Dice-K headed for Beantown

In a shocker, the recent negativity surrounding the Dice-K negotiations was nothing more than good old-fashioned posturing that always takes place in such a high stakes transaction.

Matsuzaka is flying the friendly skies to Boston today, along with Boras, Theo and Lucchino. The Red Sox clearly took initiative by flying out to California to get a deal done when Boras didn’t seem to want to come to them, and it seems like it paid off.

I wonder what the vibe on the flight will be if they actually reach a deal 18,000 feet above ground. Will Theo bust out the champagne? Maybe Boras has a bottle of Dom Perignon on hand. Will there be a sushi feast?

Sounds like the contract is going to be for six years. That’s great that the Red Sox can get him signed all the way through free agency.

It seems like just logistics are left — a physical, dotting some i’s, crossing some t’s.

They might as well go for broke now and sign Clemens. How about a rotation of Matsuzaka, Schilling, Clemens, Beckett and Papelbon?

Now they just need to find a closer. Meanwhile, Lugo to be unveiled today. Not sure why it is taking so long to announce the J.D. Drew deal.

Talk to you later,

Ian.

28 Comments

Thank God they’re getting this deal done. It has put me in a crappy mood the last few days.

I like that rotation, Ian. Wakefield would bolster the bullpen, and having Wakefield, Gabbard, Tavarez and Lester to spot start in case of injury would give the Sox tremendous depth. It would be a great gesture for Clemens to finish his career where he started.

Jeff

htt://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

ian, i don’t see it really as a shocker. matsuzaka could NOT go back to Japan. as i’ve constantly posted, he would have had to endure alot of criticism if he went back… japan has been following their ace constantly, and they would’ve totally burned him in effigy as a greedy, vain, dishonorable fool.

thank god that didn’t happen… for everyone!

now we have 4 aces: papelbon, schilling, beckett and matsuzaka

(ok fine for the sake of argument they’re POTENTIAL aces… don’t even start, vince lol)

Schilling is still an ace. Beckett, Papelbon and Dice-K are prospective aces!

i was wondering the same thing about the drew deal what is the hold up they should have been introduced together???

or is boras looking to inflate his head and put him in a press conferance with dice-k??

lol good thinking jamie.

Though even on the marlins beckett was no ace, the only time he demonstrated being an ace was three years ago in october.

Cool. Glad to hear things are moving along with Matsuzaka-san. I’d say I told you so, but if I did that Dice-K would trip on his way up the jetway, break his arm, and the whole deal would go south.

Why do they wait so long to announce contract signings when everyone already knows they’ve signed?

Jamie,

I was actually being facetious when i said it was a shocker. sometimes my humor doesn’t translate over into blogsphere :)

signing the rocket would just make my year. he would be so good for pap and beckett. not to mention all sellouts everywhere the sox play. story book ending it would be, as the sox fly off into the sunset with another ws. If the reports of 6 yr 52 mill are correct and he pitches even 1/2 of what they say he could do, it would be a sox steal. after this deal closes, we need a closer.

I would be surprised if it was 52 mil. Actually, 66 mil is a pretty good deal considering what schleps like Batista, Eaton and Marquis have received. Kumar on my blog said he read where Boras is trying to interest the Sox in Chan Ho Park as a closer. Park had success as a closer in the WBC last spring. Interesting idea. I like the idea of trading Crisp for Mike Gonzalez, as long as we would keep David Murphy as an extra outfielder. I think Murphy will surprise people this season, whether it is with the Sox or for another team.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

sorry jeff, who is mike gonzalez.

Offered him a deal he couldn’t refuse.

Vince, you don’t like Beckett or something?

yea, who is this Mike G.?

Mike Gonzalez is one of the many former BoSox prospects who are excelling elsewhere. He is a left-handed power pitcher who had impressive stats as a closer for Pittsburgh last season. Google him, and I’m sure you can find his player stats through ESPN, Yahoo or Fox Sports. I think the Sox included him in the deal for Suppan a few years back.

All I want under my Christmas tree is an ace starting rotation. Please Santa, please!
And all I want for Ellen is a Dirt Dog in right field!

CTZMOM: I’d give up all other wishes for Xmas if I could have that!! Thanks for the thought.

NECN (Boston news station) has reported that there is a deal “In Principle” for Matsuzaka for 6 years and $52 million dollars and that Matsuzaka is undergoing a physical with an official announcement expected to come tomorrow…

Also, Jed Hoyer said that there are few logistical problems in Drew’s contract that Theo and Boras will work out in the next few days. Just some language stuff that needs to be ironed out, but obviously Theo and Boras have been busy the last few days with Matsuzaka to focus on Drew

Trot Nixon? Who is that? lol. Just kidding, Ellen. I’m a Nixon fan, just as I was a Millar fan, a Mueller fan and a Loretta fan. I do understand, though, why they were not resigned. Ctz Mom, you already have 3/5 of your Christmas wish. Roger Clemens would be to Red Sox fans what the Red Rider bb gun was to that kid on A Christmas Story – you know, the movie that is played over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again every Christmas!

I meant 4/5 of your Christmas wish with Schilling, Beckett, Papelbon and Dice-K. Clemens would make five.

Ahhhh… another Sox prospect excelling elsewhere! Hijo de chingao!
Theo and Co. could put together an allstar team of former Sox prospects.

A rotation with Papelbon, Dice-K, Schilling, Beckett, Wakefield, and Clemens? Geeze. A rotation like that would be reminiscent of the 1972 Orioles or the vintage 90’s braves. If the Red Sox got a closer, I’d be bold enough to call them the favored team in the AL East. Of course, I’m biased. Having a good team on paper never means anything. However, I think the Red Sox now have a formidable offense, a servicable defense (yes, we’ll all miss Gonzo!) and an outstanding pitching staff. (provided Schilling doesn’t break down, Papelbon can actually be a starter, Beckett actually starts using his curveball, Wakefield doesn’t break down, Matsuzaka trasitions well, and Clemens decides to pitch). Well, we all certainly have a bit to ponder during this next season.

Schilling is no longer an ace, jeff. He is no more and ace than mussina is and mussina is not an ace either. Beckett was never an ace and even if he bounces back from last season he will not be an ace. Papplebon could potentially be and obv. matsuzaka could be too, but nobody knows. I don’t think clemens would be an ace in the AL either. So, if you think you would have a rotation full of aces if clemens returns to boston, sorry…but, i think u need to take a step back and look at reality for a minute.
-Ben

Ben, get a life. This is a Red Sox blog, not a Yankees blog. And the correct spelling of his last name is Papelbon.

You can say what you want, but I disagree about Schilling. He is still a No. 1 caliber pitcher. Beckett right now is a No. 2, but I am confident he will have a breakout year in 2007. Papelbon and D-Mat are No. 2 caliber pitchers who likely will turn into aces. Clemens is still Clemens. Until he proves anyone otherwise, he is an ace, no matter where he pitches.

The bottom line is that you win with pitching in MLB. Whether they have five aces are not, the Red Sox do have five solid starters right now, and three who can step in and provide quality spot starts. I’ll take our staff, you can have yours, and we’ll see what happens on the field.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

hey guys, I just came back from Mock Trial and I wanna test a little CONSPIRACY THEORY that I cooked up…

suppose that the Sox signed JD Drew to soften Boras… after all, Boras gets a cut of whatever Drew gets, and so maybe the additional 3mil/year on Drew’s contract translated into 3mil less for Matsuzaka that Boras was willing to tolerate…

haha i’m probably wrong (i hope so anyway), and JD Drew can end up being worth 15m for all I know.

Jeff’s right, Sox pitching now seems pretty unstoppable. We’ve got the 04 hero in Schill, the 03 hero in Beckett, the 06 hero (for Japan ) in Matsuzaka and the 05 hero in Papelbon!!!

That’s not too bad, huh?

Ian, any chance the Sox will go after the Rocket to stock the 5-man rotation FULL OF ACES?? that’d be so cool…

lol. I like a good conspiracy theory, Jamie. Not sure if Drew is an example of one, but I do think that Drew will be a productive player with the Sox.

I think it is wrong to say that Beckett only did well in 2003. He was 9-8 with a 3.04 ERA in 2003, his second full season in the majors. In 2004, he was 9-9 with a 3.79 ERA on a poor team. In 2005, he was 15-8 with a 3.38 ERA. With Florida, he was limited at times by blister issues.

Last season, he was 16-11 with a 5.01 ERA. He did surrender a lot of home runs – 36, to be exact – but he did win 16 games. That means, on many occasions, he put the Sox in position to win the game. And remember, last season the Sox offense was not as strong as it was in previous years, and not as deep as it will be in 2007.

True, Beckett has not had a breakout season, but look at Schilling. It took him awhile to have a breakout season. He was 14-11 in his third full season and 16-7 in his fourth. Then he had three years where his high in wins was 9. He didn’t have his first 20-win season until 2001, his 12th full season in the bigs. Of course, some of the preceding seasons were marked by injuries. But the point is, it sometimes takes power pitchers longer to adjust. Believe me, Beckett will not try to overpower every hitter. He will actually pitch instead of throw. He was humbled by last season, even though he started with three wins where he gave up one earned run in each game. He showed signs of pitching better late in the season, allowing 2 runs and 4 hits in a win against the Yankees and a six-hit shutout against the Twins. Overall, he pitched 204.2 innings and just allowed 192 hits. Not bad at all. He can learn from trying to overpower everyone, which is why he surrendered so many home runs.

I fully expect and believe that Beckett will win 20 games in 2007, and since he will likely give up fewer home runs, he will shave a run off his ERA.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

Jamie, just to let you know, I wasn’t directly responding to you about Beckett. Your comment just prompted me to support my belief that Beckett is a top-tier pitcher who will only get better. Some Sox fans, and many Yankees fans, think otherwise. Of course, I believe that Yankees fans will always have a sour taste in their mouth about Beckett since he dominated their team in the 2003 World Series, which – as my argument demonstrated – was not his only shining moment.

Saying at home in fenway in boston in the al east beckett will have roughly the same era as he did in a pitchers park in florida in the nl east is being unrealistic. He will prob get his 15-20 wins because the sox will give him run support (see randy johnson) but there is no way he will ever be an ace. If anything matsuzaka could become an ace, followed by beckett and then papelbon if he makes a clean adjustment eventually. Clemens will not become a redsox at any point next year, those are my beliefs. The only sour taste I have is that the guy’s rating went way over his worth because he dominated the yankees, and it has taken 3 years and counting to convince people he is not all he’s cracked up to be since.

This is the year were we will see beckett’s worth. Last year was the adjustment from the lowly NL to the most talent rich division in baseball, which he did not make smoothly. This year he has experience in the AL. Also, there is not as much pressure on him as last year when he had to be the other ace on the staff, now he has papelbon and dice-k. All the sox need is for him to be a shade of the 03 beckett which seems very plausible.

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