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We are at the half-way point of the Red Sox's contract negotiations with Scott Boras and Daisuke Matsuzaka -- and the team has made its first official offer. Larry Lucchino, in Japan meeting with officials from the Seibu Lions, said it was a "fair and comprehensive" offer.
All reports say the team's offer was between $7-8 million, with Boras looking for $15. Let the negotiations begin. The length of the contract is also an issue, with Boras hoping for only three years and the Red Sox looking at perhaps five.
There has been talk that if the Sox and Boras can't agree on an annual salary, the Lions could kick in $10 million, for example, from the posting bid to help bridge the gap -- and still pocket $41.11. But MLB says (publicly) that is not allowed.
Also: The Yankees won the bidding for 27-year-old Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa with a $26 million offer. (Anyone asking if they bid high to block the Sox?) Igawa had a 2.97 ERA last year for the Hanshin Tigers and led the Central League with 194 strikeouts. He was the CL's MVP in 2003. ... Reliever Danys Baez is off the market, having signed a 3/19 deal with Baltimore, who has also inked old friends Chad Bradford and Scott Williamson.