Will they or won’t they? As he would’ve been in 2005, Japanese hurler Daisuke Matsuzaka could be the best starting pitcher on the market if the Seibu Lions post him. Whether they’ll do it is still an open question.
Seattle Times reporter Larry Stone has examined the situation carefully, and it seems like a 50/50 proposition. If the Lions do decide to post him, teams must bid just for the rights to negotiate with Matsuzaka. Stone speculates that the bidding for these rights could exceed $30MM. You have to figure it would take around five years and $55 million to sign the prospective Scott Boras client after that.
For those not scoring at home, that’s the equivalent of $17MM annually for Matsuzaka. If he were to flop, it would be colossal. The two names that always come up for Matsuzaka are the Yankees and Mariners. The Yanks have the cash, and the Ms have the Japanese connection. It’s possible the Mets, Red Sox, Dodgers, or Angels could get involved as well.
I wrote about Matsuzaka extensively for my fantasy baseball blog, RotoAuthority. You can scroll through that background by clicking here. At the time, it was believed Matsuzaka threw a fascinating pitch called the gyroball, which has yet to be used in the Major Leagues. However, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan debunked that myth back in March. All he had to do was ask.