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Will The Lions Post Daisuke Matsuzaka?

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.


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I dunno man, Matsui signed for 6-7M for the first few years he was here, it seems questionable that Matsuzaka will make 11M strait off the bat (not even counting the posting money)

Sure, but:

It's not 2002 anymore, the pitching market is inflated with few true aces, and Scott Boras is his agent. Who wouldn't go past $10MM?

And don't forget the marketing element.

would the cubs have any interest in him? they need some SPs

Look at it this way. Hideo Nomo came in to the league at the same age that Matsuzaka will be this offseason (26) and spun ERA+'s of 150 and 120 in his first two seasons in LA. If you believe the hype, Matsuzaka is well beyond where Nomo was developmentally when he came over. Considering the funny money that AJ Burnett got, I think you'll see Matsuzaka get paid and paid big.

I suppose it is possible that the Cubs go after Matsuzaka... it fits their MO to go after health risk pitchers after all :PPP

In all seriousness though, I think he'll end up in the Ms if posted this year.

Let the Mariners have him. Watch him throw 20 innings and blow out his arm. The 250 pitch/game stories are frightening. TRULY frightening.

I'll say this, before signing him, i'd want every test on the planet done on his arm, legs, back, etc. If not, i'll take my chances with Vicente Padilla for 5M.

Correct me if I'm wrong in my logic. But the money paid is just for the rights to talk to Matsuzaka. So wouldn't that mean with a cutthroat agent like Boras he could take any team to the cleaners? So if a team pays 30 mil for the rights to offer a contract wouldn't they basically be forced to offer Boras whatever he wants?

Now what happens if the team awarded negociation rights fails to reach an agreement... is the player up for grabs?

I'm a little wary about Matsuzaka. The Japanese league has been often compared to AA ball (Which doesn't mean a truly awesome player couldn't come out of it). Boras can be a snake oil salesman. I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him.

Japanese baseball is hardly AA quality, its AAAA at best. I'd like to see him go to the Cubs, but I'm pretty sure the Tribune Co. wouldn't fork over the cash to get him.

the Japanese NPB is more like AAAA right now, proven guys from the NPB will usually be pretty decent (the only true bust so far have been Kaz Matsui... there are far more dominating AAA players that busted worse than Kaz)

Korean is more like AA+

Taiwan's league is more like A+,

thats the general perception anyway.

I seriously doubt anyone besides the Yankees are going to pay the bidding rights and then pay a 5 year, $55 million contract. A.J. Burnett got his contract because he had past success in the MLB, and he posted the Holy Grail of pitching - the G/F ratio above 2.50 and the K/9 over 8.00. If teams had to pay $30 million just to talk to Burnett, no one would've signed him.

Anyone remember this guy:


Or Kaz Ishii? Nomo went south pretty quick and teams are not going to be eager to pay out that much on a gamble like this.

The Yankees are the only team with the green to take that kind of gamble.

Irabu and Ishii we're always overblown.

Nomo's problem was he pitched for the Dodgers. They've always overworked and killed off their best.

Shingo Takatsu.

Sounds like a lot of excuses.

Another thing we are overlooking though is that posting money for a team like a Yankees helps them down their revenue AND avoid the luxury tax at the same time, so it is not nearly as heavy financial burden for them as it is for other teams. as they would save some money for revenue sharing and luxury tax anyway.

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