The Market is Set...Now What?
Yesterday Red Sox brass and Scott Boras completed the deal for Japenese phenom "Andrew" Daisuke (pronounced "Dice-K") Matsuzaka. The deal is for reportedly 6 years, $52 million. Add that to the $51.1 million posting fee and the Red Sox just placed a six-year, $103.1 million value on a 26-year old pitcher who has never pitched in the major leagues.
Hickory dickory dock. (Fill in your best imitation of a Dice Clay line here)
Meanwhile, in another, and downright stunning development, the Toronto Blue Jays and offered center fielder Vernon Wells a seven year contract extension worth $126 million.
So Tom Hicks and Jon Daniels, the market is set. What are you going to do?
Boras will be expecting at least Matsuzaka money and term for Zito who is a proven major league pitcher and Cy Young Award winner. Don't bother to argue that Daisuke really only got $52 million. Boras won't buy, knowing someone will spend the bucks necessary to buy his client's services.
And Vernon Wells wants to play in his hometown Arlington. At least we know he wanted to play in Arlington. But money speaks at unhealthy decibel levels. But perhaps it is encouraging that Wells did not jump right on the money.
Perhaps, he thinks if the market is this crazy this offseason, it will be even more in his favor next offseason. Perhaps, he wonders if he really wants to get that contract in Toronto where the tax bill is higher. Perhaps, he wonders if the Blue Jays really plan to keep him around if he signs or if they are making a statement to teams who think the Jays don't value Wells. In that case, the last thing you want to do is sign and not be able to choose where you go after Canada.
And the Rangers have two choices to make. First, will they step up, after setting their offseason table for this move and pay the big bucks for Zito? (BTW-Barry, Dallas has a decent music scene and Austin is just down the I-35 corridor) Next, do you make a big money play for Wells now, knowing deep down he wants to come home? Or, do you wait until the offseason in hopes the market comes down and fellow DFW resident Torri Hunter is still available?
So I ask you Hicks and Daniels...What do you do?