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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

ESPN: Red Sox’s winning bid for Matsuzaka—$51.1 million

Wow.

NAPLES, Fla.—The Boston Red Sox emerged Tuesday night as winners of the bidding for Daisuke Matsuzaka with a $51.1 million offer and have 30 days to sign the Japanese pitcher to a contract.

The Seibu Lions of Japan’s Pacific League announced they had accepted the high bid—ESPN’s Peter Gammons this week reported the figure to be $42 million—for their prized pitcher, and the major league commissioner’s office simultaneously confirmed at the general managers’ meetings that the Red Sox had made the offer.

Kyle S Posted: November 15, 2006 at 02:43 AM | 363 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japan, red sox

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   201. nycfan Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:23 PM (#2238573)
If the Red Sox really have had extra money and have just been sticking to this self-imposed payroll ceiling, shouldn't Red Sox fans be pretty pissed that they weren't willing to go a little bit over to get Damon or Abreu and keep them from going to the Yankees?
   202. b Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:24 PM (#2238575)
Not only can NESN not screen games, I was under the impression that they couldn't screen any MLB content at all, so that means no highlight shows or anything like that.
   203. bibigon Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:26 PM (#2238577)
The Red Sox would budget themselves to be $8M under the luxury tax, rather than right at it, to compensate for the added cost of the bid minus the revenue offset. Roughly, mind you -- they don't have to get exactly each season's share each year. Maybe this year they go right to the luxury tax point for marketing reasons, to try to have a huge year and get a big first-year kick. But over the life of the deal, I think that's the way they'd account for it. Of course, the numbers totally depend on the length of the deal, and the marketing revenue projections. But you get the idea.


Ok. We'll see, but I'd bet against it. If the Red So actually come in $8M-$13M shy of the luxury tax this year, then that's a good case for Matsuzaka limiting their player acquisition. I'd be surprised to see that happen however.
   204. nycfan Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:30 PM (#2238581)
The answer to the TV question seems to be to look at if YES is offered in Japan. If the Yankees couldn't figure out a way to make it attractive enough with Hideki, i don't see how the Red Sox could make NESN all that attractive there.
   205. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:30 PM (#2238583)
Grunthos,

Real Madrid did not pay 90 million for Zinedine Zidane in 2002 because in 2002 the conversion rate from pounds sterling to American dollars was not the 1.9 that it is today, it was closer to 1.55. It was almost right after this, about a year actually, when the dollar really began to fall. They also paid in euros, which was about 1.08 to the dollar or something. I think it wa smore like 60-65 million dollars at the time of the deal, maybe 70 at the most.
   206. Dan Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:32 PM (#2238586)
If the Red Sox really have had extra money and have just been sticking to this self-imposed payroll ceiling

The only team in MLB that isn't arguably sticking to a self-imposed payroll ceiling is the Yankees.
   207. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:33 PM (#2238589)
For those keeping score, 30 million out of 37 million, or 81%, of Japan is the potential "instant" market for NESN.

Except that NESN has no overseas broadcast rights to sell. YES is not available on cable or satellite in Japan, and it won't be unless and until MLB changes it's rule about all overseas broadcasting rights being negotiated by MLB international and all overseas broadcasting revenues being shared among all teams. I suppose that YES or NESN could sell all their non-MLB programming in foreign markets if they wanted to, but I suspect that there's not a whole lot of interest in Devils or Bruins games in Japan.
   208. TH Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:33 PM (#2238591)
I brought this up in another thread, but couldn't DM go back to Japan for one more year and buy crazy insurance against injury. I know pitcher injuries are very frequent but I am sure he could get himself insured for one season. This is the same thing Matt Leinhart did when he returned to USC for his senior year.
   209. bibigon Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:34 PM (#2238594)

If the Red Sox really have had extra money and have just been sticking to this self-imposed payroll ceiling, shouldn't Red Sox fans be pretty pissed that they weren't willing to go a little bit over to get Damon or Abreu and keep them from going to the Yankees?


A lot of fans are pissed about that.

I'm personally not, since they could probably even more profitable at the $80M payroll level, and so sticking to the luxury tax level is a pretty good compromise between maximizing profit for the owners, and maximizing wins. We're fortunate to have ownership that's willing to spend as much as they do on payroll. Complaining that they don't blow by the luxury tax seems pretty silly to me.
   210. Sam M. Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:34 PM (#2238595)
WRT the luxury tax, as I and others have said, the Red Sox will always stay under or near the line because of their relationship with Selig. When they went over the line a couple of years ago, Henry apologized publicly and endorsed Selig's policies. One reason they bid sky-high for Matsuzaka is because the posting fee doesn't not count against that figure, so the outlay does not affect their rhetorical and political stance. I have never believed that the Red Sox did not have the money to significantly jack up their MLB player acquisition budget, and I am more convinced of that now.

Well, now that is an interesting point, which I hadn't considered. If their stance on the luxury tax issue has always been political and not financial, then sure -- then I could definitely see why this makes sense and it would NOT affect their acquisition of other players. That would suggest they have been acting irrationally (from an economic POV) all along, and that this opportunity has given them a chance to take some of their resources which they were irrationally refusing to spend to acquire talent (for political reasons) and now actually spend it. And then, apart from that, they can go about their prior policy of spending on "payroll" right up to the tax trigger.

Very interesting analysis -- if it is the explanation for their policy, of course. What a bizarre little team those Red Sox are! ;-)
   211. bibigon Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:38 PM (#2238599)
If their stance on the luxury tax issue has always been political and not financial, then sure -- then I could definitely see why this makes sense and it would NOT affect their acquisition of other players. That would suggest they have been acting irrationally (from an economic POV) all along, and that this opportunity has given them a chance to take some of their resources which they were irrationally refusing to spend to acquire talent (for political reasons) and now actually spend it. And then, apart from that, they can go about their prior policy of spending on "payroll" right up to the tax trigger.


This is exactly what I was saying in post 179 - that the Red Sox are holding to luxury tax line regardless of their finances.

That's why the salary is relevant for player acquisition, but the posting fee is not.

By the way Sam, I suspect the Mets operate in a similar manner.
   212. Kyle S Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:38 PM (#2238600)
Thought experiment: how much would you be willing to pay the Twins to void Johan Santana's contract and get 30 days of exclusive negotiating rights with him?

For all the talk about VORP and replacement players and blah blah blah, there's only one Johan Santana, and only one team can have him.

For twins fans: how much money would you want in the above scenario? Would $50m be enough? I kinda doubt it would.
   213. Sam M. Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:47 PM (#2238607)
This is exactly what I was saying in post 179 - that the Red Sox are holding to luxury tax line regardless of their finances.

Yeah, you did say pretty much the same thing there -- but without the explanation of their motive to hold it, which Robinred supplied. That was what triggered for me the, "Aha!" moment.

The Mets aren't quite the same, at least not in a proven sense. They have not consistently spent right up to the luxury tax, so there has been no test of their policy in this regard. I suspect that Wilpon would stay under it as a matter of policy, however, almost regardless of revenues. But my guess is a bit different than a consistent record, as the Sox have.
   214. JC in DC Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:49 PM (#2238612)
Quick question, which may have been touched on already: Is it more accurate to say that Matsuzaka is an "ace-level pitcher" or an "ace-level prospect?" IOW, is he more like a Philip Hughes, or more like a Pedro [bracketing age]? What's the consensus on this?
   215. Dr. Vaux Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:50 PM (#2238616)
That he's somewhere in between, but no one knows where in between. It's very dangerous.
   216. bibigon Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:54 PM (#2238620)

The Mets aren't quite the same, at least not in a proven sense. They have not consistently spent right up to the luxury tax, so there has been no test of their policy in this regard. I suspect that Wilpon would stay under it as a matter of policy, however, almost regardless of revenues. But my guess is a bit different than a consistent record, as the Sox have.


They haven't been as consistent about it, but they haven't been tremendously consistent with big spending either. My guess is that they won't exceed the luxury tax substantially, even with their new stadium and network providing huge new amounts of dollars.

Only the Yankees will, and even that might not last once Steinbrenner is gone.

There's a reason the owners love Selig so much, when it seems like outwardly, he's such a disaster. Somehow or other, he keeps ownership as a whole in line with regards to spending, and you know the owners love that.

He also does it with the draft, and the Mets certainly listen to him there, as the Pedro Beato tale illustrates. Teams pass up positive expected value signings because Selig issues a recommendation against it. That the Red Sox are so chummy with Selig is probably a big part of why they consistently get the go-ahead to break slot recommendation.
   217. Mister High Standards Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:55 PM (#2238622)
villageidiom - I don't believe the RedSox can sell NESN in Japan, I thought games could only be redistrubuted internationally through MLB, and the revenue is shared.

JPWF - Are you aware of the circumstance surrounding Matsuzaka's leaving Seibu? Tearful goodbye, day of celbration at the ball park and all that other stuff? I think it's unlikly he will return based on the way his leaving was positioned.
   218. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:02 PM (#2238630)
Quick question, which may have been touched on already: Is it more accurate to say that Matsuzaka is an "ace-level pitcher" or an "ace-level prospect?" IOW, is he more like a Philip Hughes, or more like a Pedro [bracketing age]? What's the consensus on this?

The general consensus is that the Japanese leagues are somewhere in between AAA and the majors in terms of talent, right? So several years of outstanding performance in Japan means that Matsuzaka is a lot more likely to succeed next year than someone like Hughes. But is he J. Santana? Who knows...
   219. bibigon Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:07 PM (#2238642)
He had Santana level numbers(but not Pedro level, contrary to what some have said) in a league somewhere between MLB and AAA. It's a good bet he's not as good as Santana, but better than a AAA prospect with similar numbers. Philip Hughes doesn't really compare as well, since:

1. Matsuzaka has better numbers than Hughes does.
2. They were put up in a tougher context.

BPRo said his most statistically similar pitcher in MLB projects to be Roger Clemens - that's as good a guess as any. I suspect he'll allow more HRs than Clemens does, but he might also get more strikeouts.
   220. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:14 PM (#2238653)
Maybe NESN can produce some programming to sell to Japanese TV stations


They can have Matsuzaka go fishing with Charlie Moore.
   221. Backlasher Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:14 PM (#2238654)
Very interesting analysis -- if it is the explanation for their policy, of course. What a bizarre little team those Red Sox are! ;-)


Or what a bizarre little system is in place especially if the analysis in these pages are true. I am very interested to see if the MLBPA will have a comment on this item. The players bargained for a "luxury tax", but if teams are actually de facto treating the luxury tax threshhold as a fixed salary cap, I would think that it would not fit the non-statutory exemption. A resulting cap would be bargained for; a fixed cap when owners are actually transferring the market wealth for labor to other players does not appear to be bargained for; thus, actionable as a per se violation of trade and with standing pursuant to the Curt Flood Act.

Moreover, the "posting system" is not a bargained for element with labor and I would think the MLBPA has as much an interest in that process as it will increasingly affect the amount of labor compensation as they would be compensatory draft picks.
   222. bibigon Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#2238656)

AAA pitchers that translate like that are rarer than hen's teeth - I think the last pitcher I translated that well was Roy Oswalt (the first projection I ever did was Oswalt, as a matter of fact).


How did Liriano translate? If I recall, his 2006 ZiPS were amazing.
   223. JC in DC Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:16 PM (#2238657)
Well, the point wasn't really to compare him to Hughes in particular, but to ask whether he's a prospect, or an ace already.

There seems to be (IMHO) a somewhat unquestioned assumption that Japanese league baseball is "somewhere b/w MLB and AAA." Y'all will know the basis for that better than I, but there are 2 questions that raises (at least).

1: What is the basis for that assumption?
2: WHERE in between? Closer to AAA, or closer to MLB?

It strikes me as too general a statement, surprisingly inattentive to specifics, and thus I become skeptical.

Finally, Matsuzaka has better numbers than Hughes? Really? People barely hit Hughes. That's just stunning. Maybe he will be incredible.
   224. Backlasher Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:19 PM (#2238661)
They can have Matsuzaka go fishing with Charlie Moore.

Who knew the BFL was the real winners in this deal. The sound you hear is Roland Martin cracking open a nice frosty one. This Bud's for you.
   225. Kyle S Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:19 PM (#2238662)
Liriano had a low 4.00s predicted ERA by ZIPS i think (albeit with lots of strikeouts). i kept him anyway, and am glad I did.
   226. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:22 PM (#2238667)
Has anyone tried to do an in-depth comparison of Matsuzaka's #s with Nomo's and Irabu's? WOuld that comparison be meaningful? I don't know if levels of offense have changed much in Japan, but Matsuzaka's raw #s don't look that different from Nomo's. In fact, Nomo had better K rates. Nomo was a good pitcher, but not an ace aside from his first couple years.
   227. bibigon Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:23 PM (#2238668)
Finally, Matsuzaka has better numbers than Hughes? Really? People barely hit Hughes. That's just stunning. Maybe he will be incredible.


The main difference I see is control. Hughes has great control(32 BBs in 116IP), but Matsuzaka is at Curt Schilling level control(33 BBs in 186.3 IP).
   228. CFiJ Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:25 PM (#2238669)
Moreover, the "posting system" is not a bargained for element with labor and I would think the MLBPA has as much an interest in that process as it will increasingly affect the amount of labor compensation as they would be compensatory draft picks.

The Japanese Professional Baseball Players Association has major issues with the posting system, and in fact doesn't officially recognize it. But they don't have the clout to do anything about (and bigger fish to fry in the meantime). But if the MLBPA put a challenge to it, and the JPBPA did the same from the Japanese side, I think it'd fall pretty quickly.
   229. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:25 PM (#2238670)
If the Red Sox are actually going to keep to the luxury tax, and were going to do so regardless(both of which seem likely to me) then I just don't see any mechanism for an outlay of this size of affect their ability to spend elsewhere.

Well, if I was a Red Sox fan (and I'm not), I would take this bid as pretty strong evidence that the Red Sox COULD exceed the luxury-tax threshold if they wanted to, and probably by a lot. So the cleverness of figuring out a way to get an ace-level pitcher in a way that doesn't count against the luxury tax is more than offset, in my mind, by the fact that they're going to have to overpay to do so - when you take into account the $51 million that's going to come from somewhere. Especially considering, as others have said, the luxury-tax threshold isn't a cap, it's a constraint that the Red Sox are putting on themselves.

The idea that Matsuzaka could be worth $50 million above and beyond his playing ability is a reasonable defense of this bid (I don't believe he's worth that much, but I readily concede that the Red Sox know more about this than me). But I don't see how a fan can defend the idea that this is a GOOD move because it lets the Red Sox stay under a mythical self-imposed payroll cap thanks to bookkeeping gimmickry.
   230. JPWF13 Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:26 PM (#2238672)
JPWF - Are you aware of the circumstance surrounding Matsuzaka's leaving Seibu? Tearful goodbye, day of celbration at the ball park and all that other stuff? I think it's unlikly he will return based on the way his leaving was positioned.


I've seen the photos, but that was before:
1: Boras
2: The posting bids went nuts
   231. bibigon Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:30 PM (#2238675)

Has anyone tried to do an in-depth comparison of Matsuzaka's #s with Nomo's and Irabu's? WOuld that comparison be meaningful? I don't know if levels of offense have changed much in Japan, but Matsuzaka's raw #s don't look that different from Nomo's. In fact, Nomo had better K rates. Nomo was a good pitcher, but not an ace aside from his first couple years.


It's better to do a broader comparison of all MLB to NPB and vice versa player movement than in limiting it to one or two players. That's the value of a ZIPS translation.

However, Matsuzaka's numbers are much better than Nomo's. Nomo only had one season with less than 100 BBs in a year - his last, when he walked 86 in 114 innings. Matsuzaka's numbers are also better than Irabu's, albeit not by as much. Irabu also had significantly worse BB rates, but they were not quite Nomo level.
   232. CFiJ Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:36 PM (#2238684)
There seems to be (IMHO) a somewhat unquestioned assumption that Japanese league baseball is "somewhere b/w MLB and AAA." Y'all will know the basis for that better than I, but there are 2 questions that raises (at least).

1: What is the basis for that assumption?
2: WHERE in between? Closer to AAA, or closer to MLB?


Japanese Baseball: How good is it?
Japanese Baseball Part 2

How far you want to believe the translations is up to you, but it's pretty well-established that most minor leaguers/ex-major leaguers hit better in NPB than in the majors, but worse than in AAA.
   233. KJOK Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:38 PM (#2238688)
"Someone joked in a earlier Matsuzaka thread about Boston just buying the Seibu franchise instead....turns out that maybe wasn't quite so far-fetched an idea after all..."


How much do Japanese teams sell for?..how comparaable is their worth to an average US baseball franchise?

Just curious


I don't know, but Japanese baseball is not in nearly as good of shape revenue wise as US baseball.

And I believe the $51 million will pay for the ENTIRE Seibu player payroll in 2007....
   234. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:43 PM (#2238699)
Who is this Ennui Willie Keeler guy? Without a parenthetical explanation of his prior handle, I must assume that he's... either a pedant or a pedarast.
   235. CFiJ Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:52 PM (#2238710)
I've seen the photos, but that was before:
1: Boras
2: The posting bids went nuts


Well, let me add some more food for thought. Matsuzaka is no stranger to negotiations. Since he came into NPB, at age 18, he's negotiated his contracts with Seibu without the aid of an agent (which weren't even recognized, and then only on a limited basis, until 2000). Matsuzaka knew he could command more money by waiting until he was a free agent. He's never needed Boras to tell him that. Matsuzaka made the choice to come now because coming over now is worth more than to him than millions of dollars later. The bid doesn't change that. Boras's job is to get Matsuzaka the best deal he can this year, under the circumstances imposed by the posting system.

Irabu also had significantly worse BB rates, but they were not quite Nomo level.

One thing I believe about Irabu were that his problems weren't purely because of his stuff and ability, but to a certain extent to his make-up. I think there is in MLB, compared to NPB, a bit more of a hands-off approach to players, an expectation of self-reliance. Irabu chafed under the constant harping of his Japanese coaches (which is why he was so eager to get out of NPB), and I think when he came over he lacked discipline. His weight ballooned, he wasn't hustling, and wasn't making adjustments. Then his health just tanked.

I freely acknowledge, though, that that's just largely baseless speculation...
   236. bibigon Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:53 PM (#2238713)
Running a ZiPS projection for 2007, I get 15-8, 3.58 in Boston.


Regression to the mean is really a #####. ERAs of 3.55, 3.25 and 3.03, with the 3.03 being the most recent result in a 3.58 projection for a 26 year old? I buy it - but I can't say I'm not surprised either.
   237. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:57 PM (#2238720)
A resulting cap would be bargained for; a fixed cap when owners are actually transferring the market wealth for labor to other players does not appear to be bargained for; thus, actionable as a per se violation of trade and with standing pursuant to the Curt Flood Act... I would think the MLBPA has as much an interest in that process as it will increasingly affect the amount of labor compensation as they would be compensatory draft picks.

So... would it be better to wait until the Japanese invasion is more prominent, or do they bring in the lawyers while Gil Meche and Jeff Suppan are getting $50M deals? Even if this is a legitimate long-term threat, it's also a tough time to act. Interesting.
   238. PJ Martinez Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:58 PM (#2238721)
I'd be thrilled by 3.58. Or at least very happy. I hope it's over enough innings (and with enough run support) to mean more than 15 wins, but ERA-wise that would be fine with me.
   239. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:59 PM (#2238723)
Irabu has/had a pretty serious drinking problem, too, didn't he?

I'm trying to figure out which Yankee fan response I enjoy more.

Either a) I bet those grapes were sour, anyway!:
If the Yankees did this, I'd be pulling my hair out, figuring that Cashman's power had been usurped ... Matsuzaka is no sure thing. He's very likely to be successful, but there are no guarantees ... I'm glad the Yankees stayed out of this one.
or b) Even though we lost, we'll still win!
If I'm Boras, I'm explaining to Matsuzaka right now the Yankees-Red Sox dynamic, and that no matter when he's a free agent, even in May, they will be bidding through the roof against each other in 2008 to keep him away from the other team. I'd tell him that if he plays just one more season in Japan, I can guarantee him a $100 million contract.
I think the second is my favorite, because the first at least involves arguments that he might have been making prior to the bidding process, though I have to admit I doubt that, too. These are good times.
   240. AROM Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:04 PM (#2238728)
Matsuzaka made the choice to come now because coming over now is worth more than to him than millions of dollars later. The bid doesn't change that.

It might. Would the Red Sox offer him more money if the winning bid was 20 million instead of 50 million?
   241. JPWF13 Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:07 PM (#2238733)
Matsuzaka's numbers are also better than Irabu's, albeit not by as much.


Irabu's ERA his last 3 years in Japan was 2.67
DM's: 2.40

The league ERA for Irabu's last 3 years was 3.8
The league ERA for DM's last 3 years was 4.13
That gives DM an ERA+ advantage of 170-140
   242. Brian Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:09 PM (#2238737)
This offseason, from a pure Sox fan perspective, is already better and more exciting than the last two.

The last two? In 2004 you guys hadn't even sobered up yet.
   243. b Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:10 PM (#2238738)
Boras's job is to get Matsuzaka the best deal he can this year, under the circumstances imposed by the posting system.

Again, I disagree with this. Boras's job is to get Matsuzaka the best deal period. That means not shutting the door on anything. So, they go through posting to see what kind of deal the winning bidder will offer. If it isn't good enough relative to what they think they can get next year, so be it. At least they didn't go through an entire season wondering what might have been.
   244. Brian Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:10 PM (#2238739)
This offseason, from a pure Sox fan perspective, is already better and more exciting than the last two.

The last two? By this time in 2004 you guys hadn't even sobered up yet.
   245. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:14 PM (#2238743)
hmmm... I liked the first one better, Brian.
   246. JPWF13 Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:20 PM (#2238752)
Boras's job is to get Matsuzaka the best deal he can this year, under the circumstances imposed by the posting system.


Boras doesn't quite believe in following the rules that way- a few years ag he exploite a loophole to get some high draft picks declared FAs- he's had FAs take one year deals or opt for arbitration if he didn't like the market that particular winter- he's had high draft picks sit out all winter until the week before the next draft- he's had high draft picks sit out- go play independant ball and try their luck with anotehr team a year later.

Boras has to believe he can get more $ for his client in the long run if he waits until 5/08- or if he can get Boston to agree to an absurdly short deal- 3 years?

Boston has to pay the posting fee if they sign DM- so to them a 3 year deal is almost unfathomable- 30/3 for DM plus 51 to Seibu? That's 81/3- that's nuts.
60/4? That's really 110/4 and Boras is going to assume that's what his client is worth- so he won't sign for 60/4- he might sign for the present value of 110/4 (from 2008-2011)- which is going to be more than 60/4.

Unless Boston thinks they've backed themsleves into a corner and really treats the posting fee as a sunk cost- or Seibu kicks a large chunk of it back to DM (what's to stop them?) I really have a hard time seeing this ending up in a signing
   247. Kyle S Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:27 PM (#2238757)
There is no contract that makes sense if you take the 51 million dollar posting fee and divide it by the length of the contract you propose. it's not even worth trying.
   248. JPWF13 Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:29 PM (#2238762)
There is no contract that makes sense if you take the 51 million dollar posting fee and divide it by the length of the contract you propose. it's not even worth trying.


That's the point
   249. CFiJ Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:30 PM (#2238764)
Boras has to believe he can get more $ for his client in the long run if he waits until 5/08- or if he can get Boston to agree to an absurdly short deal- 3 years?

And my point is that it doesn't matter what Boras believes, he was hired by Matsuzaka for the express purpose of getting him the best deal he can this year when he was posted. And maybe I'm the only one who believes this, but Boras still works for Matsuzaka, Matsuzaka isn't just going to do whatever Boras says. There's a world of difference between Matsuzaka's position and that of a draft pick.
   250. bibigon Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:32 PM (#2238766)
That's the point


No, the point is that posting fee needs to be treated separately, because there is good reason to believe it has absolutely no impact on the Red Sox' ability to sign other players.
   251. b Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:43 PM (#2238776)
And my point is that it doesn't matter what Boras believes, he was hired by Matsuzaka for the express purpose of getting him the best deal he can this year when he was posted.

I still disagree with your basic premise here. I don't think it's about just this year, I think it's about the rest of his career...about getting him the best deal over the next several years, not just the best deal the Red Sox will offer right now.

Who knows, the Red Sox might offer him 3/48. If he doesn't get posted, that opportunity never comes. If anything, he's a pawn in the system that makes Seibu and MLB jump through all of these hoops just to see what is out there for him.

And maybe I'm the only one who believes this, but Boras still works for Matsuzaka, Matsuzaka isn't just going to do whatever Boras says.

It's not about the client being a lap dog. Players hire Boras for a reason. They know his reputation and just the simple act of hiring him seems a tacit acceptance of his tactics. If he wanted smooth and easy and take what he can get this year, he would have hired Arn Tellem.
   252. b Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:46 PM (#2238782)
There's a world of difference between Matsuzaka's position and that of a draft pick.

Exactly. Matsuzaka can go back to Japan, make millions, and then cash in next spring with whatever team he wants. A draft pick can go back to college or go play in an indy league for nothing and then get drafted again.
   253. Srul Itza Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:51 PM (#2238785)
he was hired by Matsuzaka for the express purpose of getting him the best deal he can this year when he was posted

What is your source for the terms of Boras's engagement with Matsuzaka? How do you know he was not hired to ensure that Matsuzaka maximizes his overall value, which might mean waiting? How do you know he was not hired precisely because he has the reputation of having the client sit one out, if it means a better deal down the road?
   254. Kyle S Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:52 PM (#2238788)
i agree with cfij that matsuzaka definitely wants to play in MLB this season and will instruct boras to help him do that. i'm sure that boras will threaten to take dm back to japan, etc etc, but in the end they work something out.

at the same time, i don't see dm taking a 5 year, 3 million dollar a year contract because the sox are so broke from paying the posting fee. imagine that conversation:

Theo: well, we paid $51 million for his rights, so we only have $3 million per year in our budget left for dice-k's salary. guess you'll have to take 3/18
Boras: who the hell told you to bid $51m? are you retarded? 8/175 is the minimum we would consider.
Theo: fine, fine. 4/45 with two option years and an option to void the deal after year 3 with a buyout price on your side of 20 million.
Borat: jagshemash!

yeah, so i think they agree on something.
   255. JPWF13 Posted: November 15, 2006 at 08:12 PM (#2238800)
at the same time, i don't see dm taking a 5 year, 3 million dollar a year contract because the sox are so broke from paying the posting fee. imagine that conversation:


no one's making that argument. The argument is that Boras is going to take any "reasonable" offer add the 51MM posting fee to that and declare that (with some reason I might add) to be DM's value.

Yes DM wants to go to the MLB in 2007
But he also hired Boras- and Boras is going to tell him that if he waits until 5/08 that the $51mm now going to Seibu would be going to him instead.

Until a week ago most speculation on the posting fee was less than half of what Boston really bid- acting as though it doesn't matter is just nuts.
What Boston is really willing to spend for DM is $51 million more than whatever their highest offer to DM turns out to be- and Boras knows that, and he's going to make damn sure DM knows that as well.

So Boston has (the way I see it) made a mistake on many levels:
1: They outbid the next best posting offer by an amount equal to the entire posting bid on Ichiro.
2: If they can't come to terms with Boras/DM, and DM goes (presumably unhappily) back to Japan for one more year, when DM does become available again, Boston's chances of landing him will be nil.
3: If they do sign him- it will be by making a 26 year old who's never pitched in the United States (who has more wear on his arm than is usual for a 26 year old pitcher in the US) the most expensive pitcher if not player in all of baseball. Basically he'll have to be Johann Santana or a 26 year old Pedro to make it a good deal.
   256. karlmagnus Posted: November 15, 2006 at 08:23 PM (#2238810)
JPWF13, you have got the economics wrong. There are TWO subsidies which offset the $51mm. One is Matsuzaka's low Japanese salary for the next 1 1/2 years; if he's worth $20mm, that subsidiey is 17x1.5=$25.5mm. The second is Japanese reveneus, which over 5 years are perhaps 5x$4mm or $20mm. Thus the net up-front cost of the Seibu payment is only about $6mm. If Matsuzaka could get 5/100 as a free agent, Sox can sign him for 5/75 because he makes good money immediately instead of in May 2008. If Sox offered 5/65, in that case, Matsuzaka would have no incentive to return to Seibu (because there must be more than a 10/75 chance that he blows his arm out.

The economics really aren't too bad, although one can never trust Boras to be rational and not greedy. Sox need to go long, though, to maximise the benefit -- at least 5 years.
   257. Srul Itza Posted: November 15, 2006 at 08:37 PM (#2238817)
i agree with cfij that matsuzaka definitely wants to play in MLB this season and will instruct boras to help him do that

Is this based on a specific conversation you had with Matsuzaka, or just your long familiarity with him?
   258. bibigon Posted: November 15, 2006 at 08:39 PM (#2238819)
1: They outbid the next best posting offer by an amount equal to the entire posting bid on Ichiro.


If they think the rights to Matsuzaka carries with it a value of say, $100M, then beating the Mets offer by $10M is quite reasonable in order to ensure that they win the bidding. Lets say they think that $40M has a 80% chance of winning the bid, while $51M has a 100% chance. The expected value from the $40M bid is 0.8*(100-40)+0.2*(100-40), which is $48M. The expected value from the $51M bid meanwhile is 1.0*(100-51)+0.0(100-51)= $49M.

It all depends on how much they think Matsuzaka is worth and what odds a lower bid would have had of getting the job done. I don't think you can make the claim that you know the answer to either one of those(well, without hindsight on the 2nd one.)

2: If they can't come to terms with Boras/DM, and DM goes (presumably unhappily) back to Japan for one more year, when DM does become available again, Boston's chances of landing him will be nil.


I'd be surprised if this is the case. Boras is about money. If the Red Sox offer more, they'll get him. That is unless he's dead set on being a Yankee, in which case they don't have a shot either way. I don't think failing to come to terms with him is a disaster for their relationship with him. Both sides know the dynamics at play here.

3: If they do sign him- it will be by making a 26 year old who's never pitched in the United States (who has more wear on his arm than is usual for a 26 year old pitcher in the US) the most expensive pitcher if not player in all of baseball. Basically he'll have to be Johann Santana or a 26 year old Pedro to make it a good deal.


As has been long discussed here, you can't simply add the posting fee onto the contract and make the comparison. It falls flat for many reasons. He's not going to be getting $20M-$25M per year in salary - probably more like $10-12M, and that's the number which determines the impact he has on the Red Sox' ability to acquire other talent. You're also not taking into account the value of entry into the Japanese market, which none of us have a clue as to how to properly value, but to ignore it entirely as you do is certainly not correct.
   259. Kyle S Posted: November 15, 2006 at 08:53 PM (#2238830)
Is this based on a specific conversation you had with Matsuzaka, or just your long familiarity with him?

Both. But seriously, no need to be a jerk. He wanted to come over last season, but his team refused to post him. When he was dominating during the WBC he seemed to enjoy the limelight and thrive on the big stage. He asked again this offseason to be posted and was obviously overjoyed when Seibu relented. I read all this and get the strong impression that he's a guy who wants to face the best, and that money is secondary. Sure, I could be wrong; I certainly didn't mean to imply I had any insider knowledge or anything. And certainly, the fact that he chose boras as his agent means something.

Many folks around here treat Boras like the Devil incarnate, but he doesn't always attempt to squeeze every last cent out of teams he negotiates with. he had mark pawelek signed with the cubs within a few hours of the draft, i believe. also, when he is tough, it's at the player's request. i remember reading interviews with jered weaver's family during the angels negotiations, and they all said they had complete faith in boras and thought his strategy was best for jered.

if matsuzaka says "get something done, no matter what", boras will get something done. i think that'll happen. we'll see, i guess.
   260. AROM Posted: November 15, 2006 at 08:55 PM (#2238831)
As has been long discussed here, you can't simply add the posting fee onto the contract and make the comparison.

I don't see why not. Say he signs if offered 4/48. He's only getting 48 million, but the Red Sox are paying 100 million more than they would to not sign him. If they are close to the luxury tax, then they recoup some of that money.

But damn, thats going to be one expensive pitcher. Good news for A-Rod, I guess, if he signs, since Dice-K will become the new standard for expensive player.
   261. PJ Martinez Posted: November 15, 2006 at 09:05 PM (#2238839)
"Good news for A-Rod, I guess, if he signs, since Dice-K will become the new standard for expensive player."

Well, 48 + 51.1/4 is still less than 252/10, right?

Besides, A-Rod won't ever catch a break. It's not in the stars.
   262. bibigon Posted: November 15, 2006 at 09:11 PM (#2238841)
I don't see why not. Say he signs if offered 4/48. He's only getting 48 million, but the Red Sox are paying 100 million more than they would to not sign him. If they are close to the luxury tax, then they recoup some of that money.


So I take it you didn't read through this thread?

Why do fans care about a player's salary? Because it impacts the ability of teams to make other player acquisitions, right? So which is the figure that impacts the ability of the Red Sox to sign other players - the 48M or the $100M?

Based on how the Red Sox have been operating, it appears likely that they are artificially sticking to the luxury tax threshold for salary, even as their ability to spend has expanded beyond that point. Given that only the $48M will count against the luxury tax, only the $48M is relevant from a player acquisition standpoint for the the Red Sox.

Make sense? It took me a couple days to figure this out myself, but it really illuminates why this makes sense.
   263. b Posted: November 15, 2006 at 09:14 PM (#2238845)
Many folks around here treat Boras like the Devil incarnate

I just think he is a very strong advocate for his clients and the rest of the industry be damned. That doesn't make him a devil, but it does make him someone that you hire to get what you want. Pawelek, for example, signed quickly (and he wanted to sign quickly), but he also got the bonus that Boras floated pre-draft. It isn't about squeezing every last cent, in other words. It's about having a number in mind and getting to that number. If the Red Sox hit that number as quickly as the Cubs did, I'd expect the negotiations to go just as smoothly. If they don't, I'd expect Boras to stand firm.
   264. Mister High Standards Posted: November 15, 2006 at 09:17 PM (#2238850)
Do people not think that the RedSox talked to Boros prior to submitting and new what he was "floating" then?
   265. JPWF13 Posted: November 15, 2006 at 09:25 PM (#2238857)
So I take it you didn't read through this thread?

Why do fans care about a player's salary? Because it impacts the ability of teams to make other player acquisitions, right?


Since we keep talking past eachother, I'll try one more time
I and a few others are not talking about the impact on Boston's salary structure, luxury tax or ability to sign players in addition to DM.

The $51 MM is directly relevant to DM's perceived fair market value. It's money that is being paid to get him. If it's worthwhile for Boston to pay 51mm to seibu and 49mm/4 to DM then it would likewise be worthwhile to Boston to pay $100mm/4 to DM IF HE WERE A FREE AGENT.

So if you are thinking like Boras (not like a redsox fan iow)- you would look at a 49/4 offer this way:
49/4 =100/4 : My guy is worth 25m/year

I can take 49/4 or:
Go back to Japan, make 3MM (i don't know for sure) in year 1
then in 5/08 sign for 2.75 years at 25MM over in the US (68.75MM)
total for 4 years if he goes back to Japan- $71.7MM

Boston's offer has to get close enough to the hypothetical "return to Japan for one year and become Free Agent in 2008 deal" before Boras will recommend it to DM
   266. AROM Posted: November 15, 2006 at 09:27 PM (#2238860)
Based on how the Red Sox have been operating, it appears likely that they are artificially sticking to the luxury tax threshold for salary, even as their ability to spend has expanded beyond that point.

So they are going to spend $148 million on player payroll, regardless of whether or not they have to pay a 51 million dollar fee?

That seems a curious decision on their part, to pretend that 51 million has nothing to do with a player's cost, but if so, you are right that it won't impact any other player acquisitions.

Just don't expect the media to buy into that though. First time he gives up 7 runs in a game (and he will, every pitcher does sometimes) they will remind everyone of every penny spent to get him.
   267. JPWF13 Posted: November 15, 2006 at 09:36 PM (#2238869)
Do people not think that the RedSox talked to Boros prior to submitting and new what he was "floating" then?


It's possible, but I think it's more likely that Boston got freaked by NY (both teams) and the rumors floating about their bids.

Let's just say Boras had a number in mind- and then he found out for a fact that one team posted 51mm (and another team was rumored to have posted 38mm-42mm) well that's additional info concerning the desireability of his client he didn't have before- he may have thought $X before, but I bet he's now thinking $X+
   268. b Posted: November 15, 2006 at 09:42 PM (#2238876)
We understand how the Red Sox are thinking, but the question is, why should DM and Boras care. The cap they are placing on payroll is entirely self imposed and arbitrary.

If you want to adjust the hypothetical 4/100 total cash payout to find what the actual contract would be if the Sox were paying tax on whatever portion of that total amount put them over the threshold, that I can see, but completely ignoring any cash spent outside of payroll as it relates to Matsuzaka's perceived value doesn't work if you are anyone but the Red Sox.
   269. Dizzypaco Posted: November 15, 2006 at 09:53 PM (#2238886)
So if you are thinking like Boras (not like a redsox fan iow)- you would look at a 49/4 offer this way:
49/4 =100/4 : My guy is worth 25m/year

I can take 49/4 or:
Go back to Japan, make 3MM (i don't know for sure) in year 1
then in 5/08 sign for 2.75 years at 25MM over in the US (68.75MM)
total for 4 years if he goes back to Japan- $71.7MM

Boston's offer has to get close enough to the hypothetical "return to Japan for one year and become Free Agent in 2008 deal" before Boras will recommend it to DM


Look, it is clearly not in Boras' financial interest for DM to sign with the Red Sox or anyone else this year. The only reason any team would pay money for his rights is if he was willing to sign at below what he could get in a year to two. If you are correct, what you are saying is that Boras and DM never had any intention of signing with any major league team - they are just playing everyone for a joke.

I disagree. I think DM has some intention of signing a major league contract this year - knowing full well that it won't be for as much as what he could get a year or two down the line. There are other reasons that DM may want to take a little less overall in order to be a major league pitcher this year, and Boras knows it. My hunch is that DM signs with the Red Sox, for less money than what Boras would like.
   270. AROM Posted: November 15, 2006 at 09:55 PM (#2238889)
If the Red Sox and their fans want to ignore the 51 million posting fee and say it has no effect on payroll, I'm sure Boras will agree with you.

Roy Oswalt got 5/75, so lets start there.
   271. JPWF13 Posted: November 15, 2006 at 09:59 PM (#2238894)
If you are correct, what you are saying is that Boras and DM never had any intention of signing with any major league team - they are just playing everyone for a joke.


No, I think DM had every intention, and I think Boras hoped he'd get a deal done now- but Boston's ludicrous bid- $ that goes to Seibu's pockets and not DM's or Boras' has changed the claculus quite a bit.

Of course DM was willing to sign now for less than he could get in a year or two- the question is HOW MUCH LESS. If the posting bid was $13mm (like Ichiro's) then DM would be taking a "little less overall"- If the posting bid was double Ichiro's say $26mm I would still see a deal getting done, $51MM is ludicrous though and is going to be a major stumbling block.
   272. b Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:00 PM (#2238895)
If you are correct, what you are saying is that Boras and DM never had any intention of signing with any major league team - they are just playing everyone for a joke.

Or, they had the intention of seeing if a team would pay them the big money now even after going though the posting process. You don't know if you don't try. Unfortuneately, trying in this case is a pain in the ass, but that's why I think Boras is a factor here. He isn't afraid to be that guy.
   273. JPWF13 Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:07 PM (#2238900)
If you are correct, what you are saying is that Boras and DM never had any intention of signing with any major league team - they are just playing everyone for a joke.


actually the only party to all this D(ie: DM-Boras-Seibu-Boston), whose motives I've suspected is Boston's. I think they'd like to get DM, I also think blocking NY was also part of their motive.

Between the bid and whatever they offer DM they'll have enough $ on the table that they could escape any claim that they didn't negotiate in good faith, but...
   274. Mister High Standards Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:11 PM (#2238902)
Let's just say Boras had a number in mind- and then he found out for a fact that one team posted 51mm (and another team was rumored to have posted 38mm-42mm) well that's additional info concerning the desireability of his client he didn't have before- he may have thought $X before, but I bet he's now thinking $X+


I think it's highly unlikly that Boras would float a number to the RedSox, as the price they were looking for and then renig. Ethcs schmetics... its bad business for Boras to sour a very good relationship he has with the RedSox, considering he is one of the teams he really needs to do business with.
   275. bibigon Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:14 PM (#2238903)

The $51 MM is directly relevant to DM's perceived fair market value. It's money that is being paid to get him. If it's worthwhile for Boston to pay 51mm to seibu and 49mm/4 to DM then it would likewise be worthwhile to Boston to pay $100mm/4 to DM IF HE WERE A FREE AGENT.


That's just not the case. Paying Matsuzaka $25M a year as a free agent would hamper their ability to get other talent for the team far more than paying him $12M/year and sending $51M to Seibu. I, and others, have explained a couple times why this is the case. Does this make sense?
   276. JPWF13 Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:18 PM (#2238907)
I think it's highly unlikly that Boras would float a number to the RedSox, as the price they were looking for and then renig. Ethcs schmetics... its bad business for Boras to sour a very good relationship he has with the RedSox, considering he is one of the teams he really needs to do business with


well you're assuming he floated a number to them- what if he didn't?
plus there's been more than a few rumors in recent years that Boston doesn't play fair themselves- they'll float ideas and offers to teams and agents and then renege
   277. villageidiom Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:23 PM (#2238910)
Specifically, this "international revenue sharing by different company owned by team owner" loophole doesn't actually exist because MLB owns the international TV rights to Red Sox games, not John Henry or NESN.

It still works.

Currently, NESN pays the Red Sox for domestic broadcast rights for Red Sox games. This is an expense. They also collect $2/month (I said "year" before, but I think it's per month) from cable providers for each subscriber who has NESN. This is revenue, as is the ad revenue they get. All NESN would be doing in this case is switching the expense from the Red Sox (for domestic) to MLB (for international).

Again, the Red Sox don't benefit from the international rights (1/30th) as much as they do for the domestic rights (30/30ths), but NESN still benefits if the rates for international broadcast rights are the same as domestic. If the international price is lower, they benefit more. I'm sure as the audience grows MLB will push for a bigger price for the international rights, but in the short run the price for international broadcast is probably relatively low. Then again, I don't think they'd charge $2/month in the foreign market in the short run, simply because demand will be lower. (I doubt many in Japan will call their cable carrier and demand that they add NESN, for example.)

Nevertheless, I'm certain that entry into the Japanese TV market via NESN - or its soon-to-be-established sister company DaMN, the Daisuke Matsuzaka Network - is what's ultimately paying for this. The economics still make sense, even if the Sox have to split the broadcast rights 30 ways. NESN doesn't have to split one cent of their revenue with anyone.
   278. JPWF13 Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:26 PM (#2238918)
That's just not the case. That's just not the case. Paying Matsuzaka $25M a year as a free agent would hamper their ability to get other talent for the team far more than paying him $12M/year and sending $51M to Seibu.


it would be more accurate to say that paying Matsuzaka $25M a year as a free agent would hamper their ability to get other talent for the team a little more than paying him $12M/year and sending $51M to Seibu.

It's not far more, it's a little more, and Boras would concede that point- he understands "Net" his goal is to net as much for his client as possible, and a team's goal is to net as much for itself as possible.

Let's say the Redsox are going to spend right up to the luxury tax threshold and not a penny over- so if the $51mm was paid to DM they'd pay a tax on that. Boras might be willing to take the tax amount off his offer, Actually No he wouldn't, at best he'd say DM's salary is x% of your total payroll, so I'll cut you some slack for X% of the luxury tax you'll be paying- why should DM take the hit for the Luxury tax? Manny's making big bucks, so is Schilling- DM might not even be the guy to put them over - it might be the next guy.
   279. JC in DC Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:31 PM (#2238920)
I think you guys are outthinking yourselves on this. The Sox bid big money to get a young great pitcher. They will try hard to sign that pitcher. They will succeed. IMHO.

Whether he is a great young pitcher who will succeed in MLB is much less clear to me. I think the expectations are too high. I think he will face A-Rod like expectations and pressure. NOBODY will forget the money.
   280. bibigon Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:41 PM (#2238929)

It's not far more, it's a little more, and Boras would concede that point- he understands "Net" his goal is to net as much for his client as possible, and a team's goal is to net as much for itself as possible.

Let's say the Redsox are going to spend right up to the luxury tax threshold and not a penny over- so if the $51mm was paid to DM they'd pay a tax on that. Boras might be willing to take the tax amount off his offer, Actually No he wouldn't, at best he'd say DM's salary is x% of your total payroll, so I'll cut you some slack for X% of the luxury tax you'll be paying- why should DM take the hit for the Luxury tax? Manny's making big bucks, so is Schilling- DM might not even be the guy to put them over - it might be the next guy.


You don't seem to understand. The Red Sox are going to spend right up to the luxury tax threshold, and that's it. That they'd pay 40% on the $51M they'd pay to Matsuzaka is irrelevant, since they're not going to get to that point. They'd just sign less other talent in the first place, and not get past the $148M luxury tax point.

Scenario A: The Red Sox get Matsuzaka through the posting system, and pay him $12M per year. That means they have $136M to spend on other talent to put on the field.

Scenario B: The Red Sox sign Matsuzaka as a free agent, and pay him $25M per year. That means they have $123M to spend on other talent to put on the field.

It's that simple. Paying him $25M per year would hamper their ability to get other talent far more. You said "it would likewise be worthwhile to Boston to pay $100mm/4 to DM IF HE WERE A FREE AGENT." That's just not the case, since if they pay him $100M/4, then they have $13M less per year to spend on onfield talent. He is thus worth far less to them as a $25M free agent than he is as a $12M free agent/$51M posting fee.

Get it?
   281. Josh Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:47 PM (#2238932)
They should have done $51,111,111.11.

This is what they appear to have done.

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2006/11/japan_media_rou.html
   282. villageidiom Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:50 PM (#2238939)
Regarding Boras... There have been many high-profile cases where he has "negotiated" an outlandish contract by playing extreme hardball. But he has far more clients than that, and in most cases reaches reasonable deals quickly. Just because he's with Boras doesn't mean this'll be a protracted negotiation that ends miserably. If Boras doesn't get a contract for Matsuzaka, Boras won't get paid.

The economics here are that the contract has to be a good enough alternative to waiting out his Seibu time and signing as an unproven-in-MLB free agent in 1-2 years. Given the injury risk associated with waiting that time, the contract he gets now should be a considerable discount to a free-agent contract. They key thing for Boras (and his client) will be the number of years. In the players interest he'll want enough years to prove his worth and to guarantee income, but not so many that he misses his free agent years.

If I had to guess it will be a 3-year deal with (high) team option and (low) player option for a 4th year. If he's the real deal, the Sox will work to negotiate an extension in another year or so.
   283. Fridas Boss Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:51 PM (#2238941)
bibigon, since the Sox haven't posted before, and certainly haven't laid out $51M in this manner before, how can you be so sure they won't alter the amount of their payroll moving forward? There ability to recoup the $51M through marketing is Japan is only as possible as Matsuzaka's performance and tenure allows. If he has 3 mediocres years and leaves as a FA, that would be $51M in fees plus his salary poorly spent.
   284. JPWF13 Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:53 PM (#2238942)
It's that simple. Paying him $25M per year would hamper their ability to get other talent far more.


and Boras would say, "that's your issue not mine"
they are willing to spend more than the cap- they are willing to pay $51mm more
that's not monopoly $ they'd be sending to Seibu.

The more and more I read teh Redsox fans posts justifying this from Boston's POV teh more I'm leaning towards seeing this as a bad faith bid by Boston to block the Yankees- fans screaming over Damon and the failurwe to block the Yank's acquistion of Abreu we'll offer a ton for DM!!!

1: Offering a really high posting Bid locks out the Yankees
2: Offering a really high posting bid will make any subsequent offer to DM look like a low offer to Boras

result- They block the Yankees, make it look to their fanbase that they tried really hard- and in the end it won't cost them a penny.

Back before free agency, back in the teens and twenties players were routinely SOLD (ok their contracts were sold) for far more money than they were paid in salary- it drove players nuts and sparked the most bitter holdouts- So first of all if DM doens't get far more $ out of this than Seibu he's not signing period- and he and Boras are not going to give a Sh!t about Boston's salary cap.
   285. Kyle S Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:59 PM (#2238949)
oh btw i remember hearing that the salary guaranteed had to be higher than the posting fee. any truth to that rumor?
   286. bibigon Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:59 PM (#2238950)
and Boras would say, "that's your issue not mine"


And Boras would be wrong. If the Red Sox aren't willing to spend $25M on him as a free agent, then that's very much so his issue, since they're the demanders. If the demanders don't want what the supplier is providng at a given price, it won't get sold at that price. It's pretty simple, which is of course why Boras wouldn't say that in the first place.

they are willing to spend more than the cap- they are willing to pay $51mm more
that's not monopoly $ they'd be sending to Seibu.


It's not monopoly money, but it isn't money that would otherwise be going to the onfield budget either, because the Red Sox seem to be playing wierd luxury tax as a salary cap games.
   287. b Posted: November 15, 2006 at 11:02 PM (#2238952)
The Red Sox are going to spend right up to the luxury tax threshold, and that's it. That they'd pay 40% on the $51M they'd pay to Matsuzaka is irrelevant, since they're not going to get to that point. They'd just sign less other talent in the first place, and not get past the $148M luxury tax point.

We all understand your thoughts on how the Red Sox work and how they are keeping their books on this matter. I'll ask again, though, who cares? Whether or not the difference between $25M and $12M in payroll effects the Red Sox ability to acquire more players is based entirely on an arbitrary decision by the Red Sox to have a hard cap on payroll. They could acquire more players and spend over the cap, they are just choosing not to, and I should not have to pay for that choice. The only thing that matters to me is my guy and what he is worth. I'm not in it to make the Red Sox meet their budget goals, especially when I know that some other team will have the budget for me. I'm not in it to make Bud Selig happy. If anything, I want to put the Red Sox in a situation where their payroll has to go over the threshold, because if a second team consistently does it, that's probably good for all of my clients in the long run.
   288. b Posted: November 15, 2006 at 11:06 PM (#2238955)
And Boras would be wrong.

Why? He can just walk away and come back in 18 months as a free agent. How the red sox cook their books is not the concerns of the players, and in all honesty, i don't think they even care that much about getting or not getting that extra free agent as long as they get theirs. Do you think Clemens shed a tear over the Astros having to give up on Beltran so that they could pay him?
   289. b Posted: November 15, 2006 at 11:09 PM (#2238959)
You're making a huge assumption - that MLB is automatically going to sell the international broadcast rights to a company affiliated with the Red Sox/NESN and it's going to be a sweet deal.

And it again begs the question as to what the Yankees and Mariners do currently. I'm pretty sure that they don't realize revenue in the manner that VI is proposing, and if they don't, it's hard to see how the Red Sox can.
   290. b Posted: November 15, 2006 at 11:12 PM (#2238961)
I think it's highly unlikly that Boras would float a number to the RedSox, as the price they were looking for and then renig.

I don't think he floated any numbers. He floated 3 years and he let some teams know they didn't have a shot. He would have been foolish to get into actual numbers until he saw the bids.
   291. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: November 15, 2006 at 11:30 PM (#2238973)
May I suggest that some of you think carefully about what you're saying, because really this thread has some ridiculous statements in it.

For example: (and this appears to be a key element in the thinking of those who believe a deal can't be done)
So if you are thinking like Boras (not like a redsox fan iow)- you would look at a 49/4 offer this way:
49/4 =100/4 : My guy is worth 25m/year
This is really stupid. If you accept this logic then Boras won't accept any bid, however large, on the basis that his client is worth (any bid + $51m). He'd decline 4/400 by this "logic".

From Matsuzaka's perspective, his worth is the highest offer he can get on the open market. That is not the same as what Matsuzaka will cost to the Red Sox. For example, suppose Matsuzaka were a free agent, and the Yankees and Mets were each prepared to go up to 6/60, and the Red Sox were prepared to go up to 6/120. Well, then the Red Sox will sign him for 6/65 (or so). The fact that the Red Sox might have gone much higher if there'd been more competition is irrelevant. Matsuzaka doesn't get that extra $55m.

So in reality there is a level of bid that will be accepted. And moreover, the $51m the Sox are paying for exclusive negotiating rights would not all go to Matsuzaka in free agency - he'd get very little of that money. That's been explained twice now in this thread. But carry on.
   292. JPWF13 Posted: November 15, 2006 at 11:51 PM (#2238980)
This is really stupid. If you accept this logic then Boras won't accept any bid, however large, on the basis that his client is worth (any bid + $51m). He'd decline 4/400 by this "logic".


No, your "logic" is not logical
If you accept the logic that a 49/4 offer by Boston implies that DM is worth $25/year what logically follows is "if I return to Japan and wait 18 months for my 25mm per deal I will make X over the next 4 years rather than 49." Specifically as I noted (and you willfully ignore in calling my post stupid) "X" in that narrow example is about 70mm over 4 years.

Of course since "X" will be backloaded- it should be discounted a bit more than that- maybe 60/4

So in reality there is a level of bid that will be accepted. And moreover, the $51m the Sox are paying for exclusive negotiating rights would not all go to Matsuzaka in free agency - he'd get very little of that money. That's been explained twice now in this thread. But carry on.

It would be more accurate to say that those who hold that view have given their reasons for that view- I and others have rejected that reasoning.

From Matsuzaka's perspective, his worth is the highest offer he can get on the open market. That is not the same as what Matsuzaka will cost to the Red Sox.

No, but it's the best proxy his financial adviser has to work with right now- and FWIW he's just as likely to believe that the cost to the Redsox is actually less than the open market price- because now Boston's not bidding against anyone.
   293. b Posted: November 15, 2006 at 11:56 PM (#2238986)
From Matsuzaka's perspective, his worth is the highest offer he can get on the open market. That is not the same as what Matsuzaka will cost to the Red Sox. For example, suppose Matsuzaka were a free agent, and the Yankees and Mets were each prepared to go up to 6/60, and the Red Sox were prepared to go up to 6/120. Well, then the Red Sox will sign him for 6/65 (or so).

The truth seems somewhere in the middle, as Mr. Boras has gotten teams to bid against themselves in the past and all of the sudden, that 6/65 becomes 6/100 even though no one else came even close.
   294. CrosbyBird Posted: November 15, 2006 at 11:58 PM (#2238989)
The $51 MM is directly relevant to DM's perceived fair market value. It's money that is being paid to get him. If it's worthwhile for Boston to pay 51mm to seibu and 49mm/4 to DM then it would likewise be worthwhile to Boston to pay $100mm/4 to DM IF HE WERE A FREE AGENT.

So if you are thinking like Boras (not like a redsox fan iow)- you would look at a 49/4 offer this way:
49/4 =100/4 : My guy is worth 25m/year

I can take 49/4 or:
Go back to Japan, make 3MM (i don't know for sure) in year 1
then in 5/08 sign for 2.75 years at 25MM over in the US (68.75MM)
total for 4 years if he goes back to Japan- $71.7MM


That's not the whole story.

Say DM is worth $100/4 right now. That's as a 26 year old when you get him for all of spring training and the full season.

1) If he holds out, he comes to the majors in May of 2008 and misses all that time bonding with his catcher, adjusting to a new country where few speak his language, etc.

2) He'll be 4 months from age 28. Not old, but older. Boras has already said he's seeking a 3 year deal because he knows there is skepticism about the different in talent between NPB and MLB. That big payday of the second contract comes at age 31 now, not age 29.

3) He could get injured in the 2007 season.

4) He had a career year in 2006; he could regress a bit and be less impressive.

5) There could be better competition in the FA market.

6) This could be a peak in the market, and the 2007-2008 market could be a valley.

7) There are character issues that go along with holding out. It doesn't make you a leper, but it is a black mark against you.

8) He now has to go back to a team that was just shorted $51M and has no incentive to protect him as an investment. In the last year of a deal, knowing the guy is leaving the country next year, how much will you baby his arm?

There are considerable risks for DM holding out, and no risk for the Sox. This creates a situation where they can (and should) lowball. That's not bad faith either. There are legitimate arguments that the market value for a guy who can't negotiate with other teams is lower than the market value for the same guy as a free agent, and that they paid for that privilege.

The posting system rewards the bidding team and the posting team at the expense of the player. If I were the Sox, I'd offer something like $32/4 and move up from there, maybe to $40/4. Mussina was one of the better pitchers in the AL last year, an established great pitcher in MLB, and got $21/2. The Sox can say that a tad under Mussina's contract on a per year basis is most definitely good faith, considering their catbird seat in negotiations and the unproven nature of Japanese imports. Boras can say "Zito got XYZ" but the Sox can say "Zito's done it here, and he had other bidders to play off of."
   295. JPWF13 Posted: November 16, 2006 at 12:08 AM (#2238997)
The truth seems somewhere in the middle, as Mr. Boras has gotten teams to bid against themselves in the past and all of the sudden, that 6/65 becomes 6/100 even though no one else came even close.


Well it's not just Boras, in Roto Ball the phenomon is called a cricket pick
Everyone has (ok mostly everyone) has two #s in mind, what they think a player is worth and how much they're willing to pay. In a 12 team league about 6 teams will have the same #s in mind, 3 will be higher and 3 lower. Sometimes a guy thinks a player is worth $20, but he really likes the guy and is willing to go to $25. The bidding starts and after it gets up between 10-15, the guys who's willing to go to $25, suddenly jumps ahead and says $23. His logic is that the palyer is worth $20- he;s willing to go to $25. If he says $23 he'll likely wi the bidding right there and then, if not, if someone says 24, he'll say $25.

But, what if no one else thought the guy was worth $20? What if everyone else had the player pegged at 15 or so and no one else was willing to go higher than 18-19? It becomes a cricket pick, for a few minutes it's so quiet in the room you can hear crickets chirping in the backgound. (then depending upon the maturity level of the league woners you'll hear either laughter, "what the hell was that" or continued silence")

The MLB equivalent was Hicks offering $50mm more than the next highest offer for AROD- or Pitt giving 3 years to operation shutdown (which reportedly provoked open laughter when announced at the Baseball winter meetings)
   296. bibigon Posted: November 16, 2006 at 12:12 AM (#2238999)
I'll ask again, though, who cares? Whether or not the difference between $25M and $12M in payroll effects the Red Sox ability to acquire more players is based entirely on an arbitrary decision by the Red Sox to have a hard cap on payroll. They could acquire more players and spend over the cap, they are just choosing not to, and I should not have to pay for that choice. The only thing that matters to me is my guy and what he is worth.


His worth does not exist in a vacuum - it is a function of supply and demand. The Red Sox are part of the demand(in fact, they are all of it right now) - you can't ignore their desires in this respect. As a $25M free agent, the demand likely isn't there. That's why it's important.
   297. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 16, 2006 at 12:14 AM (#2239000)
There are considerable risks for DM holding out, and no risk for the Sox.

There's the risk that Matsusaka signs elsewhere as a free agent in 2008. And if Matz and/or Boras thinks that the Sox bargained in bad faith (regardless of whether Selig does - which, of course, is the other short-term risk to the Sox), then the Sox could lose any chance of signing him when he does become a free agent.
   298. JPWF13 Posted: November 16, 2006 at 12:15 AM (#2239004)
The posting system rewards the bidding team and the posting team at the expense of the player.


Well it certainly rewards the posting team. I'm not so sure about the bidding team. let's say Boston low balls DM, 32/4 and against Boras' advice, DM signs- that's really 83/4 out of pocket* for Boston- that's no bargain.




* yeah yeah yeah due to the way basdeball economics works, 51 to Seibu and 32/4 to DM might not be the same to Boston as 83/4 to DM- but 51 to Seibu and 32/4 to DM is still $83 mil out of pocket. (83/4 to DM might be a bit more if it triggers the luxury tax)
   299. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 16, 2006 at 12:16 AM (#2239006)
Merchandise isn't part of that exclusive local area. Unless they've quietly changed it recently, everything's shared with the exception of in-stadium sales and shops owned and run by the team.
Close, but to make the distinction far clearer: what's shared is licensing. MLB Properties owns the rights to license the relevant trademarks. That money is shared equally, period. If -- who makes apparel? Champion? -- pays $1.00 per t-shirt in royalties, then whenever a Champion T-shirt with a Devil Rays logo is sold, MLB Properties gets $1.00. That $1.00 is split evenly amongst the 30 teams. (And that about sums up the sales of Devil Rays apparel.) Same thing with a Red Sox shirt, Mariners shirt, or Dodgers shirt. The name of the team on the shirt is irrelevant.

Retailing sales are not shared. When you buy a Mets t-shirt at Walmart, Walmart makes whatever profit it makes off the sale of a t-shirt. Maybe they have 5% profit margins, so off the $25 t-shirt sale they make $1.25. That's just the normal profit a store makes. When you buy apparel at the stadium, or the team store, or whatever, the team keeps all the profit <u>as a retailer</u>. It gets the $1.25 profit from selling the t-shirt. The licensing fee -- the $1.00 royalty -- is still shared equally amongst all teams.

(All numbers are pulled out of thin air, of course.)


As for two other points:

1) I don't think the international rights work the way VI is proposing either. He's treating it as MLB International buying the feed from NESN. That can't be right, because it would defeat the whole purpose of sharing the fees via MLB International.

2) I don't understand why people keep talking about him being a free agent in May 2008. Unless things are very different for him because he's from Japan -- and explain to me if that's the case -- free agency is based upon service time, not calendar. And there are no short term contracts as there are in the NBA; if he signs for 2008, he signs for the year. If he's not eligible in October 2007, then he's not a free agent until October 2008, not May 2008. Now, maybe that's what people mean, but then why are they saying May?
   300. CrosbyBird Posted: November 16, 2006 at 12:37 AM (#2239032)
There's the risk that Matsusaka signs elsewhere as a free agent in 2008. And if Matz and/or Boras thinks that the Sox bargained in bad faith (regardless of whether Selig does - which, of course, is the other short-term risk to the Sox), then the Sox could lose any chance of signing him when he does become a free agent.

Okay, so the Sox have the same risk that everyone has when a guy asks for more than you want to pay. The risk that they have to sign someone else for a worse contract. Unless the idea is that DM is so incredibly good that no other player measures up to him. There are other great players, and in the 2008 season, DM might not even be in the top tier.

I'm saying the Sox have no player and have spent no dollars. If DM rejects their offer and goes to Japan, they have signed no player and have spent no dollars. They pick up that wallet and move to the next player.

Well it certainly rewards the posting team. I'm not so sure about the bidding team. let's say Boston low balls DM, 32/4 and against Boras' advice, DM signs- that's really 83/4 out of pocket* for Boston- that's no bargain.

That's why I'm saying it isn't really a lowball to offer $32/4. They can come back and say we're out of pocket <contract>+$51M for you. If Boras were to say "not my problem," then they counter with "it is your problem, because you can't play anywhere else in MLB. Better think about what's important to your client."

Unless things are very different for him because he's from Japan -- and explain to me if that's the case -- free agency is based upon service time, not calendar.

Earlier in the thread, someone mentioned that his contract ends in May 2008 because he missed part of his first NPB season and he has to make up the time. If that's incorrect, take it off the list.
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