Almost decision day for Dice-K

Pessimism is everywhere right now with regard to these Daisuke Matsuzaka negotiations, which, in case you’ve been living under a rock, expire at midnight at the end of Thursday.

What happened to the glow after the Sox made that enormous bid of $51.1 million on Nov. 14? All of a sudden, it’s just going to come down to a game of hardball between Scott Boras and the Red Sox, seeing who is going to blink first?

I have to think this deal still gets done. Neither side has anything to gain by not getting a deal done.

Well, maybe Boras can make a lot more money off of Matsuzaka following the 2008 season when he could become an outright free agent. But what sense does that make? Matsuzaka could blow out his arm pitching for Seibu between now and then and both he and Boras wouldn’t receive a cent of MLB money. Is that really doing a service to Matsuzaka, who has vowed how much he wants to pitch in the Major Leagues next year and has already pretty much said his good-byes in Japan.

From what everyone says about the customs in Japan, a Matsuzaka return would not be well received there. When you say good-bye, you say good-bye. You don’t come back because your agent is trying to capitalize your absolute top dollar value.

Matsuzaka has been making $3 million a year. He could get, at minimum, a raise of $6 million per season by taking Boston’s initial offer.

But I do understand why Boras is playing a little hardball. I mean, Gil Meche is making $11 million in this market? But Boras might be looking for $15 million a year, which seems outrageous for a guy who has never thrown a pitch in the Major Leagues.

Seriously though, why don’t the sides just find common ground and strike a deal? Maybe they will. The Red Sox would be in a bad spot not to sign this guy. Just about all the best pitchers have gone elsewhere.

Not to mention the Seibu Lions, who wouldn’t feel too kindly about losing out on the $51.1 million posting fee. This just has to get done, no matter how strong a stance Boras puts forth.

Again, I think this deal will get done, but not without plenty of posturing and drama between now and Thursday at midnight.


D-Mat is not out of the running yet. Usually when one side “leaks” to the press, or however they came up with the story, it is for one of 2 reasons. Either to spook the other side into yeilding something or to bring both sides together. A little jolt of reality–“We could blow this!” I think all 3 sides, Boras, D-mat and the Sox have too much to lose by letting this deal NOT get done. If Boras can’t get the deal done, he is not as good an agent as his reputation suggests. D-Mat will be embarrassed. The Sox lose credibilty. So I think they’ll cobble together a deal at the last minute. Then he can win 25 games for us and we take the Series!!!

Just thought I would practice my “copy & paste” skills. Did it!! from the old post.

The pessimist in me says that Boras wants to blow the deal so that the posting system gets blown up.

I think the Sox should just give him the 15 mil. That is a bargain for an elite pitcher like him on today’s market. I mean come on, GIL MECHE got 11 MIL? I bet Zito gets 20mil.

I think that Boras is being a lunkhead in expecting $15 million per season for an unproven starter. Al tough the majority of Japanese plaayers come here with some success, there are some who haven’t (Kaz Matsui). Settle for something around $10 million and have a graduation up if he is as successful as everyone expects him to be.

Arnie, with schilling a year older, how do you expect him to get MORE wins? I’m not following you there. I really think whatever mussina does, schilling will do, minus the strikeouts, I mean more in era and wins.

Vince, my assumptions are that the bullpen will be improved(how could it get worse than last year?), Delcarmen and Hansen will have more experience, Tavarez-who knows, but he does have better career #’s than he showed last year, just don’t let him pitch in the post-season. And the offense will be upgraded. So I think that could translate to more wins. Look, if the bullpen doesn’t blow 2 games there are 2 more wins. And if the hitters can score more runs? I feel that Schilling will probably pitch about the same as last year, maybe he slows down toward the end of Sept.
Last year, the Sox’ problems, even when they were in 1st, were bullpen(in a big way) and inconsistant hitting. The starters had their issues, but if I remember correctly, the reason Tito kept his starters in too long sometimes was that he did not trust his bullpen. I sure wouldn’t have trusted them.

So there is a lot of assuming here, but that is what the winter is for, no?

Remember, Oct. to April is only 6 months. It’s not like these guys are suddenly my age!

Oh, and Vince, I was able to listen to some of your radio show yesterday. Very good. You sound calm, poised and well informed. Good job.

It’s going to be extremely risky and embarressing for all parties if they don’t meet in the middle. Is there is no posting money to be made in the future, does anyone think those Japan clubs are going to be conservative with D-Mat’s arm? I would think it would be the opposite… use him up while you can. If he is embarressed and sulks back to Japan, I doubt he’ll put up the same numbers if he’s also worried about staying healthy. They better figure this all out quickly.

Boras stated during the winter meetings that he feels Matsuzaka is worth $11-12 million per year. The Boston Herald is totally guessing that he wants 15 million, that was just based on the insider claiming that he wants twice as much as the Red Sox are offering. It sounds like Theo is being cheap with this guy, because if he’s only offering $5-6 million he’s dreaming. It would be a complete disaster if we didn’t sign this guy. Let’s hope Theo doesn’t let his pride get in the way of forking out the necessary money.

Well, garb mail, if boras is looking for 11-12 mil, I think the Sox will sign him. There has to be some drama to make it all worthwhile. All the tension enhances Boras’ image; he can say he fought hard for his client, blah blah. Think of it another way, if they announce a contract after a week, people will suggest that it was too easy and what do I need Boras for, etc?
I have no doubt they’ll sign him up at 11:59 Thursday. Or whatever day the deadline is, and not a minute sooner.

I think the prices some of these pitchers are getting is stupid. Gil meche 11 mill per..what a joke, he gets 1 mill per win. if this **** continues to happen, baseball won’t be too far behind what happened to hockey. having said that i must say that the sox should lock up d-mat, if they can get him for 5 years at 11 million per it could be the bargain of the century…or the bust. i guess thats why you rely on your scouts so much. unproven, but certainly more talent then meche, worst case scenario, if he bombs he still has the skills to be elite. so why not sign him!

Matsuzaka came to the United States over the weekend for one sole reason: to intervene in the negotiations.

Look, how many players do YOU know that Boras has allowed to speak directly with a team?? Matsuzaka must have forced his agent to let him speak because he CANNOT go back to Japan.

It would be as if you said goodbye to all your family and friends and vowed to represent them in a faraway competition, only to come back to the front door groveling for them to take you back. Imagine the humiliation…

Hmm, so basically I see 2 choices:

1) get a raise of 6-8 million dollars, break a record (most $$ for someone who’s never pitched in the US), and be proclaimed a national hero back home


2) endure acrimony in Japan for 2 long years, risk blowing our your shoulder and become the butt end of every vanity joke in Japan for a decade…

Doesn’t seem that hard to me…

Ian, as you said it, “Neither side has anything to gain by not getting a deal done.” I think that could be the problem. Both sides know this, so both are trying to leverage their power. It’s just a game of chicken. Sox are offering too little because they think Matsuzaka needs to accept, Boras is asking too much because he thinks the Sox are relying on Matsuzaka. They both gotta get their act together anyway.

By the way, now that the Angels have signed Speier and Darren Oliver, does that make Shields expendable? How about trading him for Willy Mo Pena straight up?

Gordon Edes just wrote that Theo, Lucchino and Henry are in Southern California with Boras and Dice-K trying to strike a deal. Now we’re talking.

exactly, that’s why matsuzaka is here – so he can take over negotiations. why? cuz he does NOT want to suffer the embarrassment of returning back to Japan.

From his fans’ perspective, he has ahsolutely no excuse for not signing a 10-million per year offer. it’s $$ that’s virtually unheard of in japan. they’ll think he’s some kind of greedy jerk and torment him for the rest of his 2 years. see my last post.

Why does it seem like everything is being done in southern california? Is that where Henry or Lucchino resides?

I remember when you were trying to introduce matsuzaka to the sox family they had dinner in southern cal instead of boston, and now the negotiations are being done there as well, what is in southern california and why isn’t it in boston?

a nice little story about boras claiming a rookie being worth $100 million but then saying the final decision is up to d-mat which kinda contradicts itself since if d-mat doesnt see his value at 100$ mil then he wont get it.

Southern California is where Boras lives. And Boras has basically not let Matsuzaka visit Boston during this whole process — at least thats’ what it seems like. It would be a shame if one agent messed up this entire process.

While this has been far too stressful, I think this deal has to get done. If there is one thing that you can say about Boras, it’s that he is no fool.

He’s got to realize that if he lets this fall apart and Matsuzaka goes back to Japan, he probably loses him as a client. Not only that, his greed will be evident and will probably poison many potential Japanese players against him in the future.

In short, he stands as much to lose, long term, as anyone else in this negotiation. Being a hardass for posturing’s sake is fine, but the time has come to deal.


Both sides have been through this often enough to know how it works. Scott Boras didn’t get to where he is by leaving money on the table that could have gone into his clients’ pockets. The fact that the Red Sox presented a second offer before Boras countered leads me to believe that Boras now has the edge in the negotiations. The Sox just blinked. But if I were a betting man I’d wager that this deal will get done and Matsuzaka will be in a Boston uniform in 2007.

On a COMPLETELY different subject, at a conference I attended last week I sat with an acquaintance at dinner, and it turns out he used to work at Fenway running the scoreboard when he was in college in the 50s. Back then the staff were a bit more cozy with the players, I guess. He said he used to shag flies with the players during the early practices, and even went out to dinner with Ted Williams after day games sometimes! Can you imagine that, for a college kid? Needless to say, I was pretty jealous.

Robn: Long time no see you here!! So glad that you are back. I’m hoping that this deal gets done, but I’m not a fan of Boras. On “” I described him as being to baseball what Drew Rosenhouse is to football “GREEDY S*C*UM”.when you said he wouldn’t have left money on the table, don’t forget that a good bit of it goes into his pockets too. BUT he reamins his agent and collects a fee even if this particular deal doesn’t get inked.

How envious I would have been as well sitting with some one who got to be around Ted Williams, never mind HAVE DINNER WITH HIM!!!! Good to see you back, ec.

Don’t worry, they’ll get it done. This drama is part of the process.


While I agree that greed has been a big part of what is wrong with professional sports, I don’t think the blame can be laid solely at the feet of the agents. (Get it? SOLE-ly?) The agents’ true job is to get a contract that satisfies the wishes of their clients. A player can, at any time, override the agent’s negotiations and agree to a contract. It’s too easy to say it’s the agent’s fault.

As far as Ted Williams goes, I think if I had to choose one Sox player from that era that I could spend time with, it would be Dom DiMaggio. I’d really like to learn more about him. I believe he still holds the American League record for most putouts (503). He had a career .298 batting average, was voted to 7 All-Star games, and averaged over 100 runs scored per season. All that and more in only 10 Major League seasons (11 if you include the 3 games he played in 1953 before retiring). And get this: his uniform number? Good old #7. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Ellen, Robn,
There’s plenty of greed to go around, from players, to agents, even to fans who want a champion no matter who is on the team.(well, maybe not BARRY). Face it, if we had the chance to haul in those kind of $$$ we’d do it in a heartbeat. Can you really say you wouldn’t?

i can definitely agree with Henry. Agents are supposed to work WITHIN the system, not try to shatter it. Matsuzaka may very well be an elite pitcher, but he’s not all that proven yet. Besides, pitchers get paid alot more in the US than in Japan. I’d love to see matsuzaka get paid 1 billion yen per year there (which is around 10m american).

If Boras messes this up, Matsuzaka will have to have to go back to Japan for 2 long, acrimonious years. He’ll be seen as greedy and vain.

you are on crack if you think the angels would trade scot shields the best set up guy in the game for the strikeout machine that is wily mo pena. that was a bad move letting bronson go and everyone knows it. then all of a sudden someone wants him for shields… dreaming.

what is proven??? being the mvp of the world baseball classic should be considered proven. the best players in the whole world played that tournament and he dominated. stop trying to lowball every good player you guys negotiate with. you give judy drew 70 million for 5 years.(making more money than big papi). but you cant give a proven ace his money. it seems like ever since nomar, henry and epstein think they know the market. johnny damon is the perfect example.

drew wasnt even worth what he was getting in LA. dont be surprised to see a steady diet of inside sliders and breaking stuff he will just softly nudge up the first baseline for an easy out. i like moving papelbon to the rotation i think he is going to be a good one.

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