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Saturday, November 11, 2006


Two Of A Kind

Both Gary Sheffield and Keith Foulke got out of the baseball hot bed on Friday. Foulke leaving money on the table is very surprising. The guy who dislikes baseball and was all about the 1st and 15th or payday wants to be closer to home or Arizona. If this is truly the case, which may be since Foulke went through a divorce and wants to spend more time with his children - speculation alert!, he should be commended. And let’s not forget, he was the second pitching warrior in 2004.

As for Sheffield, the Tigers got taken. Ca$hman had little leverage. He had to move Sheffield and the slugger’s new team would need to pacify him with ca$h. The Tigers forked over one of the best pitching prospects in the game, Humberto Sanchez, and two other lower level live arms for the right to pay Sheffield who was hurt most of last season. Frank Thomas or Mike Piazza would have been better choices for the Tigers at a lower cost, and they would still have one of the best pitching prospects in their organization to move in another deal or step into the pen when Todd Jones inevitably implodes.

Sox fans be prepared to see Sanchez and Phillip Hughes sometime in 2007, and for many years to come. The MFY now have two of the top five pitching prospects and a stronger bridge from Mike Mussina and Randy Johnson. In the future, are going to see many three game series featuring Wang, Dirty Sanchez and Hughes versus Papelbon, Beckett and D-Mat?

Do I Hear $100 Million For Daisuke Matsuzaka?

The Red Sox hot stove season was just a flicker earlier in the week, and then it got hit with some Japanese lighter fluid. Vermont native and ESPN‘s “She had a baby by Buster” Olney reported that the Red Sox entered the highest bid for D-Mat. Going hard or overpaying in both talent and dollars after actual and potential top pitchers appears to be consistent with the Sox plan - see: Curt Schilling, Keith Foulke, Josh Beckett, Craig Hansen. This was not a surprise, but still good news.

The Sox spreadsheet that normal calculates the Return On Investment for player acquisitions had to add a few lines. As we know, D-Mat will expand the Sox revenue base to Japan. It is highly likely that ads in Japanese will be seen around Fenway, and possibly 30 D-Mat starts will be broadcast in Japanese.

Even more than in normal player acquisitions, the Sox through NESN have even more potential revenue gains than most other clubs, including the MFY in this case. The Sox could bid the most for D-Mat due to the incredible incremental revenue gains. It is likely that the Sox still project to earn the same or better ROI for D-Mat as any other club.

On the field, like most of us I’ve watched D-Mat pitch once in the WBC where he dominated. I really can’t add any more to the numerous scouting reports and I won’t try. I will say that if D-Mat lives up to expectations, he will be a huge piece to the puzzle in 2007 and beyond. The big question is: are the Sox more focused on 2007 or the latter part of the decade?


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