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November 11, 2006

Sox Gamesmanship On Matsuzaka Bid

Thanks to Ken Rosenthal, now I get it.

The Red Sox bid something like $40 million on the rights to sign Daisuke Matsuzaka - and then they don't sign him. They get their money back and block the Yankees, or anyone else, from signing him.

It's pretty clever.

It's actually more clever than renting every single room in Jose Contreras's hotel for the purpose of making the Yankees life hell as New York tried to sign him, which the Red Sox did, way back when, for that matter.

Of course, the player, his agent, and the owners of the team in Japan can moan over this move. But, to who? To Bud Selig? Really?

Selig has been bending rules in favor of Red Sox owner John Henry for a long time now. Why should he change now?

Pretty clever, indeed.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at November 11, 2006 10:51 AM


if this is really the case, then they just saved the yankees 25 millions dollars for when we can sign him as a free agent next winter.

Posted by: adam [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 11, 2006 11:38 AM

If this is true, I'm pretty disappointed that we don't get to hear that the long tentacles of the Evil Empire extend to the South Pacific or whatever.

If this is the Sox' intent, it would explain why it's taking so long for Seibu to announce it, because you think they would be thrilled with the bid. And I would expect for Japanese clubs to call for drastic changes to the process.

Posted by: JeremyM [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 11, 2006 11:52 AM

As I understand it, it is actually the Japanese process and it is the MLB that complies with it.

Posted by: Jeteupthemiddle [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 11, 2006 12:15 PM

This is an old theory that even Buster Onley brought up in his article yesterday. If Bud Selig thinks the winning team didn't bid in good faith (say, in this case, the Red Sox bid 48 million and then only offer Mats 7 or 8 million a year) then the second-highest bid will win. I'm not saying the Red Sox wouldn't do something underhanded, but it's hard to believe they would do this.

The more likely scenario is that they had some sort of deal with the Lions in advance and put in the phony 48 million bid to guarantee a win.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 11, 2006 12:54 PM

I find it really hard to believe that Scott Boras wouldn't fight the system if something like that happened.

Posted by: bfriley76 [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 11, 2006 01:08 PM

Keep in mind that it's widely rumored that the Seattle Mariners only paid a portion of their posting fee when they got Ichiro. The Sox could have worked out a deal along those lines, where they put in the $45 million to secure their win, but never have any intention of actually paying that.

Posted by: DFLNJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 11, 2006 01:37 PM

Man, do I ever feel like a chump for closely following a process that's apparently, at its core, a travesty.

Posted by: brockdc [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 11, 2006 06:23 PM

Also, assuming the preliminary speculation holds, I wouldn't have a problem if the Yanks signed Zito - even if they will have to overpay. No, he's not the #1 they desperately need; but, as they usher in the new blood over the next couple of years, it will be good to have a reliable starter who can absolutely chew up innings.

Posted by: brockdc [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 11, 2006 06:30 PM

I agree on Zito brockdc. I don't quite understand why a team could get away with paying less than the bid. Is there some other arrangement worked out? Strange.

Posted by: JeremyM [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 11, 2006 11:22 PM