Earlier this week the Red Sox finalized a deal with Daisuke Matsusaka for 6 years/$52 million. When you factor in the $51 million they paid for the right to negotiate with him they paid over $100 million to get him. Like a lot of people, I am concerned that the Sox have essentially turned into the Yankees. Money appears to be no object and they just spend and spend some more and raise the ticket prices. This does change our identity quite a bit, as historically we have liked to portray the Yankees as the Evil Empire where we were the good guys. Now, I do not think there is much difference between us.
Despite these reservations, I think this was a good deal and will be a good deal. First, he seems to be worth the money and will be capable of being their ace right out of the gate. Second, this keeps him away from the Yankees. But third, and most important in this case, this is going to be a huge revenue generator for the team in the Japan market. There will be an almost unlimited number of ways for the team to pull new revenue out of Japan. When you factor that in, and deduct it from what they are paying him, it becomes a very good deal.
The Sox now have 5 good starters, 4 of whom could potentially be the ace of many staffs. They potentially will also get Jon Lester back. All the team really lacks is a closer. Unfortunately, that is a bad thing to lack. I suspect they will get to the playoffs with this team, but winning it all will be very hard if they do not develop or acquire a closer over the course of the season. I'd like to see them have Craig Hansen start the season in Pawtucket, or where ever they need to put him, so that he can develop what he needs to be the closer down the stretch. It seems like he just needs to add some polish to some of his pitches and learn more about when to use them. He has the raw materials.
Anyway, how many days until Spring Training? I can't wait.