Early speculation had the top fee coming in at $20 million to $30 million, roughly twice the $13 million Seattle put up in 2000 for the rights to Ichiro. Glowing reports from Pacific Rim scouts Craig Shipley and Jon Deeble persuaded the Red Sox that they had to have Matsuzaka. Privately they were terrified the Yankees would get him and build a dominant rotation with Matsuzaka; 26-year-old Chien Ming Wang, a 19-game winner last year; and Phil Hughes, who at 20 is considered baseball's best pitching prospect.
Red Sox executives figured New York was capable of bidding more than $40 million. But unbeknownst to them, Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman, who'd gained control of baseball operations, had been pushing a philosophical change to improve player development and curb the team's lavish spending. Cashman bid $33 million (and told people afterward that he felt uncomfortable going even that high).
Unlike the Yankees, whose bid was based largely on Matsuzaka's perceived value, the Red Sox were playing the game. They talked themselves into a $50 million bid as a hedge against the Yankees. Then owner John Henry bumped it to $51.1 million, for extra wiggle room and the uniqueness of the number. "We had to decide what he would be worth as an unrestricted free agent, then get the total price to fall in that range," Epstein says. "Two forces were at work. First, if you don't win the post, you don't get the player. We had strong indications that he didn't want to go back to Japan and would be motivated to sign. And second, the posting money is not counted against the luxury tax."
Henry and Red Sox president Larry Lucchino walked into the offices of Major League Baseball International with their sealed bid five minutes before the deadline. They promptly ran into New York Mets G.M. Omar Minaya and his assistant, Tony Bernazard, who were hand-delivering their own sealed bid: $39 million.
"I'm sure the Mets felt like they had the winning bid," Lucchino said. "The next thing you know, when the bid was announced, everybody was saying, 'The Red Sox bid what? Oh, my god.'"
Redsox Officials were terrified the Yankees would get him and build a dominant rotation with Matsuzaka; 26-year-old Chien Ming Wang, a 19-game winner last year; and Phil Hughes, who at 20 is considered baseball's best pitching prospect. Is this reason Why Redsox bid so high on Matsuzaka? Verducci's forgot to mention Wang and Hughes both are Yankees homegrown and developed to thru farm system? In 2005, Redsox traded their Top prospect Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez to get Josh Beckett. How did it turn out? As it turned out Beckett struggled last year in pitching in Al and gave up gazillions of homeruns. It angers me as Yankees Fan, The Redsox spends ridiculous amount of money this offseason but They can't resign Johnny Damon?
Because Lucchino keeps chirping that Yankees are Evil Empire. They can't spends the money and compete with the Yankees. I don't want to hear that word "Evil Empire" again from Redsox Fans after Redsox spends outrageous amount of money this offseason.
"Evil Empire" Too bad the Red Sox can't use that anymore. They look ridiculous, unless Matsuzaka wins 30 games a year, 300 strikeouts per sesaon and basically out pitches the Twins Santana for the rest of his career. Yeah, on second thought the Red Sox look ridiculous.
I hate to burst some people's bubbles, but the Sox went out and got Matsuzaka because he's going to be a very good pitcher, even in the AL East. Bidding that high isn't too insane considering the pitching market as it stands now; so even if Matsuzaka has a 4.00 ERA, 100 strikeout, 12 win season his first year out, he'll still be a bargain as compared to Ted Lilly or Barry Zito. He looks as though he'll be durable, have the ability to pitch well into games, and give the Sox a good chance each time out; what more can you ask of a pitcher?
As for the Red Sox themselves, they can't use that "Evil Empire" BS anymore, because when it comes right down to it, the Yankees are using more homegrown players, are spending less on an overinflated, weak free agent market and not getting into crazy long contracts anymore. Just look at the Sox spending this offseason- Drew is good only when not hurt, which is a rarity in his career and Lugo just plain stinks and will be booed out of Fenway before the season is out. With the Sox payroll up to $160 million, they are only $7 million off pace with the Yanks, and the Yanks have better players at almost every position. I'm not worried unless Beckett mans up and Papelbon comes as advertised.
I disagree. Igawa doesn't look like he can get through more than 6 innings right now- he throws a tremendous amount of pitches per inning. This may change, but Matsuzaka has 120 pitch bullpen sessions. Igawa can be very good, but Matsuzaka has the ability to be a legitimate ace.
but Matsuzaka has the ability to be a legitimate ace.
You based that on what? He got rocked by college kids and on his last outing he got rocked again by Baltimore (6 hits, 4 Runs, 2 HR's in 4.0 innings). So what exactly are you basing that on?
And as far as your key to the rotation (Beckett) last 2 outings (3 Runs, 6 Hits, 1 HR, 5.0 Innings) and (4 Runs, 6 Hits, in 5.0 Innings) again.
Doesn't look like either of the two can go pass 5.0 Innings without getting into trouble.
So what exactly are you trying to say about Igawa since Beckett nor Matsuzaka has proven to be better.
These are the facts, what are you basing your assumptions of Matsuzaka being a legitimate Ace or for that reason Beckett. If these two guys are Aces after their most recent performances what does that make Igawa?
Number one, spring training starts mean little. Number two, Beckett dominated the Yankees in 2003 in the games that mattered, and has excellent career numbers. Number three, I said Matsuzaka has the ABILITY to be an ace, not that he's GOING to be. His adjustment to the States may ruin him, I don't have a crystal ball.
The truth is that we base everything on past performance. Matsuzaka dominated during the WBC and is heralded by scouts as being an excellent pitcher. But what do they know? I'm just a Yankee fan that wants to see him fail.
Number two, Beckett dominated the Yankees in 2003 in the games that mattered
The truth is that we base everything on past performance
O.K. which one is it, why are you contradicting yourself. If we go by past performance The Yankees hammered Beckett last year. Why are you talking about 2003?
But what do they know? Igawa, has won the Japanese league's strikeout title 3 times. He also ranked second in the Japanese league in wins and complete games (eight), third in innings pitched (209) and seventh in ERA. On April 14, 2006, Igawa became the fifth-fastest pitcher in Japanese baseball history to record 1,000 career strikeouts, reaching the mark in 1,058 innings pitched. Igawa, is a three-time Japanese Central League All-Star. He was named league MVP after going 20-5 with a league-leading 2.80 ERA in 29 games for Hanshin. He was also honored as the co-winner of the prestigious Sawamura Award, given to the top pitcher in Japanese baseball each year. So does this mean Igawa has the ability to be an Ace? Personally, I think not. Same goes for Matsuzaka. What they both have done in the Japanese league necessarily doesn't equate to what they will do in the States. I see both doing O.K. but nothing great of Santana level. The difference between the two right now besides the money spent is one (Matsuzaka) is expected to be an ace, which is unfair and ultimately puts too much pressure on him. And the other (Igawa) just has to pitch. I don't wish neither one failure but it seems too high of an expectation already has one failing before he begins. Totally unfair.