From Bob Klapisch:
The baseball world will have its answer on Wednesday, when, by 5 p.m. ET, clubs have to submit their blind bids for the negotiating rights to Matsuzaka and the gyroball, which is said to rotate like a football and move like a slider in slow motion.
The Yankees are believed to be ready to go as high as $20 million for the mere right to speak to Matsuzaka about a contract. It's an enormous posting fee, even by the Yankees' standards, but they're being driven by an unsubstantiated belief that the Rangers will be the dark horses in the blind bidding.
Most of us saw this coming, but with that said, this can be either a lofty success or a terrible mistake... for every Ichiro and Hideki Matsui, you have your Kaz Matsuis and Hideki Irabus... it's a gamble, but I have been following the works of Matsuzaka Watch, an incredible blog about Matsuzaka...
My opinion on him can't be set until I see what he does in the spotlight... I have heard great things about him, and I have seen great Japanese players flop here as well... I'd place him 2nd or 3rd in the rotation, but at the same time, to put a player who has never pitched in the MLB in the 2nd spot at the rotation as well as give him so much money (20 mil for bid, up to 75 mil for 5 years) shows two things:
1. It shows the absurdity of this entire situation and...
2. It shows how weak the Yankees' rotation really is...
At this point without Matsuzaka, Zito, Schmidt, Pettitte, or any other person the Yankees could get through free agency and assuming the Yankees sign Mussina for a 20 mil/2 yr contract soon, this is our rotation:
1. WangIf you put in either Matsuzaka or Pettitte (who I advocate the signing of) or even Zito, Karstens and Rasner gets bumped off... Karstens would challenge for a long reliever role (which I think would be perfect for him), and Rasner (according to Rotoworld) will try to make it as a middle reliever next year (which I also love)...
The future will let Hughes slip into the rotation in 2008 when Johnson is finally gone, Clippard or any of the other Yankee prospects slip in 2009 when Mussina is gone (or bought out), and you have a nice mix of young and old in the rotation, without the major free agent signing, of course...
Things will get interesting in these next few weeks, and because of that, I'll be back to writing in a more consistent fashion... I won't update as much as Steve does, but I'll do my best!
Happy reading... and watching!