If they can sign him, they've got the best pitcher in the market, and he may be the best pitcher in baseball when all is said and done. He's got five outstanding pitches. ... It's a lot of money, but if you have it, why not use it on a kid like this? The Yankees have to be sick about this.Bobby Valentine:
I think they've done a heck of a job scouting. I've seen [Red Sox assistant GM for international scouting] Craig Shipley and [coordinator for Pacific rim scouting] John Deeble here for the last three years, where they followed his movement, they've charted his pitches, they've watched his best and worst outings and done a heck of a job of understanding the kind of competitor and pitcher this guy is.Approximate bids from three other teams: Mets ($40), Yankees ($33) and Rangers ($27).
So what will it take to sign Matsuzaka? Reports definitely vary. From an annual salary of $7-$10 to $10-$14, maybe $16. Reports are Boras wants only a three-year deal so Matsuzaka can be a free agent at age 29 after 2009, but the Sox may try to get him for four or even five years.
Yasuko Yanagita, Hochi Shimbun sports newspaper:
The Red Sox-Yankees series will have new meaning to people in Japan because you have one of the best hitters against one of the best pitchers. Boston is a popular team because they won the World Series not so long ago, and if Matsuzaka plays for them and Matsui plays for the Yankees, it will create excitement. ...Gordon Edes on the gyroball:
People will want to see how Matsuzaka pitches Matsui. The Yankees are probably the most popular team in Japan and many Red Sox-Yankees game are shown on TV. They understand the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry and now they'll have this added to it.
First of all, let's drop all talk of the "gyroball," the wonder pitch Daisuke Matsuzaka is said to throw.Robert Whiting, author and expert on Japanese baseball, says it's
He doesn't. No pro, here or in Japan, has been documented as throwing one.
somebody's idea of a joke. A couple of Japanese guys did a comic story about Matsuzaka's 'pitch,' and a guy wrote a story about it on Yahoo, and that's how it got started. ... Remember Sidd Finch? Same category. ... Matsuzaka doesn't need the gyro. He throws a slider and forkball and changeup and fastball and curve. He throws them all with great control and great command.Whiting admitted that almost everyone in Japan assumed the Yankees would top the bidding, but
the Red Sox faked everybody out. ... This is pretty big. There hasn't been a pitcher like Matsuzaka in a generation, since Nomo. And he's better than Nomo was in his prime. His control is better, he's just as fast, and he has more pitches than Nomo. ... He's very composed, as cool as a cucumber.