights.

That's just me. If I'm Matsuzaka now, with no leverage, I'd be thrilled that someone is going to pay me more than league minimum.

2006-12-15 04:48:15
165.   randym77
The NY papers are reporting that the Mets are pulling out all the stops to land Zito.

Man, the money is flowing like water these days. Seems like only the Yankees are being thrifty. Weirdness. A new philosophy in Yankeeland, or are they just saving their money for the new stadium?

2006-12-15 05:28:48
166.   RIYank
I slept through 143, too. Oh, he must have been one of the "Big Doings" that Alex is referring to. I was wondering how you pronounced that.

BOING!

2006-12-15 06:18:02
167.   ric
"I would love to have an intellectual baseball conversation with a Sox fan... and I have tried many times.... but it is impossible."

i assume you are just being facetious or exagerating... maybe you're just looking in th wrong places...like pubs at 02:00am- thats when rational thinking leaves most heads ;) there are plenty of rational sox fans willing to have a good conversation about sports and politics over a glass of Sam Adams of course...

sites like boston dirt dogs do not represent the pulse of RSN. most people i know hate steve silva, its editor as he is the seemingly reactionary racist type that many of you guys seem to always associate the average sox fan with.

2006-12-15 06:26:16
168.   Raf
165 It has happened before (financial restraint), but I haven't seen it since the early 90s. Shortly before they signed Tartabull and Gallego. But I think they did that under "pressure" from MSG.
2006-12-15 08:17:51
169.   jayd
key moments in the matsuzakathon yesterday:
1. channel 7 news goes into there breaking news mode and cuts back and forth LIVE! to the news conference now underway. So it starts smoothly enough with an english question/japanese translation/japanaese answer from Dice K/ and hearing from the interpreter. Then suddenly the whole thing flows south as a Japanese reporter stands and lets forth a torrent of Japanese, totally plunging the news toads into frozen pond time. What do we do, pray that it ends soon or...Finally ends, OK lets hold on here as Matuszaka speaks maybe the interpreter will say something...Oh-Oh nothing happening there. Shit ANOTHER Japanese reporter. What is this shit. Cut! Cut! Cut! Break away to the anchors NOW!

2. Matsuzaka's wife is being called "the Angelina Jolie of Japan"? I imagine Mike is asleep now, but I'm totally befuddled by that. these are sports reporters however.

3. Anyways this is rare comedic nonsense, what a signing. I just can't see "Dice K" surviving any of this. Matsui could settle onto a team of superstars where he attracts scant attention. i thought his porno collection was going to set off rockets but he even got through that.

4. I'm looking into mass producing a "Yankees suck" t-shirt that has "Yankees gambare" on the back in Japanese (Go Yanks). May as well make some money off these nitwits...

167 I love it when sawksers deny their WEEI / dirt dog roots. oh no, we're far more intellectural (the new japanese spelling) than that...

2006-12-15 19:58:56
170.   NBarnes
162 is bizzare. Uh, sure, I mean, yeah, the Yankees have a way cheaper rotation than the Red Sox. That is, if you count such that Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina, and Carl Pavano. You know, 3/5ths of the Yankees' starting rotation. And way better, too, if you count such that the Sox's #4 starter is currently recovering from chemotherapy.

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