The $51,100,000 Question
Remember when all it took to get your man was asking Shonda to pass the cranberry sauce?
Well. So much for building from within, huh? We're going about as far outside our farm system as we can, and I sure hope we know what we're doing. This article by Jerry Crasnick speaks to the seriousness of this endeavor better than I can, probably. As I see it, the Scott Boras issue is the X-factor here. He can't bluff the Sox on this one like he did the Yankees with Johnny Damon. The only leverage he has here is that the Red Sox reallllllly want to get this deal done, so he may be able to use that to his advantage. But as Crasnick points out, Seibu realllllly wants to get this done, which is irrelevent, but is Boras really gonna torpedo a deal that will cost the Japanese team their $51mil, thereby shutting off a possible pipeline of future clients for Boras? Who'd want to deal with him ever again if he can't get this deal done? And Matsuzaka, I'm sure, wants to get this deal done because in a culture where appearance and stature are everything, I'll bet that returning to the Lions would be construed as an abject failure. So there's a lot to say that this thing gets done, but then again, there's Boras. As Crasnick says, the Sox will be looking long-term, because anything less than 5-6 years makes that "down payment" look a lot bigger. If I'm DM, I take the long-term deal, unless he's supremely confident in himself and KNOWS that in three years he's gonna be an even bigger deal. But the side with the most to lose if this doesn't happen is the Red Sox. They've gone this far, they're willing to spend this much, they need to take it to the end. Despite any concerns I have about the wisdom of such a deal, the bottom line is that they have to go all the way on this. If they settle for anything less than a five year deal on this, I think we're getting screwed. Otherwise, this guy is walking away from Boston at 29 or 30, after we've spent the dough and done all the legwork to get him here. And whatever we're gonna end up paying him now is gonna look like a real bargain compared to what he'd get next year as a true free agent. So, enough of my concern and cynicism, just get the damn deal done, and let's get to spring training. It feels like the start of a new day, doesn't it? And I hope someone knows what they're doing.