Is Matsuzaka Worth $100 Million?
As the time to start bidding for Daisuke Matsuzaka comes closer, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the Japanese star is going to cost the team that gets him close to $100 million in guranteed money. First there are the "blind" bids that have to be paid to gain the right to even negotiate with Matsuzaka and his representatives at all; then the team that wins the rights to negotiate has to come to agreement on a contract. And his American representative? Scott Boras!
Right there, you’re talking about a bid of at least $15-20 million; then the team that wins is going to have to negotiate with the agent who has become the scourge of those who advocate fiscal responsibility. That is not the responsibility of Boras. Boras has and will always work to get the most money for his clients—–it’s why they hire him. So, automatically Matsuzaka is going to cost his team the posting money and then probably at least a five year contract worth $12-$15 million a season.
Say he gets a $75 million, 5 year deal from, oh, I don’t know….the Yankees; add that to the $20 million posting money and that’s $95 million for a Japanese import that everyone who has seen him and played against him thinks is going to be a major league success. But they don’t know. Any team that is willing to make that kind of financial commitment has the right to expect a performance from the pitcher that would be equitable. Say he comes and wins 15 games; is he worth all that money? Or would it be smarter to spend that same money on two free agent pitchers who would provide a known big league performance of 13+ wins? The team that invests in Matsuzaka had better trust their scouts who have seen him pitch or this has all the ingredients to be a disaster.
There are few pitchers over the years who have performed to the point where they would be worth such an absurd amount of money. The five years of greatness from Sandy Koufax; Tom Seaver; Steve Carlton—–historic pitchers. Is Daisuke Matsuzaka going to be on a level with those names? With the amount of money he’s going to cost, he’d better be.