Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
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2006-11-02 05:10
by Alex Belth

Let the Daisuke Matsuzaka Sweepstakes begin. According to Adam Rubin in The Daily News:

Before a crowd of 200 reporters in a ballroom at the Takanawa Prince Hotel, Seibu Lions president Hidekazu Ota confirmed the team's intention to make Matsuzaka available via the posting system.

Once Matsuzaka is posted, major-league clubs will have four days to submit sealed bids. The Lions then have four days to accept the highest bid, which could reach $20 million - $7 million more than the Orix Blue Wave got in 2000 for posting Ichiro Suzuki. (Seibu is supposed to know only the amount, not the winning bidder.) Once the offer is accepted, the Lions will pocket that eight-figure payment, provided Matsuzaka and the major-league team come to terms on a contract within 30 days.

You'd have to think the Yankees will be involved.

Meanwhile, it's official: Don Mattingly will replace Lee Maz as Joe Torre's bench coach (triple A hitting coach Kevin Long will take over for Mattingly). This doesn't necessarily mean that Mattingly will one day take over for Torre.

"You can't just assume something will be given to you," Mattingly said. "I need to earn everything I can get. And I don't have to be in a hurry. I don't need to put any kind of timetable on it, to put that kind of pressure on the situation. I need to learn."

General manager Brian Cashman said he even made a point of telling Mattingly last week that this promotion doesn't "guarantee" him the manager job - although obviously it's a very encouraging sign.

"Brian made it pretty clear to me ... he wasn't guaranteeing anything for me," he said. "He felt like I had the mind to be able to do more, to be able to manage someday, but obviously the New York Yankees is a huge job and there's a lot that goes with it.

"Obviously," he added, "this puts me in a better position because I get to do a lot more in the game and be involved in a lot of different areas that I couldn't be before."
(Jim Baumbach, Newsday)

Mattingly doesn't strike me as the managerial type, but what do I know? I've said all along, ideally, you don't want to be the guy who replaces Torre, you want to be the guy who replaces the guy who replaces Torre. But Mattingly is a Yankee legend so you never know.

Comments (70)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-11-02 06:10:15
1.   Yankee Fan In Boston
days ago we were reading that the mariners were going to go as high as a $33M bid for negotiating rights to matsuzaka.

then, a middling bid.

now, they're out.

i don't trust these crafty mariners. i think they're up to no good.

but if they're not playing with my emotions, i am pretty excited about the matsuzaka situation.

2006-11-02 06:41:25
2.   Murray
Why'd Mazilli get sacked? Any ideas?
2006-11-02 06:41:31
3.   jakewoods
Matsuzaka would be perfect for the Yanks. No draft picks given up. He's young. A frontline starter. Only money. Perfect situation.
2006-11-02 06:41:52
4.   YankeeInMichigan
As I said a few days ago, George's Plan A for replacing Torre has got to be Willie Randolph.

The posting price for Matsuzaka certainly affects the bottom line, but at least it doesn't affect the luxury tax. I'd rather commit $10 million for 4 years for Matsuzaka than $10 million for 2 years for Mussina.

2006-11-02 06:44:56
5.   jakewoods
Mussina as a 4th starter is perfect. And who cares what they pay him or anyone? Is that money coming out of your pocket?

Just have an extra beer at the stadium so we can continue to be the best and get the best.

2006-11-02 06:46:38
6.   Count Zero
I would actually be surprised to see the Yanks win the Matsuzaka Sweepstakes.

The Matsuzaka price tag will likely be $20 million plus let's estimate a 4x$13 million contract in a pitching-starved FA market -- $72 million total for four years (or something similar). Unless the Yankees believe he is worth a fortune to them in terms of merchandising and TV in the Far East, shelling out that kind of cash for an unknown commodity seems like a spectacularly bad business decision with a ton of risk.

2006-11-02 06:51:20
7.   jakewoods
Every SP is a risk. Because now even guys like Ted Lilly are going to make 12 mill a yr.

You have to have faith in your scouts.

A bonus in Matsuzakas favor is the fact that he is only money. No players, draft picks, luxury tax.

2006-11-02 07:10:05
8.   JL25and3
That article on Mattingly disappointed me. I thought a bench coach was supposed to be a sort of consigliere, dispensing sage advice to the Don (or the Joe) at key moments. In this case it seems more like an internship - some on-the-job education, exposure to different departments, not much responsibility and the chance to get a real job later.
2006-11-02 07:10:24
9.   Yankee Fan In Boston
6 he isn't a complete unknown. he was the WBC MVP. that was a pressure situation on a big scale. he's pitched most of the lions' big games and held his own. if the japanese league is on a level above AAA and below MLB, as i've read several experienced scouts say, his numbers should be decent.

tell me that you wouldn't want a 26 yr. old kid with that kind of control on the corners on your team.

how would you go about constructing a solid rotation?

i'd rather pay matsuzaka $10-$13M for a few years than pay zito $15M or more.

that's just me. (but i'm hoping ca$hman is of the same page.)

2006-11-02 08:25:56
10.   David
I'm guessing that the highest sealed bid to the Lions for the right to negotiate with Matsuzaka may be a a lot more than $20 million. As I understand it, the only team with a chance to negotiate with him is the high bidder. If the high bidder doesn't come to terms with him, they pay the Lions nothing.

Take an extreme example: Boston could bid $100 million for the right to negotiate with Matsuzaka, then offer him very little money, to be sure that he would reject their offer. The Red Sox would get their $100 million back. This trick would cost the Red Sox nothing, while preventing the Yanks from signing Matsuzaka.

More realistically, suppose a team was willing to pay $100 million for 6 years. They could make a sealed bid of $40 million to ensure winning the right to negotiate with him. Then they could offer Matsuzaka $60 million for six years. If he agreed, they'd have the deal they wanted. If he turned them down, they'd be no worse off than if some other team had won the right to negotiate with him.

2006-11-02 08:35:05
11.   Yankee Fan In Boston
10 that is a scenario i hadn't considered, but seems completely plausible.

let's hope that you are the only evil genius out there.

the kid is a free agent after next season. it would just let him choose from all 30 teams in a year.

that would seem like the easiest way to alienate him when he is available in '07.

if this is the way it plays out, i blame you.

(and alex rodriguez.)

2006-11-02 08:52:58
12.   Knuckles
10 It'd also be a sure way for the Red Sox (or any other 'sneaky' team) to see that future Japanese imports stay as far away from them as possible. There's probably also something in the posting process that requires them to negotiate a contract in good faith.
2006-11-02 08:53:21
13.   choirboyzgirl
10- If Matsuzaka refused the offer would he be able to work with the next team on the list? Or would he have to wait another year? Doesn't seem right that a team could bid $100 million and then offer say $2 mil for one year and leave athlete without any other options.

Or am I missing something?

2006-11-02 08:57:29
14.   JL25and3
13 No, he can only negotiate with the team with the winning bid. If they can't agree, he stays put.
2006-11-02 08:59:37
15.   Count Zero
9 I'm not saying definitively I wouldn't go after Matsuzaka if it was me -- I'm just doing the math.

Be honest now -- if it was your money as an owner, would you spend more money on Matsuzaka ($18 million+/year for at least three guaranteed years) than any current MLB starter is making? Because that's what we're talking about here. Sure, $20 million of it isn't his salary -- but that doesn't mean you can ignore it. Would you do that based on his WBC performance and his performance at a below MLB level? What if it becomes $20 million per year? More?

Hideki was a great move because he was a bargain. Matsuzaka is not going to be a bargain -- he's going to be a "Tickle Me Elmo" on December 23rd when there aren't any Tickle Me Elmos left in sight.

I would love to get him, but I doubt that most GMs would see that as a positive value equation. In order to deliver on that expense, Matsuzaka has to be better than a #3 starter -- he needs to be in the running for the CY every year of that contract.

2006-11-02 09:08:04
16.   Shaun P
12 You're absolutely right, Knuckles.

I would also bet that Boras would raise a huge stink about it, too. Maybe he wouldn't care - he might be able to get a better deal if he could negotiate with all 30 teams. But he'd have to make a big deal out of it now, or risk losing face with Matsuzaka and every other Japanese player - and then never working for any of them again. Boras wouldn't take that chance.

So, the sneaky team wouldn't just lose out on Japanese players in the future, they'd probably lose out on Boras-represented players too. No team will take that chance. I hope.

2006-11-02 09:11:21
17.   Shaun P
15 With the amount of cash out there, Count, I think Matsuzaka at $18 mil+/year is a bargain. When Suppan gets $10-12 mil/year, which I'm betting he does, the market for pitching is going to go crazy, like when Benson signed with the Mets.
2006-11-02 09:31:29
18.   Bluebleeder87

Suppan is an average pitcher that just happened to pitch well in the postseason

2006-11-02 09:44:54
19.   Shaun P
18 I agree. But some team out there will give him an insane contract. I could see Wayne Krivsky doing it easily. It will be stupid, but I think it will happen.
2006-11-02 10:21:47
20.   tommyl
I was under the impression that if the team and player fail to come to an agreement after 30 days then every team in MLB can negotiate with him, but that team does get back the posting price. Is this wrong?
2006-11-02 10:24:57
21.   jonnystrongleg
20 It's a little bit wrong and little bit right. After 30 days and no agreement, he goes back to the Lions and the MLB winning post is refunded. He plays out his final year with the Lions and then he would be a free agent without being subject to another posting process.
2006-11-02 10:32:16
22.   tommyl
21 Doesn't that assume he's already in his final year? What if he gets posted with 3 years left on his contract?
2006-11-02 10:35:49
23.   Yankee Fan In Boston
22 i think that he plays one more year because that is in fact the remaining obligation of his contract. if he had 3 or 4 he'd have to play those out.
2006-11-02 10:51:02
24.   Count Zero
23 Yes, that is my understanding of it also.

17 I think we're saying the same thing Shaun. If there are no Tickle Me Elmos left on December 21 and the lowest bid for one on EBay is $300 -- then if you run into a street vendor and he says he has one he'll sell you for $250, that may seem like a bargain, but it isn't one -- it's a 500% markup. For $250 you could buy an XBox 360 and get a lot more entertainment value.

Similarly, if you think about who is currently making $18 million/year, nobody on the free agent market is a bargain at that price. If Pujols were a FA, he would be a bargain at that price, but that's about it. Just because some idiot out there is willing to pay Zito $17 million/year, doesn't make Matsuzaka a bargain at $18 million.

Think back to A-Rod's contract -- it didn't seem all that crazy when he signed it, but in retrospect, it was a pretty bonehead move even with two MVP seasons he has had. If Matsuzaka gets what amounts to $18 million/year in compensation without ever having thrown a pitch in the ML, then A-Rod at $25 million actually is a bargain. :-)

2006-11-02 10:57:36
25.   Yankee Fan In Boston
17 24 here's an article that was just posted about the silly $$$ suppan and some other pitcher will likely be raking in due mostly to their october performances.
2006-11-02 11:12:51
26.   Yankee Fan In Boston
and here's a li'l piece that includes a big hat tip to BB commenter mike plugh on matsuzaka's worth:
2006-11-02 11:27:05
27.   jakewoods
on the surface the bidding seems flawed. where a team can offer 1 billion dollars and then offer him the major league minimum. take it or leave it.

but a lot of a teams credibility is on the line. honor means something. if they do something like that they wont be able to operate in the far east ever again and will come off terrible to american players and agents too.

2006-11-02 11:58:54
28.   Sliced Bread
2 The only explanation I've seen for Maz getting clipped was in the NY Post last week.

George King had this:

"According to Yankees sources, the move came from above Torre, who is very close to Mazzilli. Mazzilli played for the Mets when Torre managed there, and was in his second stint as a Yankees coach under Torre.

The firing fits the profile of George Steinbrenner. When he brought Torre back for next season after coming close to firing the manager following the ALDS meltdown against the Tigers, it was assumed The Boss would try to shake up Torre's coaching staff.

Because Ron Guidry and Don Mattingly are Yankees royalty, Larry Bowa is considered the best third base coach in the game and Tony Peña's enthusiasm and work with Jorge Posada were outstanding, that left the 51-year-old Mazzilli for The Boss to focus on.

Neither GM Brian Cashman nor Mazzilli returned calls."

I'm not so sure it was Steinbrenner, given his conditon. Everybody knows it wasn't Torre's call. Hmmmm. A-Rod strikes again?

2006-11-02 12:02:17
29.   Sliced Bread
10 Interesting theory. Perhaps that thought occurred to Steinbrenner in the middle of "Cabaret" last weekend.
2006-11-02 12:17:02
30.   Bama Yankee
27 Couldn't Matsuzaka (along with his shrewd agent) then just work a deal with his former team that involves him signing that league minimum contract for a small fee of say... half of the posting bid price (half of the billion dollars from your example or even half of the $100 mil mentioned in 10)?
2006-11-02 12:19:17
31.   Sliced Bread
[15 - 24] How much is a "Tickle Me Pavano" doll?

I'd go $400.

The "Tickle Me Sheffield" is cool too, since it comes with all the possible uniforms.

2006-11-02 12:24:53
32.   Yankee Fan In Boston
30 i think that the team must actually pay the bid price before negotiations begin, so the billion might be a stretch. i keep reading that the bid amount would be "refunded" if no deal is reached. this is the reasoning behind my guess.

also i think that some of you have a bright future in the legal field (if you aren't already pro negotiators/agents/GMs/lawyers).

2006-11-02 12:26:00
33.   Yankee Fan In Boston
31 the "tickle me pavano" has been recalled. it breaks just prior to use.
2006-11-02 12:27:02
34.   Sliced Bread
33 But still it laughs, and laughs, and laughs...
2006-11-02 12:29:06
35.   Bama Yankee
31 Sliced, that "Tickle Me Pavano" doll will cost you about $40 million and it will break before you finish your Christmas turkey...
2006-11-02 12:33:34
36.   Bama Yankee
33 You beat me to it... ;-)
2006-11-02 12:34:31
37.   Yankee Fan In Boston
36 in fairness, that one wrote itself.
2006-11-02 12:42:58
38.   bp1
33 But you're still out the money. And you're not entitled to a replacement.
2006-11-02 12:45:35
39.   tommyl
37 Don't forget to buy the "Crash me Porsche" to go with your "Tickle me Pavano."
2006-11-02 12:46:21
40.   Bama Yankee
Anyone think this was Carl Pavano's Halloween costume:

2006-11-02 12:50:27
41.   tommyl
31 But if you try to change "Tickle me Sheffield's" uniform, he cries and slaps at you.
2006-11-02 12:58:43
42.   sabernar
32 From what I understood, the bid isn't paid to the Japanese team unless the player signs with the MLB team, though I could be wrong about that.
2006-11-02 13:07:48
43.   Yankee Fan In Boston
42 you're probably right. i could easily be reading too much into vague explanations. the language over at on the posting system leads me to believe that the bid is not paid until the agreement is reached. perhaps we'll find out in the next few weeks.
2006-11-02 13:14:58
44.   Bluebleeder87

i hear he's a good guy so i hope he get's millions & millions plus the guy is from the San Fernando Valley

2006-11-02 13:23:28
45.   rbj
Oh great,now I see stories about MLB wanting to open up the season with games in China. Gee, and I wonder what famous team who has an ethnically Chinese pitcher they'd want to participate?

(Would China allow Wang in on a Taiwanese passport? Or does he have an American one, and how'd China sell it to their people that a Yankee came from the "renegade" province?)

2006-11-02 13:24:10
46.   choirboyzgirl

You guys are bad!! LMAO thanks for the laughs I was getting depressed watching it SNOW outside my window.

2006-11-02 13:43:46
47.   joejoejoe
I think I read on one of Mike Plugh's many wonderful blogs that the post money doesn't count against the luxury tax. So it's not an apples-to-apples comparison to just add the posting fee and contract and divide by the number of years. Only the contract is subject to the luxury tax and the contract is reasonable.

And can anyone find a citation where it says it's OK to submit a high posting bid and then fail to work out the contract on purpose as a way to block other teams? My guess is there is some penalty for not completing the negotiation.

2006-11-02 13:48:02
48.   Yankee Fan In Boston
47 i haven't seen any mention of such a penalty, but that doesn't mean a thing.
2006-11-02 13:54:14
49.   Jeteupthemiddle
Regarding the high posting fee just to block him from another team, I read somewhere, but can not for the life of me remember where (maybe it was here?) about the Good Faith Clause.

Technically, the commisioner and the Lions do not have to accept the highest bid to protect themselves against just that situation. I mean if several teams put in a bid and they are all around $20M, then the team that put in the $50M bid is obviously trying to block that case, the Lions could simply say they prefer to take the lower bid.

2006-11-02 14:33:41
50.   randym77
I see Jete won another GG.

So did Kenny Rogers. :-P

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-11-02 14:41:30
51.   tommyl
50 A-Rod was robbed, robbed I say!
2006-11-02 14:42:08
52.   tommyl
50 In all seriousness, I would have liked to see Jorge get one. I thought his defense was exceptional this year.
2006-11-02 14:53:04
53.   randym77
52 Me, too. Pudge just edged him out.

The Red Sox's vaunted defense were shut out.

2006-11-02 15:02:23
54.   jakewoods
I got a feeling that most managers dont even really vote. I remember one yr that Palmeiro won the GG at 1b and he played 15 games there.

Jorgie deserve it this yr. Pudge wins on rep.

2006-11-02 15:02:47
55.   Bama Yankee
50 & 51
You mean Past-a-diving Jeter won a GG but Past-a-diving A-Rod did not?

Maybe A-Rod's bad defense made Jeter look better and therefore helped him win it... ;-)

2006-11-02 15:04:15
56.   tommyl
55 When Jeter dives its all heart. When A-Rod dives its all for show.
2006-11-02 15:04:27
57.   jakewoods
I'm thinking all teams have to have the Good Faith clause. Or they could seriously harm how they do business with the Far East, agents and players.

The negative aspects would overwhelm the one positive aspect of keeping him from a competing team.

My prediction. Yanks win it with 28 mill

2006-11-02 15:04:51
58.   tommyl
55 And I'm waiting for David Eckstein to win the GG at every position in the NL.
2006-11-02 15:06:25
59.   jakewoods
Actually, in A Rods defense, Jeter has been great since A Rod put on pinstripes and joined his side of the infield.

He has to be given credit for Jetes 3 GG's the past 3 years. He allows Jeter to do more things. Remember that A Rod is a GG shortstop and a fabulous defensive player (no matter what the middle of the yr showed)

2006-11-02 15:11:03
60.   Bama Yankee
56 & 58 Funny stuff, tommyl. Maybe they could just let Eckstein play all the positions at the same time in one game (like Buggs Bunny).
2006-11-02 15:15:53
61.   Bama Yankee
59 I agree with you jake. Those middle of the year throwing errors were an aberration (knock on wood).

Also, IIRC A-Rod actually did better after he changed to a different glove.

2006-11-02 15:19:19
62.   tommyl
60 Thanks Bama. I had in mind Eckstein gets the GG everywhere because he magically inspires his entire team to field better, but I like your idea better. Think he could strike out Bonds with one sllllooooowwww pitch (1, 2, 3 yer out!)?
2006-11-02 15:20:30
63.   tommyl
59 Jake, I know. A-Rod is a great fielder who had a bad couple of months. That said, while I think he deserved a GG last year, he did not this year.
2006-11-02 15:22:30
64.   ny2
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was "elated" upon hearing of Jeter's gold glove, according to the owner's spokesman, Howard Rubenstein.

"I'm very proud of Derek," Steinbrenner said through Rubenstein. "I hope he wins the MVP; he should. He's a great Yankee and a great leader."

2006-11-02 15:38:51
65.   Simone
Awww, George giving Derek some love. Can A-Rod cope? Will the media write an article assailing George for favoring Derek over A-Rod?

Congrats to DJ on his GG!

2006-11-02 15:46:44
66.   ny2
I like how he added the "great leader" part ... probably trying to dissipate some of the jeter is a bad captain banter
2006-11-02 15:52:06
67.   randym77
If A-Rod is traded...should be interesting to see if Jeter's defense is affected.

A-Rod's defense was a wreck this year. It wasn't just throwing. Even before that started, he was dropping balls that hit him right in the glove. The throwing errors were just lagniappe.

2006-11-02 17:30:06
68.   alsep73
The thing I've never understood about the "A-Rod makes Jeter's defense better" argument is that Jeter has played next to good defensive third basemen his entire career. Boggs was probably the worst, and he was average. Brosius and Ventura in particular were known for their glovework. Why would A-Rod's presence compensate for Jeter's shortcomings in a way that Brosius couldn't?
2006-11-03 04:44:51
69.   Chyll Will
67 Lagniappe? Is that some sort of spoiled fruit-egg nog concoction?
2006-11-03 08:24:17
70.   jakewoods
a rod should have won it last yr. this yr he has a terrible middle of the yr but he finished really strong.

he makes the game much easier for jeter by being so good.

ferocious brosius was a solid fielder but he didnt have the range a rod does and doesnt have any of the speed or arm. a rods presence allows jeter to range and cheat farther which allows him to get to more balls and take more chances.

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