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November 13, 2006

Sox Bid $42M for Matsuzaka?

Yes, they did, according to Peter Gammons.

This makes me think back to Red Sox G.M. Theo Epstein's comments on the Yankees, made during last summer:

"We are not the Yankees. We admire the Yankees. I admire the Yankees. I respect them. We have to do things different. Our approach is a little bit different, given our resources relative to the Yankees; we feel our best way to compete with them year in and year out is to keep one eye on now and one eye on the future and to build something that can sustain success."

"We're not going to change our approach and all of a sudden try to build an uberteam, and all of a sudden win now at the expense of the future. That's not an excuse. I'm not trying to throw some sort of a cloak over the clear holes that are on this team by sort of talking instantly about the future. I'm not. Our goals are now and our goals are to put ourselves in a position to win every single year."

"It's going to occasionally leave us short, it's going to leave us short every time there's a player who's available in a bidding war, taking on a contract, getting the best free agent. We're never going to sell ourselves out just to get that one guy because we have to take a long-term view given our resources relative to the Yankees. That's the only way to do it."

Note this one comment in the quotes: We're never going to sell ourselves out just to get that one guy because we have to take a long-term view given our resources relative to the Yankees.

Was that B.S., or, just a sign that the games are about to begin?

Posted by Steve Lombardi at November 13, 2006 03:22 PM


FWIW, Orestes Destrade was quoted in the Globe today saying that the Sox bid over $50 mil.

Posted by: christopher [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2006 03:53 PM

I'm still curious to see whether Boston actually signs him. If it's really $50+ mil, I'd have to see it purely as a block, which I would have no problem with, as he would either go to the next bidder or become a FA after next season.

Posted by: Travis G. [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2006 04:15 PM

I would have to assume that Boston will sign him. To simply block him when he could be a free agent next year doesn't seem like a great strategy.

I know there was a lot of dissent on this but I really think that this hurts the Yanks a lot. Now they have to scrape together a pitching staff from among Schmidt, Zito, Meche, Lilly, and Suppan and hope that one or two of the Rasner-Karstens-Pavano trio can pan out. On paper, this would represent the most dubious Yankee rotation in at least 15 years.

Hopefully Cashman has a few tricks up his sleeve of his own. I have to say that I trust Cash so I assume he probably had a Plan B that could involve a trade of some sort.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2006 04:25 PM

Wao., talk about a 180 degree turn. I hope it BLOWS up in their face.

Posted by: rmd0311 [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2006 04:26 PM

MJ, a rotation of Wang, Mussina, Zito, Pavano/RJ, Rasner/Karstens isnt that bad. It would be better than either of the rotations we had the last two years.

Posted by: Kyle [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2006 05:25 PM

Kyle, I find it hard to believe that RJ will be better next year than he was in 2006. Not only would he be coming off of back surgery but, hell, he'd be coming off of the worst year of his career (or pretty darn close to it). It's pointless to even predict WHAT Pavano might do in 2007 since we hardly even know WHEN he might be able to pitch.

I love Wang, I don't have a problem with Moose but he's not a #2 anymore. And Zito ain't one either...

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2006 06:14 PM

FWIW I think it will be a block MJ. It makes more sense than paying a guy what, $80 mil if you sign him for 3 years and pay the posting fee? If you block he goes back to Japan, there's no runner up. If you are Boston you say okay, the Yankeeds didn't get him. Next year we'll negotiate without the posting fee when he is a legit free agent. This whole posting thing is crap anyway. Totally ready for collusion.

Posted by: Scott Coulter [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2006 06:20 PM

Scott, I totally see why your argument makes sense. But why would Boras sign up for that? And why would the Seibu Lions want to go through the charade? Heck, why would Matsuzaka want to go through the trouble of preparing to leave his homeland just to get blocked? Can't Selig do something about this? Would the act of posting a bid just to block be a textbook case of negotiating in bad faith?

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2006 06:43 PM

I'm thinking that either the Lions do not think this is a legit bid and are weighing their options, or the Red Sox are trying to see how much they really have to pay--someone said that the Mariners paid less than their posting bid for Ichiro. They could be in negotiatons with Seibu. Otherwise, I would think that the Lions would be thrilled with the bid and would have announced it as soon as they could, which reportedly was their original intention. But who really knows?
If the Sox do get him, we'll see how much restraint George has in pursuing Zito. Personally, I kind of think Zito is worth overpaying a little for, he eats innings and is a quality starter. But he's probably going to get more than a little overpaid, and I don't think he's worth that.

Posted by: JeremyM [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2006 07:00 PM

MJ, I think the tricks up Cashman's sleeve are Hughes, Clippard and Sanchez. Those three are better options than Zito, Schmidt or any other piece of crap (Suppand, Meche) out there on the FA market.

You can also add Karstens and Rasner in the mix.

The Yankees already have their ace -- Wang -- and then having Moose/Pavano-Johnson/Hughes/Rasner works for me. We won 97 games with Johnson and Wright in the rotation this year. And Rasner and Karstens getting work late in the year.

The bad thing about Mats going to the Sox is that we have to face him.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2006 07:08 PM

I'm not sure what to expect from RJ in 07, though in truth, his 06 was out of context in many ways, his periphials was still exellent, it should have been an low 4s high 3s ERA perhiphal instead of a 5 ERA one, watching his games it was obvious he was giving up hits and walks all in bunchs when he goes wrong, which seems to suggest it was his back bothering him that resulted in such inconsistency. his LOB% was also horrible this year, barely topping 60%, where the league norm is 70% and RJ's career line is over 75%.

My gut feeling is RJ will do well next year. a lot closer to 05 than 06.

I think Wang will regress more or less unless he somehow comes up with another pitch. (and i'm a huge huge fan of him) though i expect that at worest he's still a low 4s pitcher with a solid win-lose record.

I'm not sure what to make of Moose, in terms of periphals he was clearly our ace this year. and really tough luck and that groin injury costed him a shot at 20 win. i think people are way too harsh on him, he was not a #2 this year, he was a #1 if you look closer at his stats. to say he's no #2 is only basing on that you think he'll get hurt more than he did this year.

I'd love it if they make a serious play for a electric young lefty like Kuo, but realistically i think there are a ton of upsides in our rotation right now, consistency is a issue ... but then again, isn't it always?

Posted by: Yu Hsing Chen [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2006 08:30 PM

What are the chances that maybe Cashman bids for the other Japanese pitcher who was posted this month? Kei Igawa doesn't have the outstanding hype that Matsuzaka does, but he's also much, much cheaper. If the plan for 2007 is going to be stockpiling #2 and #3 starters, he might be worth a look.

Some info on Igawa:

Posted by: mehmattski [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2006 08:41 PM

I dont necessarily disagree with the fact that a rotation of Wang, Moose, RJ, Pavano and Karstens/Rasner would be better than we have had recently but the problem I have is the fact that we have no depth or at least no depth with experience or track record. The fact that we have to put the success or failure of the season on "the hope" that either Karstens or Rasner pan out, or Pavano, Moose, and RJ can stay healthy or Clippard or Hughes contribute significantly is a huge mistake. With a $200 payroll, there shouldnt have to be any hope, and we dont have any guarantees of anything. Remember last year, the Red Sox had 7 starters in spring training, thought they were set and traded one away and ended up suffering such significant injuries they were wishing to have Bronson "Brandon" Arroyo back. The same thing could happen to the Yanks this season and we dont have anybody whom we can count on to take over if 2 or 3 starters get injured. That is why the trade of Wright was a mistake, and why our half hearted effort to obtain Matsuzaka was an even bigger mistake.

Posted by: Chewbacca [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2006 08:54 PM

Yu, I read/heard somewhere that Wang is working on a curveball this offseason, in order to induce more ks.

on Igawa, supposedly he has only decent ML stuff.

honestly, if we sign just one decent FA (Meche, Padilla, Lilly), I have enough confidence in the young guys (Hughes, Sanchez, Clip) to come up during the season and greatly improve our rotation. Assuming Moose resigns, we have Wang, Moose, RJ, FA, perhaps Rasner/Karstens to start at #5. With Pavano and the young'ns waiting in the wings. Remember, outside of Wang & Moose, our offense won most of our games.

Posted by: Travis G. [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2006 08:56 PM

Heyman says it may have even been more money!

See: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/baseball/mlb/11/13/boston.bidding/index.html

"ESPN's Peter Gammons reported earlier on Monday that the Red Sox had the high bid. Previous reports have pegged the winning bid at $38-to-45 million and $42 million, but a source has indicated that the winning bid may be even higher than that."

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2006 09:14 PM