Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
I Never Got To Make A Good Guiel Pun
2006-12-12 18:04
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The Yankees declined to tender Aaron Guiel a contract yesterday, making the outfielder-cum-first baseman a free agent. Guiel was the only player the Yankees had to make a decision on at yesterday's non-tender deadline.

Assuming Jason Giambi will get most of his at-bats as a DH, dropping Guiel from the roster leaves the Yankees without a lefty first baseman to platoon with the winner of the Phelps-Phillips battle set to take place in spring training. Not that Phelps and Phillips are exceptionally disadvantaged against their fellow righties. Phillips has actually done most of his damage in the majors against righties. Twenty-three of Andy's 27 extra base hits and more than two-thirds of his walks have come against rightes despite his having less than twice as many plate appearances against righties as against lefties. Phelps, meanwhile, has a career .257/.325/.460 line against righties, which, by trading some OBP for slugging, is almost exactly league average. That's not great, but it's permissible, especially when he hits .293/.357/.500 against lefties and earns the league minimum.

As for what else is out there, here are the career splits vs. righties of Phelps and the remaining free agent lefty-hitting first basemen:

Ryan Klesko35.292/.385/.548 (.310)4032
Carlos Peña28.250/.346/.467 (.272)1184
Darin Erstad32.293/.349/.422 (.263)3643
Doug Mientkiewicz32.271/.359/.400 (.262)2110
Josh Phelps28.257/.325/.460 (.261)803
Aaron Guiel34.257/.331/.436 (.258)725
John Mabry36.264/.324/.414 (.249)2801

The only players there that would represent a meaningful improvement over Phelps are Peña, to a very small degree, and Klesko. We've already seen that Phelps and Peña are alarmingly similar hitters. So if Phelps is good enough from the right side, it would make a certain amount of sense to give Peña a second chance to make the team in the spring.

Klesko, meanwhile, is a curious case. Despite the way he dominates the chart above, he missed nearly all of 2006 following shoulder surgery after suffering an alarming power outage in 2005. One line of thought attributes the power outage to the shoulder problems that have theoretically been fixed by the surgery, which could suggest a surprising up-tick in production for 2007. Another is that after that weak showing in '05 and what amounts to a year off at age 35, the Ryan Kelsko who put up that .310 career GPA against righties may be gone forever.

Another interesting angle on Klesko is that he has actually spent the majority of his career playing left field. That's a good thing in terms of the position flexibilty the Yankees might require in order to carry what amounts to a third first baseman, but is also a concern as Klesko was actually the Padres starting left fielder in 2004 and 2005, meaning he hasn't been a regular first baseman since 2003. In addition to that, he's never been considered a good fielder at either position, where as the reports on Peña have at the very least been conflicted, meaning someone out there thinks he's a strong gloveman.

Still, as the two combined for 37 major league at-bats in 2006 (33 of which were Peña's), both players should come cheap enough that it would be worth a gamble to bring them to camp. As it stands now, their roster spot would likely otherwise go to Bernie Williams. Consider:

12 pitchers (5 starters, 7 relievers)
9 starters (including, for our purposes here, the righty half of the 1B platoon)
3 bench spots used on Melky, utility infielder and back-up catcher

That's 24 men. There's one spot left for another bench bat, and a left first baseman, preferably with some outfield experience, seems like the best way to use it. I can't see Bernie learning first base and he's essentially a righty bat at this point. There haven't even been whispers about moving Hideki Matsui to first base (which actually would open up a job for Bernie as he could be a righty bench bat/outfielder behind lefties Damon and Abreu and switch-hitter Cabrera). Best I can tell, Juan Miranda won't see the big leagues this year prior to expanded rosters, if at all. It would seem that, baring a trade, Klesko and Peña are the only remaining options. Though to be completely honest, I wouldn't complain if the Yankees brought Guiel back. Having a lefty bench bat with some pop, some patience and the ability to play first and all three outfield positions isn't a bad consolation prize, even if the pop and patience isn't quite up to the standards of the other two.

Comments (234)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-12-12 21:48:09
1.   Yu-Hsing Chen
a lot of interesting names that got non-tendered though. some could seriously help us or be a worthy gamble.

Chin Hui Tsao (exellent gamble, 25 turning 26, formrer top prospect, only problem is injury )

Toby Hall (no brainer backup catcher)

Brad Wilkerson (interesting gamble for 1B)

2006-12-12 22:00:21
2.   brockdc
1Me, you, and everyone we know are on that Toby Hall bandwagon. Sign him, STAT!

I've never actually seen Wilkerson play, though he's been a saber darling over the past couple of seasons. The question is, can he pick it, and, if so, would he be a better option than Guiel, and, if so, what's Cash waiting for?

2006-12-12 22:05:43
3.   brockdc
"As it stands now, their roster spot would likely otherwise go to Bernie Williams."

Why do I get the ominious feeling that we'll be hearing this line repeatedly over the next couple of seasons?

Joe, Cash, please - we all love Bernie; but cut the cord already!

2006-12-12 22:10:24
4.   thelarmis
i'm down with toby hall. i, too, wouldn't mind having guiel back, if it came to it, but i don't think it's gonna happen. wilkerson wouldn't be bad. not sure we need tsao right now. probably should go after hall first and quick...
2006-12-12 22:12:42
5.   monkeypants
To be honest, I don't understand why Guiel/Wilson were so unceremoniously dumped. Not they are great or anything, but both offered some roster flexibility and platoon potential, and there don't seem to be too many other obvious options floating around.

Maybe the extra OF/bench spot will go to Thompson?

2006-12-12 22:15:10
6.   monkeypants
Is that the same Toby Hall with the career .394 slugging percentage?
2006-12-12 22:15:16
7.   Cliff Corcoran
Please, Toby Hall is as bad or worse than the rest of the catching detritus out there. Get off the bandwagon and set the thing on fire.

I've not seen anythingn about Wilkerson being non-tendered. Did that happen?

2006-12-12 22:39:28
8.   Eirias
1 Thanks for the info on Chin-Hui Tsao in the previous thread.
2006-12-12 22:44:42
9.   yankee23
7 Nope, sure didn't.

"The Rangers tendered contracts to their four arbitration eligibles: Brad Wilkerson and pitchers Akinori Otsuka, Rick Bauer and Joaquin Benoit."

2006-12-12 22:50:38
10.   Cliff Corcoran
9 Solves that.
2006-12-13 01:27:01
11.   Yu-Hsing Chen
7 Cliff, at least Hall isn't super old and could actually throw out runners?

Yes he isn't significantly better than the other scrub catchers, but he should still be a little better.

2006-12-13 02:53:13
12.   Jim Dean
Thanks Cliff. I think Cashman et al realized that having three third basemen is pretty silly. I think this means that Giambi is the other half of the platoon. I'm fine with that as he still needs to play the field often enough to be in the lineup at NL parks and hopefully the Serious. And he's a better hitter when he plays the field. Of course, then that gives Melky his starts in the OF while DH'ing the other OF's.

Works for me. Torre needs less options, not more. Plug in Thompson in the 5th OF slot, and you've got the makings of a push-button roster. Now where did they put that BUC and UIF?

2006-12-13 04:15:59
13.   randym77
Aw, I liked Ralph Malph. I'd rather keep him than Andy Phillips.

I'm not sure there's going to be a fifth OFer this year. With Myers a LOOGY, they say they may need to carry 13 pitchers. Which means no fifth OFer. Might be a good thing, if it encourages Bernie to retire.

The Reds non-tendered former Yankee Brandon Claussen yesterday. He was their #3 pitcher, so this is a bit of a surprise. He's coming off rotator cuff surgery, so maybe they decided he was expendable. They acquired Claussen from us as part of the Aaron Boone trade.

2006-12-13 05:07:35
14.   mikeplugh
The Asahi TV nightly news just reported from LA that the Red Sox increased their offer to more than the 8 or 9 million they were lowballing Matsuzaka with (not new news), that Boras seemed relieved (interesting), and that it is now up to Matsuzaka (I think he'll take it).

I'm betting you'll be seeing Matsuzaka holding up a #18 Red Sox jersey in a few hours. First, they'll do a photo op at the plane, then the champagne on the flight to Boston, then the physical, then the press conference with the jersey.

The tone of the broadcast was cautious, and I think no one but Matsuzaka knows what's going to happen now, but it appears as though it will happen.

2006-12-13 05:27:05
15.   Jim Dean
13 That many pitchers would be even sillier than 3 1B's. It's not like Torre uses every guy in the pen. He overworks some, and the others are under glass.

14 Interesting. I wonder if he gets Meche money or more.

2006-12-13 05:28:49
16.   Yankee Fan In Boston
this deal will get done. it will be fun to see who blinks, though.

here's a list of all the non-tendered players:

2006-12-13 05:34:30
17.   jakewoods
This is a glaring example of why you need to balance stat geeks with real guys who actually watch games. Anyone that has seen Klesko play or well not play over the past few yrs knows this.

Stat or no stat.

2006-12-13 05:38:22
18.   Yankee Fan In Boston
17 ?
2006-12-13 05:40:45
19.   Yankee Fan In Boston
18 ah. okay. sorry. (still sleeping.)
2006-12-13 05:42:13
20.   OldYanksFan
I think the Red Sox are playing chicken with the wrong guy. Have the Sox offered 4/45 yet?

12 I agree; Giambi needs to play 1B quite a bit... maybe around 1/2 their games. This also allows Abreu/Matsui/Damon to DH, giving them a bit of a rest and getting Melky in the OF.

While making an OF'er play 2 or 3 of the OF positions is tough, we need to see if Melky can be good defensively in CF. Damon is tough, but almost always hurt.... and having him DH 30 or 40 of the games Giambi is at first is not a bad idea.

Basically, if we use Giambi primarily as a DH, we won't see much of Melky. As Giambi likes playing the field, and is better offensively when he does, I'm willing to take the hit on defense to keep Giambi more productive with the bat.

Furthermore, having Giambi AND 2 other 1B's is not a good use of the roster. Many teams (Manny in LF) have a dud on defense in order to have a big bat. I can live with it for 80 games.

Whether we keep Melky or use him as trade bait, we need to see what he can do. If he doesn't play close to half our games, he will not produce to his potential (whatever that is).

I also think there will be better/cheaper options open around the ASB. I don't feel the need to plug every little hole by Spring. We have a pretty decent team as is. The only thing that will really make an impact is if we can snag an above average pitcher (either SP or Relief) and a good catcher.

2006-12-13 05:42:34
21.   Jim Dean
17 Are you dense or just ignorant?

1) Stats are just a collection of things that happen in games. Das it. There's no need to be afraid of them.

2) You really think people who enjoy the stats don't watch games? What? No, "sat geeks" only enjoy numbers? Actually, I get this magazine every month where the centerfold is some sexy rational integer. The irrational numbers are really freaky. Oh, god that Pi!

3) If you think you're a "real" guy because you choose not to think before you speak (or write), then you have a long life ahead of you. Good luck with that.

2006-12-13 05:57:13
22.   mikeplugh
Just to prove jakewoods right, by proving him wrong. Here's a simple "stathead" analysis of Ryan Klesko's last 3 full seasons. Last year he played 6 games.

2003 .252/.354/.456 .810 OPS
2004 .291/.399/.448 .847 OPS
2005 .248/.358/.418 .776 OPS

Those numbers aren't any better than who we have on the roster right now, so he seems rather superfluous. His VORP is in the low teens, and his WARP3 is only around a 4.

I don't need to be a "real guy" to see that Ryan Klesko is not the answer. I leave being a "real guy" to people like Joe Morgan.

2006-12-13 06:08:18
23.   mikeplugh
By the way, I was just messing around at BP and looked at our 1B options. Neither Phelps or Phillips has really put up a WARP3 of 4 in their careers, so there is some value in Klesko, but Phillips could well hit this season if given another shot at the job.

The alarming thing was Jason Giambi's charts appear to drop off a cliff after 2008. He's projected to be of star caliber across the board in 2007, but he has a 50% likelihood of being a full blown scrub in 2008. In 2009 there's a 60% chance that he should be dropped based on his horrendous projection. They have him out of baseball after this coming season.

I don't know if I buy that, but he will be 37 in 2008....a steroids abused 37. It could happen. Lucky his contract is almost up if any of BP's "statheadedness" is accurate.

2006-12-13 06:09:25
24.   mickey1956
7 Toby Hall could be a good back up catcher. I would definitely take him over the field right now. He is average or better defensively and he hits lefties pretty well
His 3 year splits against lefties
.297 .334 .436. If used this way he would be and asset.
2006-12-13 06:13:48
25.   RIYank
You guys are nuts. There is no way to evaluate a baseball player properly unless you smell him. Seeing isn't good enough. That's why there is no point in watching games on television. And stats will never tell you the whole story, because THERE ARE NO STATS FOR SMELL.

This has been scientifically proven. No, I mean, damn, that would be geeky. It hasn't. I meant, my grandfather told me, and two very small, gritty baseball players confirmed it.

2006-12-13 06:15:12
26.   jonnystrongleg
14 Mike, last night (your time) you were adamant about DM pitching in Japan next year. With one cautious TV news report you have completely flipped? Was there anything else that happened to lead you to change course?
2006-12-13 06:16:40
27.   Yankee Fan In Boston
25 i have long been a proponent of scratch n' sniff baseball cards...
2006-12-13 06:24:38
28.   JoeInRI
(Formerly RI Yankee)

25 Dude . . . you're weird . . .

2006-12-13 06:27:35
29.   Yankee Fan In Boston
28 if you only knew...
2006-12-13 06:30:56
30.   Count Zero
21 Wow -- that was a bit harsh. Not completely unwarranted, but still...

Thank God the D-M saga is over tomorrow night -- I'm getting more than bored with it. Still say he will sign because the Red Sox never had a choice once they won the bid.

I would have like to see Guiel back...his flexibility was nice. Can't see Klesko in a NYY uni -- I think he's done being a valuable MLBer.

2006-12-13 06:34:48
31.   Yankee Fan In Boston
30 supposedly this matsuzaka business will be over this afternoon. i guess the sox brass is flying east and breaking off talks then.

...this could also be bull.

2006-12-13 06:37:45
32.   Jim Dean
24 That's a great point. I could support it, especially because be may have just a bit more upside, but I don't think that the Yanks want to spend the cash there. He's at 2 mil/year and given the dearth of Cs, he'll probably get it and probabably in a multiyear deal. Even as the Yanks have no real options if Jorge goes down, they seem to be completely clueless when it comes to the BUCs. Jorge is the guy to worry about being out of baseball 23 - BP says in 2009 - but i can't imagine him being a full-time catcher in 2008, even after him having his best season offensively and defensively in along while.

Here's another way to look at it: If Jorge goes down for any length of time, a guy like Toby Hall will be overpriced for the Yanks because no team will trade a true starting catcher mid-season. And even if they want to acquire a catching prospect at that point, they get really ripped off (say Sanchez and Clippard) but for a guy who won't be in MLB any ways. The only insurance is to get a prospect in before the season starts, and you overpay now because the prices will only get worse. The thought of waiting for Nieves to be the full-time catcher for six weeks (a Jorge pulled hamstring) just caused me to shit my pants.

There are a few prospects (Thinking Jeff Clement in Seattle) who could be acquired in a decent package (say Clippard and Duncan) now and who could be ready mid-season. Why wait?

2006-12-13 06:42:55
33.   Jim Dean
30 "...balance stat geeks with real guys who actually watch games"

What's the contrast that's being made there?

Is it even possible to respond to that without being harsh?

2006-12-13 06:43:28
34.   williamnyy23
7 While Hall certainly doesn't deserve a band wagon, he would be much better than Raul Chavez (whose offensive numbers are so poor, that it's almost laughable). Having said that, if Hall ends the search for a backup, signing him might be counterproductive.
2006-12-13 06:49:02
35.   kylepetterson
33 Wasn't that whole "boy's got heart" line of thinking abandoned somewhere in the 1940's? I think that it's true as a fan, but not as a manager.
2006-12-13 06:56:34
36.   Yankee Fan In Boston
35 i know that he has his detractors, and i for one am on the fence when it comes to him, but tony larussa has been known to question players' "heart." people were quoting a bit of his "3 nights in august" book, where he speaks about jd drew in a less than favorable light lately.

i think to an extent, torre's love affair with veterans might have roots in a perception of heart, too. but that is just a theory.

2006-12-13 07:02:33
37.   kylepetterson
36 Don't get me wrong, I think there is a big place in baseball for "heart", but it has to be in addition to good numbers, not by itself.
2006-12-13 07:03:51
38.   Yankee Fan In Boston
37 we are in agreement.
2006-12-13 07:08:02
39.   RIYank
37 38 If I can't smell it, I want no part of it. Give me gritty, smelly players.
2006-12-13 07:08:23
40.   Shaun P
Speaking of "heart", this "stathead" is going to through out a great reason to pass on Toby Hall.

All I ever read/heard about Hall was what a cancer he was in the clubhouse, both in Tampa and LA. Sweet Lou couldn't stand the guy, IIRC. Those are enough reasons to stay away. Coupled with the bad numbers, ugh.

I expect Guiel will be brought back on the cheap, and I also expect Bernie will retire. I hope.

2006-12-13 07:11:41
41.   Yankee Fan In Boston
39 do you know off-hand what paul o'neill's grit/smell ratio was? i can't seem to find it anywhere, and i have a bet to settle...
2006-12-13 07:15:14
42.   RIYank
41 Dude, smell and grit are not frickin numbers. They don't have no stinkin ratio. Okay?


2006-12-13 07:18:30
43.   Yankee Fan In Boston
42 well, did he have a higher grit per plate appearance percentage in july of 2001 than trot nixon?
2006-12-13 07:18:55
44.   Jim Dean
One last thought on the catching prospcts: Baseball America has finished rating the top ten prospects for all the AL teams. Out of the 240 players listed, exactly 5 are catchers.

Clement (Seattle): Blocked by Johjima
Thigpen (TOR): Their starting catcher in 07-08
Suzuki (OAK): Their starting catcher in 07-08
Mathis (ANA): Blocked by Napoli and Molina
Conger (ANA): very green still but perhaps a starter in 2009

So basically that leaves two in the AL that are more likely to be available (mL career totals):

Clement (23 yo): .278 .350 .418 .768
Mathis (23 yo): .280 .344 .452 .796

By contrast, here's Jorge's mL numbers throuogh age 25:

.258 .369 .434 .803

(Isn't it funny how stats work - his mL number are very good predictors of his MLB ones - same plate discipline but he developed more power.)

Now, who knows if Clement or Mathis will be a stop gap or a long term fix? But the system is empty. And given that there's no place for either Mathis or Clement on their big league clubs, they're available and maybe for just one of the pitching prospects. That's a deal that needs to be made, before it's too late.

2006-12-13 07:20:09
45.   mehmattski
And lo, scarcasm dripped down like Niagra Falls on the Banter that day.

Cheer up, Cliff, there will be plenty of pun-able guys in the near future. For example, I predict that within 0.0001 seconds of his initial callup, Yankees prospect Tyler Clippard will be referred to as "The Yankee Clippard."

And if it's flexibility you're looking for in the non-tendered list... look no further than Rick Ankiel.

2006-12-13 07:21:14
46.   YankeeInMichigan
There are other dimensions to a first base platoon besides righty/lefty, i.e. grass-turf (turf is murder on Giambi's legs) and offense-defense (you need a solid glove man when Wang is pitching). With a Phillips and Giambi on the roster you would have all the roles covered (provided that Giambi can provide 80-100 starts at first and that Phillips can hit with some consistency). With Phelps and Giambi, you would have to bring in a third player (Pena, Guiel) as a glove man.

Defensive flexibility is also a concern. Guiel could double as a fifth outfielder. Phillips could double as a backup third-baseman, allowing the team to carry a just a 2B/SS guy in the other backup infield spot. Phelps or Wilson (presumably out of the picture by now) could catch in a pinch.

2006-12-13 07:24:41
47.   Cliff Corcoran
Assuming 17 was a shot at me (it doesn't actually come out and say much of anything), I find it perplexing given that my post counters Klesko's excellent career split stats with mentions of his surgery, missed time, failing power, and questionable fielding. Was there something I missed? His odor, I suppose.

Interesting to see Claussen get non-tendered considering the cries that went up when the Yanks traded him. I liked the deal at the time it was made. I was wrong, but not because of what Claussen has done, but because of what Boone and Gabe White failed to do (anything other than that one homer). Eduardo Sierra, half of what the Yanks sent to Colorado for Shawn Chacon, was also non-tendered . . . by the White Sox.

2006-12-13 07:25:29
48.   mehmattski
Speaking of Clippard, why no link to his mL or BC stats on the sidebar? Do you think he'll be stuck at the minor league camp this spring?
2006-12-13 07:30:11
49.   Count Zero
33 If you're intimating it was a homophobic comment, I think you read a little too much into it.

Hey, I don't have any problem with lively discussion, disagreement, or even the use of sarcasm to make a point / counterpoint. But when you flat out call someone "ignorant" on a board, that's gone from discussion to personal insult. Act the way you want -- but the way I always saw it was: insulting people in a discussion is neither productive nor useful. The inevitable consequence is that the offended person comes back with a bigger insult (or just more of them) and it escalates from there.

2006-12-13 07:31:36
50.   yankz
"The Yankee Clippard"? That's just a crime.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-12-13 07:33:00
51.   Yankee Fan In Boston
50 it brings memories of curtis pride "of the yankees" flooding back, doesn't it?
2006-12-13 07:41:45
52.   mehmattski
47 Baseball reference says that Gabe White was sent back to the Reds for Charlie Manning (the guy who went with Claussen to the Reds for Boone). A while back I went and reviewed all the major trades that have gone down in this recent run of AL East dominance. There's been a lot of hand-wringing about the young players that have been sacrificed for great veterans... but in reality, have many panned out? The ones who have:

Ranking young players the Yanks have recently (pre-2006) traded away:
1. Alfonso Soriano (for one of the best hitters of all time)
2. Mike Lowell (but how great was Ed Yarnell?)
3. Jake Westbrook (yeah, but Justice helped a mediocre 2000 team win it all)
4. Nick Johnson (would be great at 1B right now...)
5. Ted Lilly (he's now filthy rich, but still not all that good)
6. Damaso Marte (now has a WS ring, would have been much better than Villone the last few years)
7. Dioneer Navarro/Brad Halsey (I will always hate that RJ trade, but in reality, they're both AAAA players.)

Really, I look at the Weaver/Brown deals as one entity, as well as the Vasquez/Johnson deals. So that's Halsey, Navarro, Nick Johnson, and Juan Rivera for Randy Johnson... and Ted Lilly, John-Ford Griffin, Jason Arnold, Brandon Wheeden, and Yhency Brazoban for Kevin Brown. Those two trade-sequences are awful, but outside of them, the Yanks haven't lost much talent, IMO.

2006-12-13 07:45:27
53.   kylepetterson
49 That's what I say! When will you people learn? Why hurt someone with your words? Violence is the answer! Now, if I could only figure out how to punch someone in the face via the internet....
2006-12-13 07:47:15
54.   jonnystrongleg
52 Juan Rivera has had 2 very good years in the last 3. Pretty sure he needs to be on your list somewhere.
2006-12-13 08:00:23
55.   Cliff Corcoran
Jay Jaffe covered this very well on Baseball Prospectus a couple of years back. Ironically the article was called "The Claussen Pickel" Here's the link:

Other than Lowell, the Vazquez/Johnson exchanges, the latter half of which didn't happen until after Jay's article, are the only ones that really stand out as regrettable.

2006-12-13 08:20:14
56.   Jim Dean
The latest DM update on ESPN has them $18 million apart:

Sox: 6 @ 8 million
Boras: 6 @ 11 million

If true, looks like the Sox have regained the upper hand, and are now arguing a trivial amount.

Still, if it doesn't get done, it's because of two years for Julio Lugo?

49 Um, no. But actually he has a choice of which insult to apply: dense OR ignorant. But you're right, insults are bad in a forum of this type. I'm sorry I went there and I shouldn't have responded. Though I wish I had {53] that solution because it is possible to be a "real man" and a stat geek all at the same time. Reminds me of the time I wore my Yankees hat into the shit hole that is Fenway back in 2002, for a game against the Rays. Everything was fine until the 7th inning when the beers kicked for the guy behind me. I wanted to throw blows and spend the night in jail with my Dad. He nixed the idea.

2006-12-13 08:21:09
57.   C2Coke
53 You'd be the next Bill Gates...Steven Jobs...basically whoever you want to be.
2006-12-13 08:26:29
58.   Yankee Fan In Boston
56 i get threatened each and every time i go to fenway. i'm not being obnoxious, either. just wearing a shirt that others don't care for.

it's been years since i've been to the stadium, unfortunately, so i don't know how it is for sox fans there.

2006-12-13 08:27:15
59.   ric
"I wore my Yankees hat into the shit hole that is Fenway back in 2002, for a game against the Rays"

so would that be dense or ignorant? ;)

2006-12-13 08:27:58
60.   David
Fully agree with you about Guiel, Cliff. Guiel had a better OPS than Bernie last year. He leads Bernie in fielding positions he can play by 4 to 0.
2006-12-13 08:32:33
61.   kylepetterson
57 "basically whoever you want to be."
Sweet! I'm gonna be either Jack Bauer or Carl Pavanos (think about it. No job, millions of dollars, fancy cars, fancy ladies, and very low expectations.)

56 I don't know what's worse, going to see Boston play at home or having to see the Devil Rays "play" anywhere.

2006-12-13 08:35:17
62.   Jim Dean
59 That, sir, is a statement of fact, from 2002 at least. Then, the place was a rat-infested shithole and looked like it hadn't been properly cleaned since it was built. It's going to be sad day when that shithole still stands but The Stadium is a playground.

Now if that statement was applied to the ladies you find there, perhaps it could be seen as ignorant.

2006-12-13 08:36:52
63.   Yankee Fan In Boston
61 actually, i have to say that i enjoy fenway park. it's no yankee stadium, but it's up there.
2006-12-13 08:42:52
64.   Jim Dean
58 You know I wish I could say I was a better man. But pre-2004 every time I saw a Sox cap in a distant land I just had to say something. Now I'm not sure if it was just youthful stupidity or I gave up because the hats seems to really come out of the woodwork after that horrible October. They're almost as common as the NY.

61 Yeah - it was a free trip with my pops' company. Just a day to hang out and watch baseball.

2006-12-13 08:43:23
65.   Sliced Bread
56 You gotta be Matsu-fukin' kidding me. 6 @ 11 mill is Meche money. Don't do it, Daisuke! Be Mr. December, Boras!
2006-12-13 08:44:54
66.   YankeeInMichigan
One benefit of having a number of young, cheap players on the roster is that Spring Training will be a lot more fun. We could see position battles for first base, utility infielder and backup catcher, and there will be a couple of spots on the pitching staff up for grabs. At this point, 9 or 10 of the 12 pitching slots are taken by Wang, Pettitte, Moose, Johnson, Pavano, Igawa (if signed), Mo, Farns, Proctor and Myers. That leaves 2 or 3 spots for Rassner, Karstens, Sanchez, Bruney, Britton, Beam (who was lights out in Arizona) and Henn (who had a terrible AFL campaign, but Meyer is currently the only other lefty in the pen) to battle for. If one or two of "locks" are injured (hardly an unlikely scenario), things will get even more fun. And if Proctor really implodes, he still has an option remaining.
2006-12-13 08:45:30
67.   Chyll Will
61 Well, there's also the Royals, but they do have a nice fountain and good BBQ... or are they the ones with fireworks, I forget...
2006-12-13 08:45:55
68.   kylepetterson
63 I'm not arguing against Fenway, just seeing the Red Sawx at home (i.e. w/ Sawx fans and Ben Affleck.)
2006-12-13 08:46:21
69.   Jim Dean
63 The only saving grace, for me, is that you're so close the the field, esp. relative to The Stadium. But forget eating anything there and how do you put in seats that face the outfield? And it's just crammed full of intolerable people. No thanks!
2006-12-13 08:46:32
70.   Yankee Fan In Boston
66 thank you.

i was beginning to mourn the end of the hot stove season.

i needed that.

2006-12-13 08:47:43
71.   kylepetterson
67 At least the Royals have some history.
2006-12-13 08:49:04
72.   kylepetterson
67 But neither have sleeves...
2006-12-13 08:50:35
73.   Yankee Fan In Boston
68 69 yes, the fans are often unbearable (i have actually had an affleck sighting there... people were getting excited... it was sad...)and some of the seating is awful...

...but it is quite nice to take an eight minute train ride to a big leaugue game.
(plus, the sox usually lose when i'm there... which is also nice.)

2006-12-13 08:51:48
74.   Cliff Corcoran
72 Didn't the Royals ditch the vests last year?
2006-12-13 08:53:56
75.   Chyll Will
71 That reminds me, is Bret Saberhagan still getting those deferred payments or did they rework that when he was a Met?
2006-12-13 08:54:20
76.   kylepetterson
74 I thought so but their official uniform shows no sleeves while their alternate has 'em. At least according to my sources....
2006-12-13 08:55:33
77.   kylepetterson
74 "My chest is cold but my arms aren't, ok?!?"
2006-12-13 08:57:08
78.   Chyll Will
73 Who is Ben Affleck? Is he that duck that keeps walking by during YES gamecasts?
2006-12-13 09:00:17
79.   Jim Dean
73 I agree completely with the proximate bit. After years of full-day trips or nearby NL parks, I rode my bike to Camden Yards in 2006 to the whole series against the Yanks. I felt like I was 12 every day and my wife and I had a great time one night going together. Well, except when we were riding through some of the sketch areas with our helmets on and lights flashing. A good chunk of Baltimore reminds me of the Bronx in the 80's.
2006-12-13 09:00:19
80.   kylepetterson
78 Significantly more annoying.
2006-12-13 09:14:11
81.   Chyll Will
79 I don't mean this as a putdown, but I've never felt anything good about Baltimore. I was riding on Greyhound to DC when I was attending school there and we had a stopover in Baltimore. It was two o'clock in the morning and the bus wove through the streets quietly to the bus depot. I was struck by how bleak everything seemed, especially all the people (children included) hanging around on street corners or walking around as though it were two in the afternoon. But their faces said it all. It was frightening how unhappy everyone looked. When we got to the station, I jumped off the bus and doubled over in tears. I was so depressed I couldn't go on. I called my mother and told her about it, and she gave me an earful about it, but also enough strength to continue on the next bus. I felt much better leaving, and to this day if I drive to DC, I drive past Baltimore with a quickness.

The only other place that made me feel like that was Roxbury, MA where on a bright Sunday, my family and I were driving through and saw nothing but gray, and people coming out of church with looks that were similar to the ones I saw in Baltimore. It was very disquieting for everyone.

Umm, sorry if that was a downer, but I wasn't going for John Steinbeck, either.

2006-12-13 09:18:14
82.   bobtaco
There is a discussion of Alex and Cliff going on in the Soxahoilx comments today, in the midst of all of the Matsuzaka madness. Very strange.

2006-12-13 09:29:35
83.   Jim Dean
81 Oh yeah it's absurd how bad the government must be. It's been this way for a long time. We live in one of the "up and coming areas", but I have a feeling they've been saying that for at least ten or twenty years. One block over from us are gutted and boarded row houses. Kids no older than ten really do run the streets late at night. It is just like the Bronx in the 80's - burned out cars, crumbling buildings, etc. Supposedly crack hit them hard and they never recovered.

Our tires got slashed last week along with two other cars on our block. A neighbor said it was a kid on a bike. A cop shows up and you can just tell that's one of the problems. This woman was an absolute tool - just couldn't even manage a simple report with a decent disposition.

I haven't seen the Wire but I can't imagine it's too far off from what I've heard. I don't get the feeling of much racial tension - like I've felt in some Southern cities - so that's at leas tnot holding them back. But they've got a long way to go structurally. The sad part is the investments of the early 90's really where just focused on one location (Inner Harbor, Stadiums). So the growth never spread.

Where's wsport to shed more light when you need him?

2006-12-13 09:34:20
84.   wsporter
81 Chyll, Balto is a great town and used to be one of the great baseball experiences available. When the O's played at Memorial Stadium going to a game was a family/neighborhood experience: fun wholesome and endlessly entertaining. The Yard is a wonderful venue but is plopped down in a relatively commercial part of town. I used to have an office 4 blocks from the Eutaw Street gate so it was easy to get to for me but it never has had that cozy neighborhood feel that Memorial had. Now with Little Petey Angelos at the helm the baseball played by the home-side blows and the fans have been disaffected by stages over the years so that the local passion is simply missing. It's sort of sad.

The city is fairly eclectic with a lot to offer young, middle age and older adults. Just like any mid to major U.S. city "...there are parts I wouldn't try to invade if I were you". Give it a try if you have a chance you'll be pleasantly surprised I think.

2006-12-13 09:35:54
85.   ric

reporting the party is on a plane to Beantown

2006-12-13 09:36:16
86.   alasky
According to the extra bases blog on, dice-k and boras are flying with the red sox to boston to and a deal is either close or done...
2006-12-13 09:36:17
87.   Jim Dean
84 There he is! Right on cue!
2006-12-13 09:39:49
88.   Sliced Bread
86 snakes on a plane.
2006-12-13 09:45:58
89.   Sliced Bread
Now comes the Kimono Kid's closing act, his Mile High Geisha Dance, while Daisuke is subjected to an in-flight presentation of "Fever Pitch."

Oh, this is nauseating.

Where's my airsickness bag?

2006-12-13 09:51:13
90.   Chyll Will
83 Oh, wsporter's around. I mentioned him during one of my brainlocks and he came out of nowhere, "Chyll what did I do now?" I like him, he's silly...

I went through Baltimore in the early 90's, so if not much has changed, I'm not shocked. Baltimore has an interesting history unto itself. Being from NY, I never got down with the vibe there; I'm guessing that if there was tension, it was all in me and not much else.

I also came to the Bronx from the Hudson Valley in 1999, after Freddy Ferrer had turned the place around a bit. I've seen quite a bit of development since then, which is not a bad thing, but I worry about gentrification since it's already hard enough affording a place to live in other boroughs that aren't located far off public transportation. I'm committed to NY for one more year and then I'm taking bids. Anyone have Boras' number?

2006-12-13 09:53:13
91.   Jim Dean
89 Look at it this way. The same blog report had them returning to Boston for a new conference to announce Lugo and prob Nancy as both were in town getting their physicals yesterday. In all likelihood the Sox dropped 200 million this off-season on guys with big questions marks (Rentaria 2.0?, Nancy for Trot?, Sushi or Chopped Liver?) just to stay competitive in the East. And:

They still need a bullpen.
They still need a closer.
They still have two 40yo in the rotation. Paps has never thrown more than 150 innings.
A light-hitting rook at 2B.
An injury prone C who's no longer pumped.
A light hitting CF who's almost lost the fans.
Manny being Manny.

At least it will be entertaining.

2006-12-13 09:55:34
92.   OldYanksFan
Looks to me like Boras has a 3 TD lead in the 4th quarter and ended up losing by a fieldgoal. Somewhere between 6/48 and 6/66?
10m or less per year? Wow.... Boras, you've let me down.

And SIX years? I'm really surprised Boras would go for that, with what quality pitchers are worth as an FA.

Bummer. RSN wins.

2006-12-13 09:57:24
93.   OldYanksFan
Verified by ESPN: BOSTON -- Daisuke Matsuzaka headed to Boston on Wednesday with Red Sox officials, a sign Boston had reached a preliminary contract agreement with the star pitcher.
2006-12-13 09:58:55
94.   yankz
61 I'm Jack Bauer.
2006-12-13 10:00:08
95.   LI yankee
92 I have a feeling that Matsuzaka himself accepted the offer against Boras's wishes. Playing baseball here meant more to him than the money it seems.
2006-12-13 10:05:31
96.   Jim Dean
95 And maybe that goodbye news conference gave that away? I wonder if Boras approved that one?
2006-12-13 10:06:39
97.   Chyll Will
Hi, Wsport! I was just talking about you. In a good way, of course.

I won't argue with you since you live there and know better than I do what it's like. I'm just saying that my experience there was thoroughly unpleasant and left a bad taste in my mouth. I wouldn't discourage anyone from going there if they wanted to, and if I had any reason to go there I'd probably have a different experience now that I'm older and... older. New York is not the best place in the world believe it or not. But both places have a lot to offer people who are looking for something in particular. New York just appeals more to me than Baltimore, but I'm not going to saying it's better. And I've heard good things about Camden Yards. Still, the only time you'll catch me there is if I have family or friends who invite me there. Or someone makes an offer I can't refuse.

Bogey was right, even I'll stay away from certain neighborhoods at any time of day.

Funny, I always got the impression from you that you worked either in Midtown or Downtown Manhattan. That's that dere ejumication dey always talkin' about, yeah?

2006-12-13 10:12:02
98.   LI yankee
96 Probably not, but in the end Boras is essentially just his employee. A very highly paid employee I might add.
2006-12-13 10:15:38
99.   Jim Dean
97 And you know I made it sound really bad, which it is, but it's still a functioning American city, not Beirut or Baghdad. The prices are great. The people are nice. I get to ride my bike to see the Yanks for $50 box seats six rows from the field. It's not a bad place to be for a few year. I just can't imagine settling down here, but maybe in the suburbs.
2006-12-13 10:17:03
100.   Shaun P
95 Its funny, I was just thinking that the 6 years must have been DM's idea instead of Boras's. Loyalty and all that.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-12-13 10:17:57
101.   Chyll Will
Who cares if they signed him? Let's kick his butt!!!

82 Fantacrap. Soxual harrassment. Whatever.

2006-12-13 10:27:30
102.   RIYank
If they did get six years at Gil Meche prices, then hats off to Theo. I don't know if that's a great deal, but it does look like he steered between disasters.
2006-12-13 10:28:21
103.   jonnystrongleg
100 I'm sure the 6 years is Boston's idea, not Matsuzaka's or Boras'.

Assuming the last two proposals (6 yrs @ 8 vs 6 yrs @ 11) were accurate, Boston kicked ass here.

If the pitcher is healthy & league average, they did well. 51 million over 6 years to purchase a RABID Japanese following and 66 over 6 to get a guy to pitch in the middle of the rotation. Pavano makes 11 million, Meche makes 11 million, they are both well below Matsuzaka's low end projections.

If the pitcher is healthy and an All Star, the Red Sox are paying bargain basement price for maybe the key to the AL East for the next 6 years.

The only way the Red Sox get hurt is if Matsuzaka get badly injured during the first or second year of the deal and never pitches substantial innings for them.

This was a master stroke and all of the premature Boston Bashing here yesterday was really shortsighted and unfortunate.

And now I will go puke.

2006-12-13 10:34:37
104.   Schteeve
99 My parents live in the MD burbs right outside of D.C. it's a lovely place. Of course the closer you get to D.C. the less affordable everything gets.
2006-12-13 10:35:32
105.   Sliced Bread
I think I can stomach the impending news conference: Boras and his Geisha Boy Theo, holding hands, smiling, while Matsu-sucka slips on that hideous uniform.

I can even stomach the impending 24/7 Matsu-sucka Mania on ESPN , the NY Times and wherever else Red Sox propaganda is vomited.

But if I encounter one story about Schilling learning oragami I'm going John Belushi samurai on somebody.

2006-12-13 10:35:56
106.   Yankee Fan In Boston
103 if he performs well below expectations (josh beckett?), i would consider it a loss.
2006-12-13 10:39:27
107.   LI yankee
103 I think you are giving them way too much credit. It has more to do with Matsuzaka's strong desire to play here and not go back to Japan rather than Boston kicking ass. He saw the opportunity to play here for a prominent organization and knew it would be really hard to give it up. He was probably going to accept all along and just waited till the last minute to see how much he could get. But his priority was just playing here.
2006-12-13 10:40:41
108.   rsmith51
I would be surprised if Matsuzaka settles for less than $11/year at 6 years. I would think he would be looking for a 4 year deal, so he would be 30-31 when the deal is up as opposed to 32-33. My guess is they will agree for the Gil Meche contract. 5/55. If it is 6 years and < 11M, the Red Sox have definitely benefitted IMHO.
2006-12-13 10:41:05
109.   jonnystrongleg
106 If Matsuzaka has a 5.01 era and wins 16 games next year, the Red Sox get exactly what they paid for - a league average starter. (Nobody expects him to do that poorly, but for argument's sake)

As long as he pitches, the rabid following is a guarantee. No loss on the posting investment. It's not like he's going to have a few bad starts and people over there will stop caring.

If he has a 6.5 era and wins 5 games, of course, huge failure, but nobody on the planet has considered this a possibility for him.

2006-12-13 10:44:01
110.   Yankee Fan In Boston
109 i agree with you. perhaps i should have left beckett's name out, but if he's below league average that would be a loss. (i agree that this is a long shot. i think he'll do well... the jerk.)
2006-12-13 10:44:46
111.   RIYank
109 But you forgot to add the $51 million.
The idea that the Red Sox recoup that money by merchandising is very far-fetched.
2006-12-13 10:44:56
112.   jonnystrongleg
107 They kicked ass in that they got a potentially pivotal player for a completely reasonable salary for 6 years. They went out and won the exclusive rights to negotiate with him, used his desire to play in the MLB to keep the salary down and didn't completely cave when Boras made them sweat it out. I have no interest in assigning credit. Just evaluating the results in which they kicked serious ass.
2006-12-13 10:47:57
113.   jonnystrongleg
111 No, I didn't forget to add the 51 since it's not salary. It's an investment in a market vis a vis a player who they now (reportedly) control for 6 years. Japanese interest in Matsuzaka is not dependent on his era or wins as much as his innings pitched. As long as he makes his starts and does resonably, well - again let's say league average - they will have a totally rabid following.
2006-12-13 10:49:28
114.   Chyll Will
105 Schilling at the press conference:

Schilling: Yeah, I'm really happy about the deal and that we've added a good decent arm to our pitching staff, and now I'm going to sit down with down with Dye-zakoo Mack-suzuki here and get him acquainted with the world here over a nice hot bowl of origami...

Repoter 1: Uh, Curt? Origami's not a food...

Schilling: What? I'm not here to talk about food, I'm here to talk about our new number three...

Reorter 2: Uh, Curt? Theo and many others around the league are projecting Matsuzuki to be the ace of the staff, and likely the Opening Day starter...

Schilling: What? I'm not here to talk about Opening Day, I'm hungry! Where's my damn origami??

2006-12-13 10:49:45
115.   jonnystrongleg
111 plus who cares if they make a little profit or lose a little bit on the posting fee? the key is winning the AL East and knocking the Yankees from the perch. The Red Sox are in better position to do that today since they were on the last weekend of the season 2005.
2006-12-13 10:50:38
116.   RIYank
Huh? Investment in a market vis a vis a player who they now control for six years, yeah. That's $51 million plus whatever the salary is. That's the cost.
I don't know whether there will be a 'rabid following', because I know almost nothing about Japanese culture. But rabid following isn't income, so I don't see what that has to do with anything.
2006-12-13 10:51:02
117.   Shaun P
105 I saw a thing at that Schilling was going into the making video games business when he retires. All of a sudden, I'm very glad I haven't had time to play video games much in the last few years.

Someone above referenced the Alex and Cliff-related discussion at Soxaholic. All the back-and-forth by the respective fans aside, what surprised me was a comment by one person, a Red Sox fan, about how much of a homer Murray Chass was. I wondered if this person had been reading the same Murray Chass I've read over the years.

2006-12-13 10:51:57
118.   Yankee Fan In Boston
115 116 an expense is an expense.
2006-12-13 10:52:05
119.   Jim Dean
103 Dude, that's a tad beyond crazy. Even when they had Pedro they didn't win the East. They still have a bunch of holes 91 and it's not like I'm making this stuff up. Here, to help calmn your nerves:

1B: Phelps or Youk - Sux
2B: Cano or ??? - Yanks
SS: Jete or Lugo - Yanks
3B: A-Rod or Mike - Yanks
C: Jorge or Varitek: Yanks
LF: Matsui or Manny - Sox
CF: Damon or Coco - Yanks
RF: Abreu or Nancy - Yanks
DH: Giambi or Papi - Sox

That's 6 to 3 and it's not like they make up for the offensive difference with defense anymore.

Then, pitching:

#1: Wang or Schilling? - Yanks
#2: Andy or Beckett? - Yanks
#3: Moose or Paps? - ???
#4: Unit or DM? - Sox? On what? Reputation?
#5: ??? or Wake - ??? What's Wake got left?
Bullpen: It's isn't even close and that's before you factor in the greatest closer of all time.

After that the Yanks are stocked on the farm. The Sox have Lester and that's it.

How do you even call that with so many question marks? Who's their #1? or #2? or #3? What are they going to get from Paps, Beckett, and DM to say nothing of the two 40 yo. The only way they have a great yeat is if every one of theose question marks goes their way. Even still they were a .500 team last year against the AL. Are they really ten wins better????

It will be entertaing, but all those good Catholics better be praying that things break right for them. I really like the Yanks' chances.

2006-12-13 10:54:47
120.   OldYanksFan
Well... since DM signed relatively cheap, and Arn Tellem knows we have Pettitte, we might save 0.5$m/yr on negotiations with Kei Igawa. Small savings for a Red Sox victory.
2006-12-13 10:56:57
121.   RIYank
118 Succinctly put.

Here's an article where sports economist Andrew Zimbalist estimates extra Sox revenues from having Matsuzaka at $3 mil/year max:

Still not chump change, of course.

2006-12-13 10:58:27
122.   Yankee Fan In Boston
121 but in 17 years, the signing would have paid for itself.

(...well, the posting fee anyway.)

2006-12-13 10:58:56
123.   Sliced Bread
114 - nice, Chyll.
2006-12-13 10:59:32
124.   RIYank
119 Hey, with Matsuzaka, they take a step forward, that's all. This year they were ten games behind. If Drew has a great, healthy year, and Matsuzaka maxes out, and Manny has a great year, and other things go right, and the Bombers don't improve, then maybe that closes the ten games.
2006-12-13 11:00:07
125.   jonnystrongleg
116 You know how much the Red Sox have made or lost as a team lately? I'm sure you don't, so why are you so hung up on whether or not they recoup the entirety of their posting fee which does not count against the salary cap?

Say they lose some money there, (which you can't predict) perhaps it will mean that they have less to spend when budgeting for payroll in the future. So basically, in the sense that some future payroll may be affected by losing some money in the posting investment, sure, it could hurt them on the field some day. But that's a lot of speculation and it's a lot of years down the road.

And if you don't see how the Red Sox can make money off a rabid following in a baseball crazed nation, I can't really help out.

2006-12-13 11:00:14
126.   RIYank
122 Well, the interest, anyway.
2006-12-13 11:01:15
127.   LI yankee
119 Yeah I agree. A lot of things would have to go their way. Papelbon would have to pan out, Beckett would have to become who they thought they were getting (WS 2003), Matsuzaka would have to become Pedro, Schilling would have to return to pre-injury form, everyone has to stay healthy, Manny would have to not be Manny. Plus that bullpen...yikes.

The only real big question mark I see for us is RJ. Although it can't be much worse than it was this season.

2006-12-13 11:01:58
128.   Yankee Fan In Boston
124 don't forget to factor in the moves that the yankees made. (improving the rotation...)
2006-12-13 11:03:10
129.   Yankee Fan In Boston
127 we still have pavano. he's a walking question mark. (except when he's bedridden.)
2006-12-13 11:03:33
130.   RIYank
125 This isn't coherent anymore. I was only saying that you had to include the $51 million in the costs. The cost isn't just the salary. But then 118 put it much better.

I gave a link to an article quoting a respected sports economist, Andrew Zimbalist, on how much income a team might possibly derive from adding Matsuzaka. Maybe you can help him out by explaining why he's wrong.

2006-12-13 11:04:03
131.   Jim Dean
106 A league average starter won't help them much. They already have three of those (Schilling, Wake, and Beckett) and the offense still significantly trails the Yanks in likely runs scored. To win 95 - 100 games (and compete in the East) they need, from their starters: one huge season, two above average seasons, and two average seasons but with no injuries (because they have very little depth).

The Yanks, who won 97 games last year, get full seasons from Godziller and Abreu, upgrade from Wright and Lidle to Pettitte and the best of Igawa/Rasner/Karstens/Huge (by June it will be Huge), and have Melky on the bench and pretty of pitching reinforcements. You can pencil them in for 100 wins if you can't tell me where they got weaker.

2006-12-13 11:05:45
132.   Chyll Will
127 Some people keep throwing Pavanot into the starting mix. That's not a question mark. that's an SAT...
2006-12-13 11:05:47
133.   OldYanksFan
103 - 111 Investment? How about if we say we paid 10$m/yr to invest in 2007/2008 with Pettitte and then only have to pay him 6 in salary? What a steal!

Bottom line: The Sox will end up paying around 105$m for 6 years. Thats an average cost of 17.5$m year. They aren't over the luxuary tax (I don't think), so they didn't save that much (taxes) on the posting fee.
Meche is 5/55. DM is like 105/6.

They got a good deal if he's a #1, an OK deal if he's a #2. $17.5%m is still a lot for a #2 (ala Zito). Also, he have to maintain that, and his health, for 6 years. No too many long pitcher contracts have worked out. Also, I believe this years prices will prove to be much higher then a typical year.

It's good news for RSN, but not that bad for us.

2006-12-13 11:07:08
134.   RIYank
131 Jim, I'm mainly with you here. I might be able to tell you where they get weaker, though: every player over 32 is expected to do a little worse. Probably nobody crashes. But Mo loses a little, Moose loses a little, that sort of thing.
We have to expect a worse year from Jeter, of course. But a better year from A-Rod, so call that a wash.
2006-12-13 11:10:53
135.   jonnystrongleg
119 & 124 I hope you're both right. But I think that every time you list all of the Red Sox question marks and holes, you should think of the Yanks as well. It's just as easy to list the Yanks shortcomings and paint a picture of an imminent Boston takeover.

The truth, as always, will be revealed out on the field.

2006-12-13 11:13:08
136.   LI yankee
134 We won 97 games with only 2 effective starters, half of a lineup for a good part of the year, and the A-Rod saga being drilled into everyone's head. I'm not really worried about making the playoffs. Once in the playoffs however...
2006-12-13 11:15:08
137.   ric
"to say nothing of the two 40 yo"

why are you obsessed with this fact? schilling had a pretty good year last year, as well as wakefield before a strange broken rib injury... the yanks staff arent exactly spring chickens and neither is Rivera... (whats he current Yank bullpen anyway outside of Proctor and Farnsworth?)

2006-12-13 11:15:57
138.   standuptriple
Well, whatever the D-Mat amount is I imagine that it is going to keep Igawa's $ reasonable.
2006-12-13 11:17:17
139.   jonnystrongleg
130 I didn't say you were wrong, I said you can't predict how much the Red Sox will gain/lose on the posting. And though Zimbalist is well informed, it's still just an opinion.
2006-12-13 11:17:49
140.   Jim Dean
134 You're absolutely right, but that's all within normal variance. Nobody crashes and burns (Except maybe a Jorge injury - ahhhhh!). But full-seasons of Godziller or Abreu - how wins does that add? Or having Melky to tag in instead of Bernie? And Pettitte instead of Wright? Huge at #5 (the best pitching prospect in all of baseball - last year think Liriano or Jared Weaver etc). Or what about all the chips they have IF they have to make a trade because of injuries (FA's: Andruw Jones! Vernon Wells! Milton Bradley!).

Johnny, tell me where the 97 win 2006 Yankees got worse or I say it's a team pushing 100 wins.

2006-12-13 11:20:55
141.   Yankee Fan In Boston
137 did you see schilling's numbers outside of friendly fenway?

questionable at the very least.

(and one start i had the pleasure of witnessing first hand against the angels at fenway that was less than stellar...)

2006-12-13 11:25:18
142.   wsporter
I had a feeling they'd get it done because it made too much sense. They're going to be tough and so are we. One more crazy season with an end that's in doubt at the beginning; should be lots of fun. Well, at least we know who to root for.
2006-12-13 11:26:02
143.   jonnystrongleg
140 Well, I'm not hoping for any of this to come to pass, but here are some reason the Yankees could stumble in 2007:
1) Wang is trying to become the first pitcher in modern MLB history to have a successful with a strikeout rate this low.
2) Pettitte is 35, was bad for 50% of 2006 in THE NL and wanted to retire last week.
3) Mussina is old and after people figured out his new change up, they hit him pretty much like 2004 & 2005.
4) Unit was bad last year, is 40+ and is coming off back surgery.
5) Kei Igawa is substantially worse than Matsuzaka, and many here are skepitcal about DM.
6) The core of the offense is a year older and apart from cano all on the wrong side of 30. Including the catcher as you mention.
7) Rivera missed the last month of the year.
8) Farnsworth and Myers both disappointed
9) Proctor pitched a ton of innings and might be hard pressed to repeat.
2006-12-13 11:27:01
144.   jonnystrongleg
143 1) should be "a successful career"
2006-12-13 11:27:35
145.   Jim Dean
135 What holes/questions, man!? Unit? Pavano? A-Rod? What else is new? All that happened in 2006 as well as Shef and Godziller being lost for two thirds of the season. And the Yanks still won 97 games and the division title by 10 games. And we're supposed to be worried about the third place team? I'm more worried that Halladay, Burnett, and Chacin have solid, and injury-free, seasons than I am about the Sox rotation.

137 If you're wondering what's to become of Schilling, look to the Big Unit. And Wake was struggling to stay average before he got hurt. Plus, the point with 40 yo is they get hurt. Who do want to step in for six weeks? Tavarez? Or Lester? What about if both 40 yo get hurt?

And Proctor and Farns are more than you got.

2006-12-13 11:30:57
146.   jonnystrongleg
140 And though I'd be surprised if the Yanks win 100 games with this rotation, I'd also be surprised if their lineup doesn't keep them in the mid 90's. before the august sweep the sox and yanks were dead even for almost three years. i don't see the red sox as having 10 games to make up. I bet 2007 is a lot closer to 2005 than to 2006.
2006-12-13 11:31:02
147.   Sliced Bread

Daisuke Matsuzaka has reached a deal with the Boston Red Sox for 6 years, $52 million,'s Jon Heyman has learned. The deal contains escalator clauses that could bring it up to $60 million.

From Sliced Bread: Geisha Boy done good.

2006-12-13 11:31:52
148.   Yankee Fan In Boston
145 this is why i mention schilling in response to the use of his name to prop up the sox's chances.
2006-12-13 11:32:59
149.   RIYank
140 Full seasons of our corner outfielders should add a few wins, I agree. I'd agree with Jonnys.l. that Wang might come down a notch, given that he did a lot better than his secondary stats last year. And, I am actually a little worried that we could lose someone significant to an injury -- Jorgie would be the worst.
But, I still figure we're a handful of win shares ahead of the Red Sox. Yeah, Unit could fall apart. But Manny could implode, J. D. Drew might be sharing a room with Pavano, and Moose is still better than Schilling.
2006-12-13 11:32:59
150.   ric
"did you see schilling's numbers outside of friendly fenway?"

yes, 3.06era vs. 4.75era - big difference for sure. but luckily he'll continue to play half his games at fenway park ;)

"And Proctor and Farns are more than you got."

well, technically, no- sox have signed timlin, tavares and the new japanese lefty. three is actually MORE than two (quality of pitcher aside)

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-12-13 11:33:16
151.   jonnystrongleg
145 you may have missed 143
2006-12-13 11:34:27
152.   RIYank
150 ric, seriously. Timlin and Tavares???
2006-12-13 11:37:14
153.   RIYank
Wow, six years and under $9m/yr. I guess Boras caved.
2006-12-13 11:38:46
154.   Yankee Fan In Boston
150 true, half of his games at fenway... speaking of halves... did you peruse his numbers during his second half?

10-3 vs. 5-4
3.60 vs. 4.58...

2006-12-13 11:39:33
155.   Jim Dean

1) The guy was second in the Cy Young behind this generation's Koufax. He gets a huge benefit of doubt from me.

2) Was lights out for the second half and has already proven he can pitch in lefty-friendly Yankee stadium.

3) Had a better year than Schilling and has a better offense supporting him.

4) Okay. Fine. I'll take him as a #5 in September.

5) Okay. Fine. It still assumes he's signed. But who's to say he'll be depended on? Put him at AAA and Huge shows who belongs in MLB first.

6) Okay. Fine. But none are ancient and Abreu is an upgrade from Shef. They'll all mostly maintain production with some probably having better years. They scored 930! runs last year. There's a better chance they'll score more than less.

7) Um, because they had a ten! game lead.

8) Still better than what the Sox got.

9) See #8.

I just wish they could start playing tomorrow.

2006-12-13 11:39:54
156.   jonnystrongleg
153 I think Matsuzaka caved. In the end, Boston held the only key to MLB this year. Boras could only hold out and front as long as possible. When it came down to the final number, Matsuzaka had to make a choice. I doubt Boras could have gotten any more money using any other strategy.
2006-12-13 11:43:04
157.   jonnystrongleg
155 Yeah, I hope it works out your way too, but the point is that the Yankees are counting on a lot of things to break their way, just as the Sox are.

And Rivera was shut down because of arm trouble AND the fact they had a 10 game lead. He's not scheduled for surgery or anythig, but he did have an injury.

2006-12-13 11:44:28
158.   RIYank
156 Yeah, could be right. Okay, Matsuzaka caved.
2006-12-13 11:44:48
159.   Yankee Fan In Boston
156 a steal.
2006-12-13 11:46:12
160.   Jim Dean
147 If true - Geisha boy did very well indeed. I'm surprised Boras caved on dollars and years. He really was bluffing and the Sox called him on it. Goes to show he got nothing when there isn't "another team" out there. He's caved before at draft time too.
2006-12-13 11:46:23
161.   Yankee Fan In Boston
the first time the yankees slap matsuzaka around i demand a tabloid headline that reads: "fort knocks"
2006-12-13 11:52:21
162.   Sliced Bread
Matsu-sucka probably could have raked up to 7 years/$120 mill in the current free agent market.

He took $52 mill for 6 to join a third place organization.

Boras fugged up, and a dimwit like Matsu-sucka deserves to get smacked around every park in the league for giving Boston a "coming to America" discount.

2006-12-13 11:52:56
163.   Jim Dean
One side benfit to this deal: Since the posting fee is half, does that mean the Yanks sign Igawa for 6 years at 26 million? If he does turn out to be a #4 or #5, that's a nice deal too.
2006-12-13 11:57:57
164.   williamnyy23
Why is everyone greasing the skids for Bernie? Nostalgia aside, Bernie did have a .936 OPS against LHP in 2006. If he was used almost exclusively as a right handed DH and pinch hitter, Bernie could still play a valuable role. I'd much rather give the 25th roster spot to Bernie than many of the other options being considered.
2006-12-13 11:57:59
165.   jonnystrongleg
163 Good point. I would think 5 million per season would be very tough for Igawa to get now.
2006-12-13 12:00:22
166.   williamnyy23
While Matsuzaka could have gotten more than $10mn per year, the Red Sox are definitely not getting a bargain at $18.5mn per year. Instead, the real winner is the Seibu Lions. Based on that fact alone, I wouldn't be surprised if MLB and the MLBPA joined forces to seek revisions to the posting agreement.
2006-12-13 12:08:20
167.   Jim Dean
157 You're reading way too much into it. What has to happen to have things "break" their way? That Pettitte doesn't have an ERA of 5.00? That anyone on the team doesn't have a horrific career ending injury?

The Yanks have team full of givens. They know what they're going to get because they got it last year from now well-established players. Of the two new starters, one is proven, the other will be out of the six they have to choose from. The only true unknown is how the unknown 1B will do. Das it.

The Sox by contrast have two pitchers that have never started a MLB game and three new position players. One of whom is a light-hitting rook. The other two will make Edgar Rentaria and Trot Nixon look good - and that's saying something. And they still don't have a closer.

As for Mo, he said he could have pitched through it. And as you say he didn't need surgery. No wories on my end.

2006-12-13 12:12:45
168.   Jim Dean
164 The problem is that won't be his role. Further, do you really want a RH PH truly without speed or defense, in the 25th slot? How many AB's would he get and who would you pinch hit for?
2006-12-13 12:14:15
169.   ric
"The Sox by contrast have two pitchers that have never started a MLB game and three new position players. One of whom is a light-hitting rook"

papelbon HAS started- but not with the best results. aren't most 2nd basemen "light hitting" or is this the new power position? personally, i like pedroia's AAA OBP... perfect for his role.

2006-12-13 12:16:11
170.   RIYank
Baseball Crank
has an analysis of price per win share of this year's contracts (he's fallen a bit behind but most are up there).
Adam Kennedy, at $3,333,333/year and expected to produce 12 win shares, is quite a bargain. Moose's expected shares are costing $1,329,466 each. I bet Matsusaka's cost more than $2mil apiece, factoring everything in.
2006-12-13 12:17:37
171.   RIYank
169 Gosh, that's right, we Yankee fans always forget that 2Bmen aren't supposed to hit.

When did Papelbon start, by the way? I thought I was following pretty closely last year.

2006-12-13 12:19:16
172.   ric
"When did Papelbon start, by the way? I thought I was following pretty closely last year. "

the end of 2005 season

2006-12-13 12:28:02
173.   RIYank
Ah. In fact, I see on his BP card that he started three games in 2005. Can't tell how well he did, but overall he was very good that year.
2006-12-13 12:29:29
174.   Jim Dean
169 My bad. Let's see him hold up for over 150 innings just get to the postseason. He could be the staff ace, or an injured riddle. Should be fun to watch.

171 Exactly. 169 But how long do they stick with DP. If he's hitting like last year, he sits. Then Cora gets the starts. And he's Womackian. Indeed there's a good chance a random player could "play" just as well as Cora without costing 2 million.

2006-12-13 12:39:02
175.   Shaun P
164 168 I'll take with Jim said a step further.

To put it simply - Joe Torre cannot resist playing Bernie Williams more than he should, in the field (where he can't play anymore) and against righty pitchers (who he can't hit anymore). Bernie would become the 4th OF, which would kill Melky's development and prevent Melky from helping the team.

That alone is reason enough to give the 25th spot on the roster to anyone else.

2006-12-13 12:41:39
176.   Jim Dean
172 Actually it was the middle of the season and he didn't do too badly except for the BB's. They won all three games he started:

Me, personally, I think it's a mistake they're moving him. The guy was solid. I know the story was to avoid the wear and tear he endured as a closer. But if he gets hurt starting, then what do they do?

2006-12-13 12:42:25
177.   Jim Dean
175 Yup.
2006-12-13 12:58:03
178.   williamnyy23
175 In 2006, Torre had to use Bernie more than planned. What's more, I think he proved that he was able to cut the cord down the stretch as Bernie's PAs declined steadily from May through September/October.

I don't buy the notion that the Yankees need to cut Bernie because Torre can't help himself. If his role is defined, he can still contribute.

164 What are the other options right now? I haven't heard of a 25th man that clearly rates above Bernie

2006-12-13 13:00:27
179.   RIYank
176 The thing is, if Papelbon does turn into an ace starter, he's a lot more valuable than he would be even as a Mo-like closer. (Yikes, I'm really asking for it now.) Anyway, that's the reasoning -- along with the expectation that it reduces stress on his arm, which I never understood but is apparently just accepted wisdom.
2006-12-13 13:14:32
180.   Jim Dean
Didn't they learn anything with Belli's escort?

Track the Matsuzaka flight from LA: Where Are They Now?

This is ridiculos. For once it's nice that the Yanks are in a no-lose position. If the results of Igawa are anywhere near a league average starter they look really smart. If he isn't, he's forgoteen relative to this absurdity. DM has to have a huge season. I keep thinking he's show just enough to make them think year 2 will be much better. Until he repeats the performance.

178 Sorry, that's exactly why you cut him. Torre can't help himself. As for the 5th OF, it depends on what you want. Me, I think Thompson would be fine - he's got speed and can play better defense than Bernie. And he's young enough that he may just hit enough to become a legit 4th OF or trade bait. In very limited AB's he certainly didn't flail and he's got the plate discipline to continue to improve. I think he's a perfect 5th OF except that he won't play enough to really see what he's got. See for yourself in the sidebar.

2006-12-13 13:16:56
181.   yankz
I posted this a couple nights ago but it was one of my late night things. Andy Pettite had a ridiculously high BABIP in the first half of last year.
2006-12-13 13:22:23
182.   Yankee Fan In Boston
181 i am so statistically illiterate that i have no concept of what you just typed.
2006-12-13 13:27:30
183.   Jim Dean
BABIP = Batting average for balls in play

Meaning if it was really high, he was very unlucky. YFIB showed it came down in the second half. It's not a great measure because it fluctuates so much, and you can't be sure if it was the pitcher missing spots or the hitters hitting good pitches. But it's stable enough to know what's lucky-good and what's lucky-bad.

2006-12-13 13:28:42
184.   Yankee Fan In Boston
183 i learned something today. thanks. interesting.
2006-12-13 13:35:42
185.   Jim Dean
183 Sorry, I meant yankz showed it the other night.
2006-12-13 13:37:02
186.   Jim Dean
Hi. My name is Jim and I'm a Banter-holic.
2006-12-13 13:53:10
187.   standuptriple
Just saw that Steve Phillips didn't expect D-Mat to sign at all. Good to see some things remain the same.
2006-12-13 14:05:12
188.   Shaun P
178 180 That's exactly right. Torre defines the roles on the team, not Ca$hmoney. Remember what Ca$hmoney said last year about Phillips? (I'm paraphrasing)

"We feel very comfortable with Andy Phillips at 1B. In fact, Andy will be getting about 80% of the ABs at first base while Jason serves as the primary DH."

Here's how well that defined-role worked:

Andy Phillips, ABs per month:
April: 26
May: 36
June: 69
July: 91 (finally he got playing time!)
Rest of season: 24 (admittedly he was 'hurt' for a couple weeks in August)

Torre couldn't help himself with Tanyon Sturtze. Torre couldn't help himself with Proctor - even after Torre himself said that Proctor pitched better with the occassional day off and Torre would give it to him (this was in July). Torre couldn't help himself last year with Bernie - Bernie played 58 games in RF - fifty-eight!! - with perhaps the worst arm in the league, and a .689 OPS vs righties.

I would take Aaron Guiel, and his ability to actually play all 3 OF positions plus 1B, over Bernie.

I would take Kevin Thompson, and his ability to play all 3 OF positions, plus his speed, over Bernie.

I would take Craig Wilson (LF, RF, 1B, emergency catcher) over Bernie.

I love Bernie Williams but for the sake of the 2007 Yankees, I hope and pray to God that he retires.

2006-12-13 14:18:27
189.   Simone
SI reports that Matsuzaka has agreed to sign for 6 years/$52 million. What a steal for the Red Sox. If he ends of being mediocre, they are paying him Clement money. Is there no players' union in Japan? What a rip off for the players.
2006-12-13 14:31:15
190.   yankz
Here's Pettitte's BABIP numbers again.

2006-12-13 14:31:30
191.   mikeplugh
189 That's the crux Simone.

There's a players union, but they have nothing. In Japan, confrontation is the cardinal sin. The most famous saying in Japan is, "The nail which stands out gets hammered down." It's an ode to conformity. If any group of players ever used the power of unionization to break the posting system, there'd be $100s of millions waiting for them in the US. Instead, they are good little boys and play for daddy for whatever he will pay.

Last night I posted that I felt it wouldn't get done. I realized suddenly, when I was watching the news, that the Japanese writers who were saying Matsuzaka couldn't go back to Japan were right. I thought it was a bit overblown. If anything it was underblown...and the Red Sox knew it.

They knew that a Japanese player can't say goodbye, thank everyone, have press conferences and come back hat in hand. I'm sure that's where Boras lost all leverage, hence the silent treatment that forced Epstein to take it to LA.

The other thing that happened, I'm sure, is that Boras eventually had to turn the decision over to Daisuke. When he looked Esptein and Lucchino in the eyes, and they asked him, "Would you really go back to Japan?" everyone knew the answer...I guarantee it.

From here, we have to watch the coming of a new age on the other side of the fence. After Matsuzaka wins 20 games at Fenway, the world will stop using Irabu as a benchmark. I'm thrilled about that, but sick to my stomach at the same time. This was my favorite player that I devoted a year of my life to blogging about in hopes of having him in NY. Now he's a Red Sox and he'll be great. Che sera, sera.

2006-12-13 14:33:44
192.   standuptriple
I guess everybody's happy except Boras then. It will be interesting to see the details of the contract (incentives, no-trade clauses). Does anybody know where, if at all, we can find that info?
2006-12-13 14:41:25
193.   mikeplugh
Y'know. I realize, as ridiculous or pathetic as it may be, I come here for consolation. I give you guys the additional background stuff that I don't post at COH or my other blogs.

You guys understand the agony of having your favorite player put on the enemy's uniform. I have A LOT of happy things going on in my life now, and I'm blessed, but this one is like a punch in the gut.

The only Japanese baseball player I care about at the moment is the best one yet. My soon-to-be born son...the left handed ace of the 2028 or 2029 Yankees. Daddy needs a new pair o' shoes li'l fellah..... ;)

2006-12-13 14:48:35
194.   randym77
I was confident they'd make a deal. Matsuzaka couldn't go back to Japan. And why would he want to? Even $8 million a year is big money. And the blowback for Boston could be bad, if they were perceived as just playing spoiler.

But I have to say, I was expecting Boston to have to pay a little more. Not the $15 million a year Boras was demanding, but more. I thought they'd split the difference. But no, Boston basically had their way.

2006-12-13 14:51:36
195.   standuptriple
It will also be interesting what, if any, changes are made to the posting system. Basically they stuck to a 50/50 deal between the player and the team. Will this precedent remain? I have no clue, but I can't imagine MLB will want a process as chaotic as the most recent one has been going forward.
2006-12-13 14:53:41
196.   randym77
Pete Abe has a post up about it.

The Matsuzaka deal appears to be six years for $52 million with clauses that could bring it to $60 million. Boston had to go for six years to lessen the impact of the bid.

In all, Matsuzaka will cost Boston at least $103.1 million or as much as $111.1 million. They better sell a lot of t-shirts.

Under Boras logic, he will now claim that Zito is worth $17 million a year since that is what Boston essentially paid for Matsuzaka. He may not get it, but Boras will seek six years and $102 million for Zito.


2006-12-13 14:54:19
197.   wsporter
191 Mike, sorry you lost your guy to the real "Evil Empire". I thought this would get done all along but that it would end up a lot closer to Boras's number than the Sawx' number. I apparently was dead wrong on that. What interests me as a negotiator is the notion that a client would essentially allow an agent to pursue a strategy that was dependant on the threat that he would return to Japan being real then pulling the rug out from under the structure at the eleventh hour. It's a lousy feeling when you realize your leverage is a wet noodle. Boras has got to feel pretty used up about that if it happened that way. I can't wait to read his book when this stuff comes out.

Maybe the Sawx were prepared to let D-Mat go back to Japan but I doubt it. My sense right now is that Boras is feeling sick about the money he knows was left on the table. If his client is happy though, in the end, that's all that really can matter so he just has to move on and stuff some cotton in his ears and ignore the "Boras blew it" drivel that will no doubt abound on the morning fish wrap tide.

2006-12-13 14:56:04
198.   Jim Dean
193 Mike, is it consolation if DM has a great year, but they fail to make the playoffs? Because the Sox have a bunch of question marks (see above). Even a Pedro '99 year from him can't make up over ten games in the standings. They improvement from all of: Beckett, Schilling, Wake, Nancy, Lugo as well. And they still need a closer.

The Yanks improved and so have the Sox. Let's play some baseball.

2006-12-13 14:59:23
199.   Bama Yankee
193 Thanks for all you do Mike. We all appreciate your insight and passion about Japanese baseball. I am sure that you feel very low at this point and I understand. But when that new son of yours comes along these things will be easier to take.

I speak from experience. My two year old sure has made it easier for me to accept the fact that my beloved Crimson Tide football team has fallen on hard times (losing five in a row to rival Auburn). When I am depressed after taking one of our games too seriously, my son comes up to me and says "Let's play Daddy". It does not take long to forget about the trivial things in life.

Just think, when he gets older he will probably just suffer right along with me. What will we do then... ;-)

2006-12-13 15:04:38
200.   Jim Dean
197 Exactly. Boras had no leverage and was exposed. His client had already decided he wasn't going back and announced it to the world. I was dead wrong too. Boras does talk a good game.

If the final tally is correct, Boras had no say. None. Sox said: We're paying this amount for this many years. And if there was any negotiation it was years or money, right?

Either fewer years and less money (because loss of control) or more years and more money. Das it. If those incentives are to be believed, there was no leverage there either. If this guy comes in and wins a Cy Young, he's still paid LESS than Gil Meche???

Boras' castration began with the press conference. Obviously he had nothing to do with it. DM should have come out with a statement that expressed his gratitude but uncertainty about whether it would work.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-12-13 15:10:56
201.   Simone
191 Hang in there, Mike. I know that you must be severely disappointed. Just ignore Matsuzaka from now on.

I don't see how anyone can say that Boras lost. People seem to think that he is a puppet master. He merely tries to get the best deal for his client, but it is the client's decision in the end. Matsuzaka is the one who decided to take that low ball deal. Sorry, but $8 million per year in this market for an ace is an insult. Matsuzaka will be 32 years old when he gets a chance to get another contract and who knows what the market will be like then.

2006-12-13 15:21:48
202.   mainmanmaitland
Let's be honest - even when the Sox had Pedro at his best they only got past us once in the playoffs. Their current lineup and rotation is not as strong as the Yankees and probably will not be for quite some time due to all the holes they have to fill. If we get lucky with Hughes or Sanchez we could already have a cheaper/younger answer to their addition to DM in-house.

What I don't understand is this (and perhaps Mike, you can help me with this) - DM realizes that he can't go back to Japan and if he doesn't sign with the Red Sox he isn't playing baseball....why doesn't he push for a shorter contract (let's say 4 years) that would give him a chance to get one good run at a free agent contract during his MLB career? Or get a contract with an $8-10 million base and lots of incentive clauses that would get him a chance to make something close to what he is really worth?

That would have given the BoSox some price protection in case DM tanks but lets him have the chance to earn some real green if he is pitching well. I can't imagine, three years from now when the thrill of getting his shot in the MLB has worn off, that DM is going to be happy making a lot less than half the starting pitchers in the league.

2006-12-13 15:38:11
203.   OldYanksFan
191 Exactly Mike. You can't bluff unless you're willing to back it, and DM certainly wasn't. The Japanese have a very strong sense of national pride and nationalism, yes? To reject an offer that makes his team (in Japan) a fortune just so he can get what he deserves? No face in that.

I hear ya buddy. I know you need a man-hug.

Sox start with 7-8... Boras laughs and says 15... and the Sox get him for less then 9. This will set a president for Japanese players... now that MLB knows for sure they can't say no.

Maybe we can get Iggy for room & board, an $500 weekly allowance.

I don't know if Theo and company knew what they were doing from the onset, but this was big for them. So it's 103/6 yrs... or just over 17$m/yr. Kudos to Theo and company.

2006-12-13 15:48:03
204.   OldYanksFan
OK.... back to baseball.

"Wells, who can become a free agent after next season, was offered a seven-year, $126 million extension by Toronto. No deal has been agreed to, however.

Wells, who will make $5.6 million next season, confirmed the offer in an interview with The Globe and Mail, but wouldn't confirm the amount."

That's 18$m per (and a 12.4$m raise). Yow! I hope he jumps on it.

2006-12-13 15:56:08
205.   mikeplugh
203 I'm not sure that Theo and company knew what they were doing either, but I think it became clear to them through some Japanese channels (Seibu?) that Matsuzaka would not be returning. For Daisuke to return he would have had to apologize to all the fans for stringing them along and failing to make a deal for nice money. He would have had to publicly apologize to his employer (feudal lord) Seibu for costing them $51 million of money they need to actually avoid bankruptcy. The pressure of an entire nation and a company which employs 10,000s of people was on him in the end.

I think Matsuzaka did the right thing actually. It's good money, and he had no choice. The alternatives were not good for him. The problem is not Boras, Matsuzaka, or Epstein's big-balled bid. The problem is the indentured servitude system that is the Japanese baseball contract. 10 years, take it or leave it. That's a crime. Until a union strikes against it, or Japanese baseball collapses (which is also possible), it will remain like this for the forseeable future.

202 He couldn't take a 4 year deal because the Red Sox handcuffed the negotiations by bidding $51 million. They have to spread that money out over 6 years to make it workable. Also, there is a provision for Japanese players coming over via by posting that says the MLB club that signs them treats them as a rookie and retains their rights for 6 years. At least, that's my understanding. If Boras and Daisuke had wanted to play hardball on that aspect they could have tried, but real threat behind the negotiations provides zero leverage.

2006-12-13 16:03:37
206.   mikeplugh
201 Thanks Simone. I know you understand. You and I were the 2 most excited people around here about the WBC and we've had that connection since March. I'm still following Cuban baseball too, and brushing up on my rusty Spanish. I hope to get more info on Juan Miguel Miranda soon.
2006-12-13 16:03:53
207.   C2Coke
204 If that's true the Red Sox may have just robbed a bank successfully.
2006-12-13 16:10:54
208.   standuptriple
206 What the??? I actually went to the last 3 games of the WBC!!!
Let's go get Gouriel! And while we're at it, adopt some of the defensive drills/skills of our compadres in Asia too.
2006-12-13 16:20:12
209.   Travis
A Yankee-related book that might be worse than the Richard Ben Cramer DiMaggio biography:

Judith Regan is at it again. Fresh off the controversy of the canceled If I Did It by O.J. Simpson, Regan Books is planning to publish yet another title featuring an American sports icon—and again the public might not stand for it. 7: The Mickey Mantle Novel, described by its author, Peter Golenbock, as an "inventive memoir" and by others who have seen the galley as something tantamount to pornography, is likely to evoke charges of bad taste and questionable ethics when it is published in March in a 60,000-copy first printing. It may even occasion claims of libel, according to publishing lawyers.

Two media insiders who have read the galley, each of whom asked not to be identified by name, used words like "porn," "debased," "exploitative" and "vile" to describe the book's contents. One of them said the book left him "speechless."

2006-12-13 16:25:31
210.   mikeplugh
208 I wish I was there with you standuptriple. Gourriel is such a good communist, like his father. He'll never come. It's a shame because the season he put up last year in Cuba was the equivalent of a Joe Dimaggio prime year. I'd love to see him in pinstripes, but I'd bet he's a career Cuban national....unless they open up trade again someday....
2006-12-13 16:26:59
211.   yankz
209I've read a ton about Joe D, and I've never heard that Marilyn/Mickey rumor. This book sounds like bullsh1t.
2006-12-13 18:06:59
212.   monkeypants
205 So in the end, the Sox didn't 'mishandle' things, D-Mat had little leverage, and Boras overplayd his hand--just as I posted over the last few days (and threads).

Still, the Sox are paying a boatload for a player with no MLB experience. I know you're high on his ability--I'll trust your knowledge--but only time will tell how this deal will look in the long run.

2006-12-13 20:19:10
213.   JeremyM
I feel dirty after just reading the excerpts from the Mantle book. Reality TV is bad enough. Now we have "reality fiction" in the book world? Come on. What a waste of paper.
2006-12-13 21:02:47
214.   ric
"Matsuzaka is the one who decided to take that low ball deal. Sorry, but $8 million per year in this market for an ace is an insult."

so im confused...people need to start stating their position for the record: is it a low ball deal for an ace? or is it overpaying for an unproven talent? ive heard lots ot talking out of both sides of the mouth... this is a good time to state it beofre the season starts, so you can either say "I told you so" or "red sux are suckers" and such....

2006-12-13 21:07:03
215.   ric
"The alternatives were not good for him. The problem is not Boras, Matsuzaka, or Epstein's big-balled bid. The problem is the indentured servitude system that is the Japanese baseball contract. 10 years, take it or leave it."

okay mike, what was the market value of a home run king when Matsui came to the USA? what was Bonds making per year? did Matsui get a comparable salary to Bonds or Arod? valid question, right?

2006-12-13 21:20:11
216.   yankz
If you think Matsui was expected to play like Bonds or Arod, you're just wrong.

Matsuzaka, on the other hand, is supposed to pitch like Oswalt.

2006-12-13 21:28:57
217.   ric
If you think Matsui was expected to play like Bonds or Arod, you're just wrong.

Matsuzaka, on the other hand, is supposed to pitch like Oswalt.

well, if a japanese ace is supposed to be paid like an american ace, is a japanese home run king not supposed to be paid like an american home run king? whats the difference? tell me, please. or does the japanese AAAA stigma only apply to one? im just trying to put a little objective perspective here...

2006-12-13 21:38:00
218.   yankz
Matsuzaka is a more talented pitcher than Matsui is a hitter.

Matsui's power was not supposed to carry over. Blame it on parks, pitching, whatever, but he was NOT projected to be Arod or Bonds. Matsuzaka's pitching abilities are supposed to carry over.

It's not really all that complicated.

2006-12-13 21:39:01
219.   Start Spreading the News
215 Matsui hit 50 homers in his last year in Japan. NOBODY thought he would do that in MLB. Most were projecting about 30 homers.

That is hardly A-Rod or Bond territory. Matsui was a true free agent. There was no posting fee for him. He signed a 3 year $21 million contract. Yomiuri offered him $33 mill for 4 years that he turned down to play for the Yanks.

So no. Matsui is not a good comparison to the Matsuzaka situation.

2006-12-13 21:50:46
220.   ric
"Matsui's power was not supposed to carry over"

nice try. looks like somebody's got a case of the "supposedes"!

before you try to refute, my point is comparable pay to a TOP japanese player coming to america getting TOP american dollars. not supposed to hit 50 homers, not supposed to K 200 batters- theres no difference, just a different perspective. dont act like its that differnt.

sstn- so matsui took a low ball offer?!?! wheres the outrage?

2006-12-13 21:53:15
221.   Start Spreading the News
217 If you adjust Matsui (call them AAAA) Japanese performance to fit MLB, then you adjust 50 homers down to 35 which is not Bondsian (unless Bonds walks 300 times).

If you adjust Matsuzaka's Japanese performance to fit MLB, you take his 2.3 ERA and WHIP of 1.03 and adjust them up. Most are projecting 3.30 to 3.5 for ERA.

What would you call someone who gives you a 3.30 ERA in the American League east in the same division as the Yankees? And that ERA would make him the ace on the Sox staff.

This is all assuming he lives up to those projections.

Matsui was projected to hit 30-35 homers in 2003. He hit 18. So he underperformed his home run projection by about 50%. If Matsuzaka does the same, then his average $18 mill a year the Sox spent won't look so wise.

2006-12-13 22:04:37
222.   yankz
220 Now you just sound childish. "case of the "supposedes"!"? Have you been jacking our crazy pills? Or are those only for people with no lives who stay up all night on baseball boards?

The Yankees didn't pay on reputation, they paid on expected production. Matsui was expected to hit 30 HR, that's what he was paid.

See 221, who I believe thoroughly bashes your "argument."

2006-12-13 22:05:47
223.   yankz
Late night fun, courtesy of an old friend:

Now that's just unfair.

2006-12-13 22:08:33
224.   ric
nice projections...are they made up? so the japanese to american market is/should be based upon projections? fine! i agree! then you must be in the Matsuzaka OVERPAID camp. my point is that i dont agree with peeps saying that Mats deserves ACE money while not thinking Matsui deserved HOME RUN money. japanaese parks are smaller so the contradiction would not make sense. we are in agreeement!
2006-12-13 22:09:54
225.   Start Spreading the News
220 I would imagine the Red Sox fans were probably outraged that the Yanks got Matsui.

The Yanks have the cachet that cause some players to cut them slack and sign for cheaper. Matsui did that. Pettite signing a one year contract. Beltran offered to sign for less. Mussina reups for $10 mill/year. The list goes on...

How often do the Red Sox get a player to sign with them for less?

One player who gave them a discount was Bronson Arroyo. They rewarded his loyalty by promptly trading him. The Boston papers had Arroyo as "disappointed" that he was screwed over.

2006-12-13 22:11:14
226.   ric
The Yankees didn't pay on reputation, they paid on expected production. Matsui was expected to hit 30 HR, that's what he was paid.

i agree! thats what the sox paid for. american expectations.

2006-12-13 22:15:44
227.   ric
"The Yanks have the cachet that cause some players to cut them slack and sign for cheaper. Matsui did that. Pettite signing a one year contract. Beltran offered to sign for less. Mussina reups for $10 mill/year. The list goes on..."

oh... the yankee discount. awesome argument, debate over. my original arguewent was that you have to look to pay for top comparable asian talent equally not through homer blinders (we all do it) but if the answer is the yankee discount, then there is no retort.

2006-12-13 22:22:18
228.   Start Spreading the News
224 I really don't know what you are talking about anymore. I don't see any contradiction in saying that Matsui deserves money that a 30 homer guy gets and Matsuzaka deserves money that a 3.30 ERA AL starting pitcher deserves. That is their projection coming from Japan. That is the money they are commanding.

You may be confused with performance in Japan and performance here. Just because you hit 50 homers in Japan doesn't mean you will hit 50 here. It probably means you will hit 30. That does not make you a home run king here. If you have a 2.20 ERA in Japan, you won't have a 2.20 ERA here. Instead you may have a 3.30 ERA. If so, then you are an ace here.

No contradiction. Just simple statistical projections. Go look at baseball prospectus to see how they project their numbers. Or google it.

Additionally Baseball Prospectus disagrees with you about Japanese Ballpark size:
"We've all heard about the tiny little Japanese ballparks, and the impact they have on the home-run totals of visiting Americans. That isn't so true anymore. A wave of stadium building swept through Japan over the last 15 years; all six stadiums in the Pacific League, for instance, have been built or remodeled since 1988, although the Central league still has two parks from the 1920s. The remade stadiums are only slightly smaller than their American counterparts."

2006-12-13 22:23:34
229.   yankz
You're pretty incoherent. Let me try to make this simple.

Matsui: Signed to hit ~30 HR, and paid accordingly. NOT to be Barry Bonds.

Matsuzaka: Signed to be an ace, but not paid accordingly (excluding the posting fee, which, believe it or not, does not count towards his contract).

If you just read the comments, you'll see that most people here think Gorilla Boy served Boras. You don't do a good job disproving the theory that all Red Sox fans whine incessantly.

I hope everyone watches the video. We shouldn't all be so petty when it comes to the other team.

BTW, I take it your thriving social life has disappeared? Since you're here at this hour?

2006-12-13 22:25:55
230.   mikeplugh
228 Everything you posted was completely accurate and there's nothing more to say than that.

Don't worry about ric. He's a Red Sox troll that wanders over from time to time to rage and wail against the Yankees, proclaim supremacy of Red Sox Nation, and generally make trouble. The best thing you can do with ric, is ignore him and never reply to anything he says.

2006-12-13 22:27:26
231.   yankz
230 But it's really, really fun to see him/her get riled up and resort to exclamation points.
2006-12-14 03:23:49
232.   Jim Dean
But just to answer his original question:

It all depends on DM's performance:

1) If he consistently puts up numbers to be in the top 5 of the Cy Young discussion then he's underpaid but the Sux paid just right or maybe have a great deal come 2012 and considering the luxury tax.

2) If he puts up numbers comparable to an league average starter, then his contract is about right, and a deal by 20012, but with the posting fee it means the Sux considerably overpaid.

3) If he puts up numbers up worse than league average or he gets hurt to lose a year or more, then they look pretty foolish and the whole organization has been uprooted. Theo's working a hot dog stand on Yawkey. Larry's running around in a leisure suit with a his new NAMBLA magazine in hand. And Steve Phillips is your new GM.

Me, I think DM will fall somewhere between #1 and #2, but closeer to #2, especially the first year as the Sox miss the playoffs, again. And from that perspective he'll be a disappointment. See, now the Sux are expected to win a championship every year. Welcome to our world.

But what management hasn't told you is that they needed to make this move just to stay competitive in the East. He'll pitch above average, but with many more BB's and much fewer K's. The Sox fans won't turn on him after year 1 (leave that to Lugo first then Nancy when he gets hurt). By years 2 and 3 when he's established as a good but not great pitcher, the Sux will have clearly overpaid, especially when you consider the salaries the Yanks are paying to Wang, Hughes, Sanchez, and Clippard. Then it won't matter how much DM is paid. Because the only count that will matter is the increasing number of rings in the Bronx.

How's that for a crystal ball?

2006-12-14 04:54:08
233.   ric
"Don't worry about ric. He's a Red Sox troll that wanders over from time to time to rage and wail against the Yankees, proclaim supremacy of Red Sox Nation, and generally make trouble."

im not a troll. i was just asking a question. i thought most were projecting Matsuzakas era to be closer to 4.

2006-12-14 05:47:44
234.   RIYank
Sawx have filled their perennial need for a no-hit catcher:
(It's Dougie again, in case you can't be bothered to look.)

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