Yankees Rumors & News
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(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In The New York Times today, Murray Chass pens a great piece on the offseason pursuit of Daisuke Matsuzaka by the Boston Red Sox. According to Chass, he has confirmed what many cynics suspected at the time – that Boston submitted a record $51.1 million posting bid as much to block Dice-K from pitching for the Yankees as to actually sign the pitcher. Says Chass:

“The Red Sox, according to the account that [Sox owner John] Henry is denying, figured that they would get the negotiating rights to Matsuzaka but would probably be unable to negotiate a deal for him with his agent, Scott Boras, who can be particularly tough to deal with in high-profile bargaining.

“If the Red Sox were unsuccessful in reaching a deal, possession of Matsuzaka would have reverted to his Japanese team, the Seibu Lions, for at least one season and the Red Sox would have recouped their $51.1 million bid. No money lost, and, at least for now, no Matsuzaka in the Bronx.”

Chass indicates that Boston altered their plans somewhere down the line when they realized that Matsuzaka might shun his super-agent’s advice to return to Japan rather than accept a six-year, $52 million contract, and Sox decision-makers realized that the 100-million-dollar-man might just be worth the money.

Chass concludes that while no one in Boston is making Jimmy Rollins-like declarations, there’s certainly reason to believe that the Sox are poised to challenge the Yanks for a division title that New York has owned for nine consecutive seasons.

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