Thursday, November 16, 2006

How to waste $51.1 Million dollars

You want to know how to waste $51.1 Million dollars, well just be Theo Epstein, the GM of the Boston RedSox.. And not its not like the movie Brewster's Millions staring Richard Pryor of having to spend $30 million in 30 days in order to inherit $300 million. Is baseball turning into European soccer where players are moved for gigantic transfer fees? Was Theo on the phone with Roman Abramovich the owner of Chelsea football Club when he was thinking of how to bid for Daisuke Matuzaka?? Roman probably told him about wasting away $40 Million dollars to sign a player like Shawn Wright Phillips only to watch him sit on the Bench and not score a goal in his Chelsea career but making it right by signing Didier Drogba for $45 Million to have him become the best goal scorer in the Premiership, ya know you win some you lose some...

To play $51.1 million dollars just for the right to talk to a player is in many ways crazy, but in many ways like European Football. Now the Red Sox still have to sign Matuzaka to a contract, and guess who his agent is.. Yep Scott Boras, the man who can get the last dollar out of everyone. While at the time the Carlos Beltran contract looked insane, his recent season and leading the Mets to the playoffs and a great season makes it look like a better return on his 7 year, $119 price tag. Word is Boras is looking for a 3 year, $45 million contract. This would make the 3 year, $21 million that Hediki Matsui signed with the Yankees look to be the far east bargain of the century. I can understand keeping it to a 3 year deal, as if this guy proves himself, he will only be 29 and up for a monster 5 year contract. If it doesn't, it limits the Red Sox losses at just short of $100 million dollars.

Just how good this Matuzaka is remains to be seen. Foreign pitchers don't have the track record of performing great in the USA. Neither expensive imports from Cuba, Mexico and Japan or elsewhere have done amazingly well. Possibly a few years with flashes of brilliance, but overall for a full career its been a toss up. Fernando Valenzuela had his brilliant rookie year in 1981 at the age of 20. He went 13-7 seemed unstoppable. Over the next 7 years the Dodgers would let him pitch 96 complete games, of which an amazing 27 were shutouts. Then at the age of 26 he was essentially DONE. After this point only 17 more complete games for his career, only 1 season of over 200IP, and a career record of 60-71, more hits than IP and an ERA of about 4.50 most season.

The fact that Matsuaka is already 26 years old, and has thrown in Japanese baseball about 1400IP to this point in his career is not a good sign for the future. Its going to take him a year or so to adjust to USA Baseball, and having to rely on your fastball to establish strikes early in the count. On top of it, looking at him he looks built like Pedro Martinez, while Pedro has only begun to start breaking down physically now at 34 years old. Roy Oswalt has a similar build, and while he has been a total stud his first 6 years in the Big Leagues, it will be interesting at age 28 if the Astros get their money worth with his current 5 year, $73 million deal. If I was a Red Sox fan, the slight build would bother me. Obviously there is a sense of urgency to do something after not making the playoffs last year, and knowing the Yankees lack of quality starting pitching, they wanted to make it SURE the Yanks would not get him. Well the Yanks will look in other directions and possibly even let our minor league pitching prospect, 20 year old Philip Hughes. My opinion is i'm glad its the Red Sox wasting $51 million so they can go ahead and raise the already league high average ticket prices, instead of the Yanks spending $30 million or so and ending up with another Hideki Irabu.. who it should be noted has more World Series Rings(2) than the Red Sox franchise have in the past 88 years. Along with his 1.7 Billion yen in Career salary.


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