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.