Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Red Sox (reportedly) reach agreement with Matsuzaka

According to SI's John Heyman, with "escalator clauses that could bring it up to $60 million."


If so, then we're looking at a total acquisition cost of 6 years, $102.1 - $111.1 million, or, amortized, $17.0 to $18.5 million dollars. Jason Schmidt, by comparison, just got 3 years at $15.67 million from the Dodgers.

Obviously, there are differences in the situations. Matsuzaka is getting only slightly more guaranteed money during 3 extra years, but he wasn't a free agent. The Red Sox are paying more than the Dodgers did, but not a lot more on a yearly basis, and 40-50% of it doesn't count as payroll for luxury tax purposes, and it also opens (presumably) marketing opportunities that the Dodgers' outlay doesn't. It will be interesting to see what Zito ends up getting, and for how long.

The bottom line is this: The Red Sox made a huge financial commitment to bring Daisuke Matsuzaka to Boston. If he's in the top 5 of the Cy Young balloting in the AL for 4-5 of the next 6 years, it was worth every penny, and they got a bargain. They've taken a risk, but it seems like a risk with a tremendous upside and good odds of at least breaking even, and those are the kinds of risks that you want to be taking...

As of right now, based on what I know (which is not much, never having seen this guy pitch), I think it was a good deal for the Sox.

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