I wasn’t going to blog about him until there was actually a REAL announcement made, but then I visited Arielle’s blog and found myself leaving a comment on her post about him.  What I wrote over there:

The biggest need for the Red Sox is pitching. No two ways about it.

This is a no-lose for the Sox. If they are the highest bidder, this does a lot for them in many ways. It puts them on the map in Japan. Showing other players there that the Yankees aren’t the only team in MLB. It blocks the Yankees from being able to touch him for another year if negotiations fall through. It shows the Red Sox fans that the team is willing to go all out to field a winning team. Most importantly, it puts the team in the position to pick up a potential super-star player.

The Sox need pitching. Based on the scouting of this guy, he could be the next big thing. It’s well worth the risk.

The funny thing is, I didn’t even realize I felt this way until I started typing.  I don’t usually go in for ‘the next big thing’.  I mean, it’s almost an impossible thing to gauge, right?  Jose Contreras, anyone?  But I’m approaching this a little differently.  Sure, the price tag to win the right to talk to the guy is a bit much.  BUT it gets refunded if nothing comes of the negotiating AND if the Sox do sigh sign this guy, it doesn’t fall under ‘payroll’.  It won’t affect the luxury tax for the Sox nor will it affect any other teams. 

If this guy works out of the Sox, the 45 million or so they put up front will be considered a great investment in the long run.  It isn’t as if that will be his salary, so I’m having no problem with the Red Sox being pro-active, if that is the case, and trying to make something happen.

I really like the idea of Theo and Henry et al deciding that the Sox need pitching and why not just go all out to get it?  They aren’t breaking any MLB rules, they are showing that they want to win and will do what’s allowed within the parameters of MLB to do so.  It’s a hefty price…but I’ll take it.

What I do hate is all the leaking coming out about this.  It causes so much speculation and none of it is productive.  Either the Red Sox are the high bidders or they aren’t…and we’ll all find out tomorrow.  Why start the agonizing any earlier than necessary?

And by ‘agonizing’ I refer to those who are against this movement.  Given where the information is coming from (with all due respect, when was the last time Buster Olney or Peter Gammons had a really good scoop?) there is still a distinct possibility that the Red Sox AREN’T the high bidders.

I hope they are, but it won’t be the end of the world if they aren’t.

But, honestly, I hope they are.  🙂

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