Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Due Date
2005-11-15 07:22
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

According to various reports, the Yankees are closing in on re-signing Hideki Matsui for a deal in the neighborhood of 4 years, $50 million:

"I don't care much about the number of years," Matsui told Kyodo News Sunday. "You might think the longer a deal runs, the better. But it's not necessarily so because I can be given the same opportunity as I have now again if it runs over a relatively short period."

By midnight tonight, Matsui will have his new deal.

In a minor note, relief pitcher Taynon Sturtze is due to become a free agent tomorrow if the Yankees don't exercise his $1.5 million option today. Michael Morrissey reports in the Post that, "A team source said no final decision had been made, but the Yanks are leaning toward keeping him."

2005-11-15 07:36:03
1.   Shaun P
Ack! Sturtze must go, lest Torre be tempted to actually use him instead of Bean, Anderson, Small, etc. Tanyon did a nice job for a little while, but it seems his best days are behind him. Save the cash for BJ Ryan, please.
2005-11-15 07:41:43
2.   Cliff Corcoran
If the length of his contract is not important to Matsui, the Yankees should not go beyond three years. That said, he may be demanding $50 million regardless of length, in which case the Yankees might as well make it a four year deal, as an annual salary of $16.7 million for Matsui is absurd.

As for Sturtze, regardless of whether or not the Yankees think he can still be effective (and given a winter off plus smarter usage in '06 he just might be, though I wouldn't bet on it), they should ask themselves if they think he'll pull down $1.5 million on the open market. If you ask me, they should decline the option and then get the best pitcher they can for that $1.5 mil, even if that pitcher turns out to be Sturtze (though I doubt it would be).

2005-11-15 14:11:22
3.   sabernar
This in at 5pm on Tuesday from Newsday:

"The Yankees are putting the finishing touches on a four-year deal worth between $51 and 52 million to keep Hideki Matsui in pinstripes, according to a person familiar with the situation.

General manager Brian Cashman and Matsui's agent, Arn Tellem, have been in close contact all day and are expected to get the deal done within a few hours, the person said.

The deal does not include an option for a fifth year."

$13M/yr seems a bit steep, but they do get more from Matsui then just hits and runs - they get a player who can be promoted out the wazoo.

2005-11-15 14:24:39
4.   randym77
Holy guacamole. $52 million?? Even higher than the rumors.

But yeah, the Yankees will probably make a lot of it back on the Japanese TV rights. I don't think they're losing money on this deal.

2005-11-15 15:55:29
5.   brockdc
Matsui is a nice player, but not for 52 mil.

Oh, well - not my money.

2005-11-15 16:53:13
6.   randym77
Like Sabernar pointed out, it's probably worth it for the Yanks. I've heard they get a ton of money for the Japanese TV rights - solely and wholly because of Matsui. The Japanese TV stations over there break into regular programming to show Godzilla's at-bats, even in trivial games.

So who knows? Matsui's Japanese following may help buy us a nice relief pitcher or centerfielder. ;-)

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