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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Daisuke Matsuzaka ends up in Boston

By David

The negotiations might have went down to the wire, but the Boston Red Sox and stud pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka were able to come to terms on a contract. Over the next 6 years, Matsuzaka will be making a comfortable $52 million and when you include incentives the deal could total $60 million. On top of the $51.1 million the Red Sox paid Matsizkaka's former team the Seibu Lions just to speak with the pitcher, this investment in the Japanese star totals $103.11 million.

Boston was able to sign Daisuke just in time because the deadline to come to terms with him was Thursday at midnight. There was no way that Daisuke wanted to return to Japan and he was content with the offer the Red Sox made him. On the other hand his agent Scott Boras who has become famous for getting players outrageous contratcts over the years was holding out until he got his client what he believed to be fair market value.

Boras was eyeing the $11 million that Gil Meche received from the Royals earlier this month, but for a player who has never thrown a pitch in a major league game $8.66 million per season is extremely respectable. Matsuzaka comes over to the states with very impressive credentials. In his Japanese career he had a 108-60 record to go along with a 2.95 ERA. He was also named MVP of this years World Baseball Classic.

The Boston brain trust that had to fly over to California just to solidify a contract with the pitcher is very confident that he will fit in nicely in an already potent starting rotation. He will be added to a staff that includes Schilling, Beckett, Papelbon, Wakefield and possibly Lester who is currently recovering from cancer. After struggling last season, the Red Sox instantly become contenders in a tough American League.

Still, if they want to overtake the Yankees in the AL East they will need to find a closer because last years man Jonathan Papelbon defected to the starting rotation. Matsuzaka said "I'm very happy and excited to be a member of the Boston Red Sox " and the Red Sox fans will be equally as pleased to have him if he can duplicate the success that he had over in Japan.

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