Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The next great Japanese import?

More polished than Nomo, better command than Irabu, and battle-hardened -- he's the next great Japanese baseball import according to the scouts and baseball geniuses: Daisuke Matsuzaka. He's led Japan in wins three times, won two ERA titles and the Cy Young Award equivalent once. He won the MVP at the World Baseball Classic.

His club, the Seibu Lions, granted his wish and will post him for the major league bidders seeking his services. The process is akin to soccer club team transfers: the highest bidder pays a nice load of cash to Seibu and gets the right to negotiate with the pitcher individually, who then signs a contract for additional money. The "posting" bid that wins will exceed $20M.

And Matsuzaka hired Scott Boras to represent him in the major league negotiations, so he'll get a large payday from whatever team gets the right to sign him (most likely Seattle, the Mess or the Yanks). World Series is over, now baseball gets interesting again.

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