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Monday, December 11, 2006

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Won't he get a nice payday if he goes back to Japan? Forgive me for not knowing this, but frankly, I find the whole system exhausting.

He'll get roughly $3M, which certainly ain't peanuts. But the Sox' LOWEST offer is double that, and -- assuming Boras ever gets back to them with a counteroffer -- they presumably would be willing to offer more than three times and possibly four times that much per year.

Boras may be trying to avoid making much news in Boston, with a press conference that late... Or else he wants to make it harder for columnists to respond in the next day's paper.

Triple that, isn't it? I, like many others, still think $12MM should be satisfactory for both sides. $13MM max.

If I were a GM, I wouldn't go higher than 12MM for three years. Thus he's (in a financial sense, at least) better than Meche, worse than Zito, and gets to be a free agent again in three years. The Sox can afford a gamble like that. Sack up!

Ya. Maybe they'll work out an incentive-based contract. That would probably work out better..

But I don't know. I know Boras has no leverage, but then he's Scott Boras, so he's crazy! And in a few days we'll find out what happen..

This is bad.

Lockland, it's posturing as far as I can tell. I would be shocked if a deal wasn't reached.

If the Sox don't sign him I'll be laughing through the weekend.

If it's true that Boras has literally refused to make anything resembling a counter-offer, and has instead stuck at a fairly ridiculous $15MM a year...can he be accused of failing to negotiate in good faith? Especially if he turns around and tries to pay Seibu himself for Matsuzaka's release into unconditional FA; it would seem that he was set from the start to sabotage the posting system, and sacrifice his client's 2007 for the sake of challenging the posting system. Doesn't seem right...

by78- wanna head down to newport in an hour or so? i'm considering.

...i'm with nick...this press conf. may very well be to announce a signing, but we won't know until later i guess...

...by the way, did boras actually say he hasn't been willing to make a counteroffer?...

...i smell a rat, and if there's no signing and proof of no legitimate attempt to negotiate, i'll be right by the sox side to criticize boras, mlb, and the process...it's just not right...

The rumor is that Boras has refused to make a counter-offer. Check out the first item Here.

I'd love to Rod but I'm studying for finals. It would be great to tell Boras in person what a money grubbin' douche he is. I think his office is over by Fashion Island right before MacArthur hits Pacific Coast Highway.

Oh...Miguel Batista, the 35-year-old with the career 4.46 ERA who posted a 4.58 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, and 110/84 K/BB in 206 innings for the D-Backs last year is about to get a 3-year deal worth more than $24MM.

Once again...Boston shouldn't be whining about a few mil here...give him $13MM and get it done already.

I agree, D1.

The Sox's MO in recent years is to sign players as cheaply as possible. Basically Theo is looking for the 'best bang for the buck'. You've seen it most notably with the A-Rod fiasco, where they attempted to tamper with A-Rod's contract (out of cheapness) and got their hand bit. That spiel works well with buying, say, a computer, or a television, but evidently not for making a baseball team.

I would not be surprised to see the deal break down because the Red Sox refused to go to 12M as opposed to 10.

Uh, to be fair...who besides A-Rod have they really missed out on? And I'm not counting Gagne or Dotel yet, since we don't know if either will actually be worth the money they're getting.

PS: I'm not counting Damon...still don't think he was worth $52MM. Time will tell.

Andrew, your point is well-taken, but if the Red Sox don't sign Matsuzaka, the reason will be bigger than $2M per yr. It also might end up having nothing to do with whether or not the Red Sox gave (or were given a chance to give) an appropriate offer. I'm in agreement with anyone who thinks this guy will at least be better than Meche ($11M per, in case anyone isn't absolutely sick of hearing about it), so he should be paid like it. $12M-14M/yr is a fair offer. Will it get the job done? I think that decision will ultimately rest with Boras in the end.

Babe Ruth?

The Sox's MO in recent years is to sign players as cheaply as possible. Basically Theo is looking for the 'best bang for the buck'.

Uh, what? Clement? Renteria? Drew? Foulke? These guys were all signed at top dollar for when they were available. Foulke demanded, and got, an extra year to join the Sox, at what was then big money for a closer. Renteria got $10M per, which was a huge sum for a guy like him, and debated at the time.

You can't look at it on people they've "missed out on", that implies some kind of omniscient foresight. I know they totally screwed the A-Rod deal almost completely out of cheapness, they did cheap out on one of their central players, whether he was worth it or not, they cheaped out on Abreu because they didn't want to take on all of his contract, they just seem to have a recent history of silly penny-pinching, what with all the money they have at their disposal.

And each time that happened, the Yankees, because they were willing to put forth the money, got the better deal. A-Rod is an absolute bargain. They got Damon for one less year than he was asking the Sox for. They got Abreu for basically nothing but money.

And I don't know the details about Gagne or Dotel, so I can't comment on that yet. But I wouldn't be surprised if the Sox didn't want to put forth the extra million or so dollars for Gagne or Dotel, and thus lost out on one of their greatest needs.

I wonder if Boras feel that he needs to prove that he's crazy enough not to close this deal, showing everyone who's boss.

Though I still think it's in his best interest to close.. if Sox don't fork over those few millions, I could still see Boras not close..

I still predict a last minute deal though.

First of all, the idea that Boras has never counter-offered most likely comes from the Sox, who are trying to get RSN to post on their blog items with the exact title that Paul chose. It sounds like someone wants someone else to be the bad guy here.

But, let's assume that this "no counter-offer" is true (and I think tonight Boras will tell the press that this claim is absolutely false). This means two things. One, Boras feels that the Sox' first offer is beyond unacceptable. It happens in real estate deals. You make an offer on a property, and the seller just rejects: no counter. That's a signal that you have to up your offer. If the Sox made an offer, and Boras didn't counter (as the Sox claim), then they should have taken that as a sign that they weren't getting a deal done for anything near what they offered, like it or not. If the Sox chose not to up their initial offer after Boras' radio silence, then they have nothing to complain about. Boras, I hate to say, was under no obligation to counteroffer. No counteroffer does not indicate "bad faith", it only indicates complete displeasure with the offer.

Caveat: if the Sox offered something reasonable (and we'll really never know what their first offer was, to be honest) and Boras never responded, or the Sox raised their initial offer and still got nothing from Boras, or Boras never responded to inquirie about the offer, then this means he never wanted to negotiate in the first place, that he never intended to have Matsuzaka come to the States. Of course, none of us outside the negotiations will ever get anything remotely like the truth, in the end. It'll all be total speculation.

I imagine Boras tonight will announce the there is no truth to the idea that he hasn't countered, or that he and DM are not signing with the Red Sox this year, or that (a total longshot with this one) there will be some sort of challenge to the posting system. The most likely scenario is that DM will issue some sort of statement crafted to make him look like he very much wants to play for the Red Sox, that he wants this for Seibu's sake, all the while leaving him an out to return to Japan and wait for more money in the future. And there's a tiny, tiny, tiny chance that Boras announces DM has reached agreement with the Sox, but that would be shocking. Mostly, this press conference is going to end up being noise, I fear.

I agree with SF on most every point. It's fun and easy to paint Boras as the bad guy. However, he has one job: secure the most money under the most beneficial structure for his client. His job isn't to "honor" the posting system; if he has played by the rules of the system itself, "honor" has nothing to do with it. It is not his job to encourage his client to sign at what is touted as what "fair market value" by anyone other than what Matsuzaka and Boras think they can eventually achieve based on the market trends. It is certainly not his job to be concerned what people posit as his level of "greediness" or idle speculations regarding his affiliation with religious constructs outside of whether he loses future business because of the results of this dealing.

It is a curious situation if Boston's maximum contract for Matsuzaka does not come near what Boras has encouraged his client to wait for, not that we will likely ever know the true numbers and process. If signing with Boston doesn't occur in this session, will Matsuzaka think the that advice to wait for an eventual and subsequently at-risk pay-off was informed when he considers whether to retain Boras as his agent? What will other players making a similar leap take away from the results? Although people will talk of it this way, it isn't really at the core about the Red Sox and it is not about the greater good of Major League-Japanese baseball relations. It is in a lateral sense about the posting process, but that is cursory and won't be able to be evaluated for years in any scenario. It is certainly about what Matsuzaka wants to and thinks he can get paid. Boras will only be derelict if his client is dissatisfied with the eventual results. Nobody else's opinion matters.

ag, sf, nice posts...hard to argue with either of you...

it's true. For all we know, Matsuzaka is telling Boras that he won't consider going a certain number. I can imagine the discussion:

DM: Gil Meche is making what?!
SB: In fairness, we're in closed negotiations. You are not exactly a part of the free agent market.
DM: Gil Meche
SB: Dammit, Matsuzaka-san, you're obsessed with this Meche guy. Just take the Sox's generous offer of $7 million a year. That's Miguel Batista money. That's F*ck you money!
DM: Doesn't Josh Beckett make $10 million a year? He's so overrated!
SB: Well, Dice-K, you have a point there, but that's old news. Everyone knows that.
DM: Show me the money!
SB: It's not just about the money. Why don't any of my players understand that?

Nicely done, Nick.

oh, man. Here we go dammit.

you guys are so hard on poor boras...don't you want him to have a nice, prosperous holiday?...

Hehehe, Boras isn't the most sought-after agent in MLB for nothin'

Is this on TV anywhere? ESPNEWS would rather talk about the NFC playoff picture for the thirtieth time today.

thirtieth time today


eight hundreth time today.

Clemens first 20K game is on NESN right now...

It really is a beautiful thing.

Lockland,
That was my first game ever at Fenway, and the day before I had struck out 14 in a little leauge game. I didn't, at the time, think it was any big deal because of what I'd done, but in hindsight, it was amazing. Thankfully, and much like my own game, they were hacking at absolutely everything.

Stupid, stupid lack of press coverage. Is ANYTHING happening?!

Boras has said no cameras. Clearly I'm kidding, but by doing this, he would ensure that all there was to tell the story is print, which would immediately eliminate at least 50% of the general public's opinion on the matter until the radio got ahold of it:)

Who is this mystery strikeout artist? Heh.

absolutely filthy..

Boras just said that DM has signed with the Yanks. He then took out a copy of the bidding agreement and pissed on it. Turning to the cameras, draws dropped, he snapped, "I'm Scott Boras, bitch. Scott...Boras."

NESN no longer allows those of us outside New England to get Sox-coverage-related programming on the satellite networks. Gotta love "Red Sox Nation" :-P

Although SF and AG are right, of course, it doesn't mean I have to like it, or like Scott Boras. I think it's pretty apparent the leaks are coming from the Sox' camp, and while I think it's hypocritical to use the press when they feel backed into a corner and otherwise treat the press like scum, I also don't think they're lying. I'd also find it difficult to believe that the Red Sox somehow wouldn't understand the flow of negotiations to the point that they were needlessly frustrated by Boras' "radio silence" when, what do you know!, this is how negotiations have been conducted all along! They've dealt with Boras enough times where if they're frustrated it means Boras is acting uncharacteristically -- which makes sense. This is an uncharacteristic situation.

Of course, they could simply be a little frustrated and decided to put a little pressure on Boras, and the mood was mischaracterized by the Chicken Littles of the Boston sports media.

"The deadline for signing Matsuzaka is technically Thursday midnight, but because of the need for a physical, the de facto deadline is probably Tuesday or Wednesday. In the meanwhile, the ongoing discussions are more theoretical than monetary, which promises that the negotiations will go down to the last hours and the final blinks. Both sides are trying to figure out creative ways to bridge the gap between the club's $8 million-$10 million AAV (average annual value) offer and Boras' $18 million-$20 million requests, but the longer it remains theoretical, the less likelihood it gets done."

Gammons' latest blog entry. If he's right, and Boras is really holding fast at $18-20MM...now I don't know what to think.

Gammons on his Insider blog, posts the following:

"In the meanwhile, the ongoing discussions are more theoretical than monetary, which promises that the negotiations will go down to the last hours and the final blinks. Both sides are trying to figure out creative ways to bridge the gap between the club's $8 million-$10 million AAV (average annual value) offer and Boras' $18 million-$20 million requests, but the longer it remains theoretical, the less likelihood it gets done."

So it could be that the Sox and Boras are in contact, and the Sox keep pushing for a counter and Boras keeps bringing the discussion back to the theorestical, frustrating the Sox. Or both sides keep getting bogged down in this esoteric discussion of markets and value instead of throwing numbers back and forth, the Sox view this as Boras' fault and start leaking to the press. A number of scenarios, but none of them support the idea that there has been three weeks of silence, like the papers seemed to be saying overnight.

(Hat tip: SOSH)

Ha, d-1! We cross-posted the exact same graf. What are the odds?

Haha. I didn't get it at SOSH, either. That's just the part that scared me most...I'm guessing the same goes for everyone else...

Yeah. $18-20M is far too much, for a non-FA who has never pitched in MLB. No team would pay it, except maybe New York, and I would even doubt that. Boras must know this, and I'd guess he's using Gammons to counter the Sox' leaks this morning.

Four minutes and SportsDesk is on NESN. I think I'll be watching tonight...

I'm at school in DC, don't go home til Friday. 90% of the time, NESN sucks...but I do kinda wish I had it right about meow.

somebody please give rapid updates - I'm nowhere near a televison. PLEASE.

Edes: "With agent Scott Boras declaring last night that if "the parties' positions remain the same, Daisuke will return to Japan,'' the Red Sox top brass were in southern California to meet face-to-face with Daisuke Matsuzaka in a last-ditch attempt to induce him to sign.
Boras said that GM Theo Epstein, accompanied by principal owner John W. Henry and CEO Larry Lucchino, had come to conduct negotiating sessions last night and today in an attempt to beat Thursday's midnight deadline for a deal."

Sorry, that was me. I did not realize I've been nameless all night. Sorry about that.

...and espn news is reporting this blockbuster news leading off their 10:00 edition: allen iverson has asked for a trade, and probably will be traded...what a scoop...up next, the latest on TO about TO for TO, exclusively on the TO family of networks...geez

The good news: Epstein, Lucchino and Werner are all in LA, and everyone is going to work through the night and into tomorrow on a deal.

The "bad" news: If current positions hold, Matsuzaka will return to Japan.

So only good news to take away from the press conference -- clearly, current positions are not going to hold.

so, basically everything we knew before all this?

Pretty much, yeah. Except for that $18-20MM thing Gammons said.

$18-20m...is that per year or for 3?, and i'm not kidding...

Per year. If that's really what Boras is sticking to...who here is gonna fault Boston for saying no? Anyone? Didn't think so...

Discussion now gets its own thread at the top.

This whole thing only works out well for one person no matter what; Scott Boras. No matter what he does, he wins.

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