Matsuzaka, Boras, and the Posting Process

Matsuzaka, Boras, and the Posting Process

Much has been ballyhooed about Matsuzaka’s agent, Scott Boras walking away from negotiations with which ever team wins the posting lottery that is currently taking place, instead opting to wait another year and have Matsuzaka enter the market as a true free agent. Well, its not gonna happen. Here’s why.

I don’t know about you but, not for one second, think that some type of collusion will not go on between Boras and certain MLB teams. I could certainly see Boras saying something along the lines of; “I’ve heard that Texas is offering $24 million, come on, out do them and we’ll cut you a break come contract time.” Are you sitting there, asking if Kman is out of his mind? Well you can call me untrustworthy—which I am—but the history of Baseball leaves much to be desired in the way of truth and fairness, instead opting for more colorful collusion and corruption.

Yet, let’s say for a minute that I am out of my mind, and that the posting process is on the up-and-up. This could end up being bad, bad news for Matsuzaka. Why? Simple, sponsorship money. He’s bound to make a hell of a lot more money in sponsorships if he’s in a New York, LA, or Seattle. These regions are either – or both– major media centers or have a large Asian population. Texas? Baltimore? You get the picture. Even if these teams are willing to pay Matsuzaka a couple extra million per year, it isn’t even going to touch the revenue that he’ll lose on account of being in these markets.

I think that the real bidding war is going on as we speak. Because once a team wins the bidding, Boras is clearly in the driver’s seat. Come on, if a team is willing to pay $20 – $30 million dollars for the right to negotiate with Matsuzaka, its hard to fathom that they would then turn around and get gun shy at the negotiation table. Sure the posting fee is refunded if he doesn’t sign, but the team’s already shown their hand by tossing around $20 million for the posting fee. What’s an extra $2- 3 million over the next 4 – 5 years?

The posting process is clearly a pain in the ass for all involved. The teams have to compete with each other for the right to talk to the guy. The player in question is given no say in where he’ll end up. Once a teams won their bid, the agent has them by the balls.

My solution? Let the free market decide what he’s worth. Have the player negotiate with whomever he likes. This is optimal for the player and the team. And to keep the Japanese teams happy, create a clause that states a percentage of the contracts value has to be awarded. For example, if a player ends up getting a $50 million contract, the team still has to give the player his $50 million but they have to give his old team a 30% “referral” fee, which in this case would work out to $15 million. Be my guest and change the percentage to anything you like, but this system seems to make more sense than the outdated posting process that the MLB currently employees.

Matsuzaka

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has written for mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Matthias on Twitter, Facebook and Google +

  • Great article, I like your idea about giving a contract % to the posting team. The posting system definitely is a pain in the butt, especially when teams decide to keep players for the full 10 years so that when they get to MLB they are usually past their peak. I don’t see the % rule happening though, due to Japanese teams being able to get more money through the bidding system. Ca$h rules!

  • Early

    I like your idea too. I don’t give a rat’s behind about keeping Japanese teams happy with money. I am not sure how Japanese teams procure this type of talent and what type of contracts they sign to in their early years, but ML scouts should do like hockey scouts and get these guys when they are 16yrs old and sign get them into the US system to avoid these types of roadblocks.
    Or, what about making contracts transferrable, like NHL teams do with Euro teams.
    I can’t beleive these players let the Japan League control their futures this much, wonder how many take the view of Gorriel and say “i am happy in Japan, I have everything I want.”

  • That is an interesting point. I wonder if it is at all possible for MLB teams to draft Japanese players out of highschool. I don’t see why not but I am not familiar with the agreements that MLB has with the JBL.

  • Gotta remember that MLB = dirty gaijin. The Japanese have a lot of pride in their country and are very loyal.