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Royals Join Matsuzaka Chase

An unlikely eighth team has expressed interest in Daisuke Matsuzaka: the Royals.  KC joins the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Rangers, Orioles, Dodgers, and Mariners as a suitor.

While it's unlikely that the Royals would pony up more than $10MM annually for one player, it would bring some excitement to the '07 team.  It would also be better than the way they spent free agent money in 2006: $5MM for Reggie Sanders, $4MM for Scott Elarton, $4MM for Mark Grudzielanek, $1.85MM for Doug Mientkiewicz, $1.7MM for Elmer Dessens, and $1.5MM for Tony Graffanino.  Granted that was a different GM, but the Royals spent $18MM on six players that A)wouldn't help them win when the team becomes competitive and B)won't put butts in the seats.    

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Great idea. Maybe the Royals are realizing that the Pirates approach of "waste all our money on cheap, crappy free agents" doesn't work.

For crappy teams I think the only option is to A) have all your 2nd tier players making the minimum or close to it, B) overspend for big-name players, and C) hope some young pitchers come through. It worked for the Tigers, right?

This is probably the best move they can make. They know no FA will go there so if they shock people and win the bidding, he'll only be able to go the Royals. But would they spend $30M + $10M+ per season?

Big problem with what your saying there is the Royals Farm system Currently is kinda bad. They have afew Stand out prospects but then after that its pretty barrin. Also its easy to talk about the wasted money they spent, but I think they did pretty good considering. Reggie and Grud were good signings, the Royals have alot of young players why not have some Vets who are Proven winners on the down swing of their careers do some mentoring. Also Who will sign with the Royals? Any top end star they will need to Vastly overpay to play there.

I would go with the route their in Hope to hit acouple solid Drafts get some Cheapish vets to fill holes and hope they have another decent season somehow.

Reggie and Grud were horrrrrrrrrrrrible signings. Especially Reggie. The Marlins did it right. The Royals did it terribly and wasted twenty million bucks.

3 questions: 1, why would Matsuzaka want to play for the worst team in American baseball? 2, would he have a choice if the Royals won the right to negotiate? And 3, would most Royals fans even understand what they're getting?

If you want to sign some vets, you sign Julio Franco for a million and a couple other guys for a few hundred thousand. Not Reggie Sanders for $5M.

Just keep the money and double what you'll spend next year.


desurbd1, Matsuzaka does not have a choice (other than to sign with the Royals or not). If they post the highest bid, they are the only ML team he can sign with.

Seems like there's a loophole with this. Let's say the Red Sox can't afford to sign him, but obviously don't want the Yankees to get him. Can't they just bid $100M for the right to negotiate, then offer him a dollar a year? He'll refuse it and go back to the Japan, and the Yankees can't get him.

Am I missing something?

Is that really a loophole? The right to bid isn't refundable. The Yankees are out $100MM with no pitcher if they can't come to an agreement. It is Matsuzaka who is holding the winning bidder over a barrel, not the other way around.

No, I believe the money is only transferred to the Japanese team if the player ends up signing. I could be wrong - I'll investigate.

"The club and player then have 30 days to make a deal. If the club comes to an agreement with the player, the blind bid money goes to the Japanese team as a transfer fee. If there is no agreement with the player, no money exchanges hands between the MLB club and the Japanese team (the bid money is returned), and the player cannot be reposted for another year."

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/content/printer_friendly/tex/y2006/m09/d11/c1657081.jsp

Wouldn't make a whole lot of sense for the money to be unrefundable...otherwise the team could collude with the player and just take an American team's money. Probably wouldn't give them a very good reputation, but it may also be hard to prove.

I agree, as a Royals fan nothing is more frustrating than spending what little money we have on crap 35+ year olds. Grudz I actually like kind of, his infield defense has gained confidence for our pitchers I think. Reggie Sanders was such a bad signing I can't really get over it. Regarding Matsuzaka, I don't think we will get him. We might be able to outbid other teams, but we probably wouldn't want to shell out that much money for one player.

I don't get that logic (don't want spend that much money on one player). It's not ok to spend $12-15M a year on a player who will really help you win (and put butts in the seats) but is ok to spend more than that on players who won't help you win and will probably make people stay home?

Conservatively, say 5000 more people come to his starts, and he gets 17 home starts. Say $30 a ticket, that's pver 2.5M a year right there, and probably more.

I think the real problem is the opposite - they may not be willing to pay $30M a year to outbid the Yankees. That is somewhat defensible.

As odd as it sounds on paper, it makes perfect sense for the Royals (& Devil Rays) for that matter). These are small market teams missing top of the rotation starters. From their standpoint, they'd be getting an ace caliber pitcher in his mid-20s and will be getting increased revenue in return from merchandising, tickets & the Japanese fanbase/media. That's not touching the fact that it makes them more attractive for more players from Japan in the future. It's a good investment in general & on the right team, his presence could be the piece that makes them a legit contender.

It makes a lot of sense for teams like the Royals.. albite a risky one.

Texas may be another team to look out for, they've shown that they are willing to shell out cash.... just not exactly wisely. they have Chan Ho Park and Phil Nevin's contracts comming off the books... mercifully..

The Jays also make sense.

If a crappy team thinks they will be contending within the next two years then this is a great move. It is very hard for teams like the DRays and Royals to attract the top free agent pitchers because they arent good. Here though they have a chance at a top of the rotation type starter who has no say where he goes. If the Royals sign him it would be a great move. Next year he would get to adjust to being in the MLB and then in 08 they could conceivably head into the year with a top three of Hochevar, Matsusaka, and Grienke. That is a pretty good first three and they could fill in the rest with guys from the minors or free agents.

In response to TNS, speaking of the Devil Rays not having a top of the order Ace, Were you blind the first half of the year when Scott Kazmir had the best numbers of any American League pitcher until right before the all-Star break?

Anyway, it would not make sense for the Red Sox to say bid $100M then offer $1 a year because this guy is for real. and last time I checked the Red Sox rotation isn't that great so they're going to jump at the chance to sign a guy like this.

He WOULD put butts in the seats for the Royals and this would be a much wiser decision then spending your money on Reggie Sanders DL trips.

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