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Old 11-19-2006, 09:36 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by -Slap- View Post
Many believe Boston placed a high bid to keep him out of New York, but they have no intention of actually signing him. There are provisions in place to ensure a "good faith effort" to sign him.

This has the potential to get very nasty.
I doubt it, they have all the negotiating leverage and priced a 26 year old ace potential starter this summer by giving Beckett a 3 year, $30M deal. If they offer anything near that you can't make an argument for it not being a good faith bid as Beckett is the same age as Matsuzaka, was controlled for the same number of years as Matsuzaka has remaining commitment to Seibu, and has a World Series MVP to show for his early career.

I don't find it that hard to understand why they bid so high really. The Yankees claim to make $5M a year in Japan annually since signing Matsui, and thats not counting any profits YES makes over there. Boras claims his Japanese sources cite the Yankees true profits to be in the area of $21M annually. I'm sure Boras is largely blowing smoke, but if you consider a middle ground there the Sox could recoup their bid pretty easily.

The big questions for Matsuzaka's negotiations is the length and his FA status post-contract. By MLB rules new Japanese players are considered rookies their first year and must acquire standard MLB service time for free agency. Hideki Matsui was a free agent and so got the Yankees to stipulate in the contract that they would decline arbitration, but Ichiro has been with the Mariners for pretty low money largely as a result of not having service time waived in his deal.

Boras is asking for the moon if he wants both a large payday and arbitration waived, I don't see any way he gets both.
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