Thursday, November 09, 2006

How the Pirates can piss off the Yankees and other big market MLB teams

The bidding for Japanese superstar pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has ended. For those who are unaware of Matsuzaka, he is a 26-year old pitcher who won the MVP of the World Baseball Classic. Supposedly he can throw nine pitches (that includes different variations of sliders, etc.) Some say that the posting fee for Matsuzaka will reach an excess of $30 million- that's right, $30 million just for the rights to negotiate with Matsuzaka.

Here's where the Pirates should come in.

Look, I know that the Pirates would never sign a player with the price tag like Matsuzaka, but in last week's Sports Illustrated, I came across something interesting: the team who places the highest bid doesn't have to pay the bid until a contract is reached with Matsuzaka.
This is where the Pirates should have put in a $40-$50 million bid on Matsuzaka. Sure, it's completely unsportsmanlike, but the Pirates have been trampled on (much due to their own faults) so why doesn't the Buccos front office trample on the hopes of other major league teams.

If I were ever unfortunate enough to be Dave Littlefield, I'd post a $50 million bid to "negotiate" with Matsuzaka and once negotiations began with Matsuzaka, I'd offer Scott Boras, Matsuzaka's agent, a minor-league contract. Boras, of course wouldn't agree to that, and the Pirates would never pay the salary that Boras would demand, but if no contract is reached, no posting fee is paid. Yes, this idea is completely ridiculous and absurd, but maybe it'll change the playing field for international players.

The MLB system for acquiring foreign talent is the only system that rewards the high market teams. In the NBA and NHL most, if not all (the NBA can sign some foreign players) foreign players have to be drafted in order for a team to acquire their services. With international players comprising around 25 percent of the MLB, larger markets teams have a greater advantage in development because they are the teams that can usually pay the $2 million signing bonus to a 16-year old Dominican shortstop or the $100 million that it'll cost to sign Matsuzaka (that includes the posting fee).

If the Pirates or any small-market team was truly interesting in competitive balance, putting the highest bid for Matsuzaka would perhaps finally lead to an international draft.


Blogger Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Great idea! I like it. Devious and evil, it is pure Machiavellian.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Great idea.'s Fantasy 411 covered this exactly the same way about 2 weeks ago.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Chairface Chippendale said...

The MLB investigates each bid to make sure they aren't placed for the sole purpose of blocking another team.

Sucks, I know.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Macken's Lounge said...

Regardless if they're check for blocking another team... the Bucs could just be "increasing payroll" or "attempting to compete." If they said enough positive stuff about all of Selig's revenue sharing initiatives, maybe they'd look the other way.

11:57 AM  
Blogger dbvader said...

If the team is found not to negotiate in good faith, the right to negotiate will go the second highest bidder. Not as smart as you think.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Kiski said...

this is a great idea! I first would have wanted to sign Bronson Arroyo but then i was reminded that his hair would cost an extra 20 million or so.

6:20 PM  

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