(BDD Photo Illustration)
The Boston Red Sox Are Back
in the Baseball Business
Gammons: The Matsuzaka Investment
"Boston still has Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield. But if the Red Sox get Matsuzaka, they not only go into 2007 with a formidable five-man rotation, but with Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Daniel Bard on the horizon, could have big starting pitching for the next five years.
"Second, the Red Sox strongly want to build an Asian foundation. When Theo Epstein left the Red Sox last fall, after he turned down the Dodger job, he worked with two Japanese teams as a consultant. Epstein believes in the next decade the mass of baseball talent coming out of Asia will alter the landscape, and his owners want to be entrenched in Japan as well as China; they signed three prominent Taiwanese prospects this spring, and are looking into establishing complexes in Taiwan and mainland China..."
"It is a gamble to spend the next 30 days negotiating with Boras for Matsuzaka while other free-agent pitchers are being signed. Matsuzaka's health is always a concern considering that he threw 13 complete games and on days before he pitches he throws a 200-pitch bullpen session; it's also every fifth, not every sixth or seventh, day that he starts. Yes, he has thrown more than 1,402 innings before the age of 26, but as The Hardball Times points out, that's fewer before turning 26 than Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Carlos Zambrano, Brett Myers, C.C. Sabathia and others, and his regimen is legendary." -- 11.14.06, Peter Gammons, ESPN Insider blog (by subscription only)
Sox Bid of $51.1M to Land Matsuzaka is Tops
" 'If they can sign him, they've got the best pitcher in the market, and he may be the best pitcher in baseball when all is said and done,' said one American League general manager Tuesday night. 'He's got five outstanding pitches.
'Coming over from Japan where he threw a lot of innings and had 13 complete games, I would think this would seem like a vacation to him. It's a lot of money, but if you have it, why not use it on a kid like this? The Yankees have to be sick about this.' " -- 11.14.06, Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe
Now All They Have to Do Is Sign Him
Bob Ryan: Sox Make Big Investment
"At the very least, the consensus is that he is a top-of-the-rotation starter. He is said to have outstanding stuff. According to a National League scout quoted by "Baseball Prospectus," the repertoire consists of a mid-90s fastball, a cutter, a two-seam fastball known as a "shuuto," a curveball, a changeup, a splitter, and a slider. Again according to Baseball Prospectus, another NL scout says he has three different sliders, which would give him nine pitches. Mike Mussina will be jealous." -- 11.14.06, Bob Ryan, Boston Globe