Day Two of the Posting Period
Don't believe me. I'm just some dumb guy from New Jersey. However, these guys have some street cred.
Depending on what you think about Barry Zito, Matsuzaka may be the best pitcher available this off-season. Between the posting fee and the long-term deal that will follow, he may sign the richest contract of any player before the 2007 season. He's been a key contributor to Seibu since 1999 (when he was 18!), throwing nearly 1,200 innings in the last seven years, striking out 1,141 batters and earning an ERA well under 3.00.
If those numbers belonged to a MLB pitcher, well, he'd be Johan Santana, only a year younger. (Be careful: you're drooling on the keyboard.) Of course, the NPB isn't the same as the American major leagues, so it's unlikely he'll match his 2006 ERA of 2.13 over 180 innings in the US.
It is said that the NPB is equivalent to AAA, but I definitely tend to think it is a step above AAA.
Plugh translates Matsuzaka's 2005 stats and a chunk of his '06 numbers as follows:
Year ERA IP H HR BB SOLet's say, for whatever reason, that you're skeptical of those numbers. So am I. It seems well established that the NPB hosts a higher level of baseball than American Triple-A, but for the sake of argument, let's translate his 2005 NPB stats as if they were accumulated in the International League. (I can't find all the components I need to do this with 2006 stats, so 2005 will have to suffice for now.)
2005 2.74 215 185 16 63 200
2006 2.52 187 156 21 39 181
2005 IP HR BB K FIPSo, as long as there's nothing about Matsuzaka that makes him incompatible with success in America, and assuming that the Seibu faces harder competition than Pawtucket does, the upper bound on his ERA these days would seem to be about 3.50.
NPB 215 13 49 226 2.56
MLB 215 18 65 189 3.44
Estimations, equations, fornication, masturbation, computations...before you get all sassy, we all know no one knows what Daisuke will do here, but it is fun to think about. We all know Kaz was a bust. We all know the history of pitchers from the Eastern part of the hemisphere do not have a good track record when getting paid $15 million per year. We all know that Irabu was supposed to be the Japanese Nolan Ryan. However, Daisuke is the pitching equivalent of Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro is the only guy who has his first name on the back of his jersey and is the best position player that Japan has ever offered. Daisuke is the best pitcher Japan has ever offered.
Before he came to the states, Irabu had nine seasons in Japan and posted below a 3.00 only twice and never posted below a 2.40 ERA. Since then, baseball in Japan has gotten better as we can all tell by Japan's WBC win. Daisuke has posted below a 3.00 ERA in six of his nine seasons including his rookie season in 1999 when he was 18. Is he a risk? Yessum. Is he an expensive risk? Yessum. Is the ceiling a high one? Yessum. Ichiro won the MVP award and the ROY award in his rookie season. Is it possible Daisuke makes the same kind of waves in 2007 in the bigs? I certainly think so.
What a day for David Wright. A few hours after joking with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe in his downtown office, the Mets third baseman crushed a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning Thursday night as the MLB All-Stars finished in a 7-7 tie with the Yomiuri Giants in an exhibition game at Tokyo Dome.
Wright, who entered the game in the sixth inning, struck out looking in the seventh before turning on a first-pitch fastball from Giants reliever Takahiko Nomaguchi in the ninth. After rounding the bases, Wright followed up with his custom handshake with teammate Jose Reyes in the dugout.
"We've had absolutely no talks with the Mets whatsoever," Clifton said.
What is really weird is after the false reports by Scott and the New York papers, Clifton is singing another tune.
Glavine's contract was restructured earlier this year to include a $7.5-million player option and a $14-million team option, but if Glavine chooses the Mets, Clifton will simply negotiate a new one-year contract.
"I will pick up the phone and I'll say, 'Listen, Tom said he wants to be a Met and we understand you want him back. So let's figure this out,'" Clifton said.
It certainly affects how the Mets will attack the pitching market so hopefully Glavine sorts this out soon.
Fearful of the steep posting price for Matsuzaka, which could reach a record $30-million, the Mariners, owned by Japanese businessman Hiroshi Yamauchi, apparently want to allocate their funds for re-signing Ichiro Suzuki, who will be a free agent after next season.
But the Yankees, desperate for a front-line starter, have no such payroll concerns, and the Mets insist they are not rattled by the prohibitive cost as well. One person familiar with the situation said on Wednesday that the Mets definitely will bid for Matsuzaka, and that dealing with his agent, Scott Boras, is not a deterrent. The Mets believe they have a good relationship with Boras after negotiations for Carlos Beltran and Mike Pelfrey.
Omar! Mikey wants birfday gift and he wants Daisuke.
Mets third base coach Manny Acta reportedly will interview for the A's manager's job when he returns from Japan.
That is added to his growing list of managerial interviews he has already had.
Allison, as first reported Tuesday on the Greensboro (N.C.) News and Record's Web site, also has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting a public officer, both misdemeanors, in connection with an Oct. 25 incident. Police said Allison was spotted driving a 2002 Dodge Ram truck that had been reported stolen when he was pulled over.
Allison, 21, tried to flee but was apprehended by officers, police said. Allison, who listed a Greensboro address on the arrest report, faces a Nov. 30 court date on those charges.