Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sox should be willing to ponny up the $20 mill without giving it a second thought

                                   ESPN.COM Article link

Once upon a time the Boston Red Sox were able to sign a player thought to be at the very top of the game of baseball no matter what country he pitched in....but then he pitched in the AL East. It wasn't pretty. The majority of his games were downright boring. Dice K Matsuzaka was a phenom of sorts in Japan and the Red Sox payed a pretty penny most thought at the time for a young stud to be at the top end of their rotation.  

baseball reference article link on DICE K

In his 6 years in Boston he posted an ERA under 3 only once, the 2008 season he went 18-3. His career era in Boston was over 4.5 in 6 years that became more and more painful to watch for fans.

Hopefully this time around the Sox outbid the competition again but get a better result by plucking the best starting pitcher in the Japanese League in his prime. The $20 million buy out that his Japanese team will receive if he signs in MLB is $30 million less the what the Red Sox paid for Matsuzaka before they negotiated his contract. Mashahiro Tanaka is dominant....much more so then DICE K. He has 53 complete games along with 18 shutouts.  This past season he went a steady 24-0 with just over 1 ERA. 

The Sox NEED to do something to strengthen up their starting pitching at the front end. While right now it may look as if they have more then enough pitching, by the end of the year it always seems like you can never have enough. Since it's an international signing and the only detriment to them would be in their wallets I see no reason that Tanaka isn't pitching in the AL East right behind Jon Lester and a healthy Clay Buckholtz. Getting a #3 pitcher who can go deep into ballgames and take pressure off the bullpen which is looking to already be a strength would be a move that could pay off for years to come. 

The Sox could sign Tanaka and possibly trade one of their heralded prospects to replace their hole in center-field if Jackie Bradley isn't deemed ready yet. While the competition in Japan obviously isn't what it is here in MLB but domination is domination and he has shown a steady progression throughout his 7 years overseas and is now in his prime. Having possibly 4 starting pitchers in their prime in their rotation along with young power arms mixed with proven veterans in the bullpen could be a recipe for success for a long dynasty type run in Boston.

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