Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Let The Bidding Begin
While Daisuke Matsuzaka is preparing to explain to his fans the news of his imminent departure, MLB teams are scrambling together their bids. It is a closed auction format, so we most will likely only hear the winning bid. The timetable for the event is as follows. Teams have 4 days from Thursday to submit their bids, then Seibu has four days to accept a bid. The winning bid then has a thirty day negotiation period. Teams most likely to make bids: Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Dodgers, Cubs, Angels and Mets.
It will be interesting to see who lands him. The Yankees have the deepest pockets, but the Red Sox have a strong presence in Asian countries. Actually, they have been criticized for throwing to many resources into Asia and Australia and not enough in Latin America. I thought Seattle would have been a big player, but MLB.com is reporting they will not place a bid.
There is a lot of information about Matsuzaka floating around, but the majority of the public has only seen him in the WBC. I linked the best available sites below. He throws a ridiculous gyro ball, that is some combination of a sinker, screwball, and a knuckle change. In 147.1 innings pitched he put up a 9.53 K-rate, a 1.77 BB/9, 0.79 HR/9, and a 83% strand rate. He is 26 and weighs 85kg (ha). He will certianly be a great acquisition for which ever team lands him. Expect a bid somewhere between 25-30 million and a contract 3 times that, which would make him a 100 million dollar pick up. He may be the best pitcher available this off-season according to The Hardball Times and if he isn't, he second only to Zito.
Stats with the Seibu Lions
Matsuzaka wiki page
Matsuzaka Watch: Lots of great stuff here
Scout.com: Keeping tabs on Daisuke Matsuzaka
Facing Cuba at the WBC... pretty nasty stuff.
My gut feeling, he will end up in the Bronx. I hope to God not, but Steinbrenner just may make a completely reckless bid here. That being said, I think the most potential for revenue is in Boston. They have no Asian star on the team, unlike many other cities, and could really see it impact their bottom line. They may be willing to make a hefty bid. We will know in 10 days.