The Mets made a $35 million posting bid for the rights to sign Daisuke Matsuzaka to his first MLB contract in 2006, Omar Minaya told ESPN New York.
However, the Red Sox won the blind bidding process by giving $51 million to the Seibu Lions. They later gave Matsuzaka an additional $52 million to pitch six seasons in Boston, a total cost of more than $113 million.
“At that time, I think the biggest [posting bid ever] was Ichiro — not even $15 million. And we finished third with Ichiro,” Minaya said. “But the bottom line is we went up to the middle $30s — or high $30s, I think it was — with Dice-K. And we thought we had a good chance.”
The Mets signed Matsuzaka on Thursday, after he was released by the Indians. He will start tonight against the Tigers.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
It’s not the only time Matsuzaka’s name crossed Minaya’s or Sandy Alderson’s desk. The franchise considered acquiring him in multiple proposed trades with the Red Sox, and they considered signing him to a minor-league deal last off-season.
I was a big advocate of them signing him in 2006. He was doomed from the start, mostly because of his walk-rate, but had an amazing 2008 campaign. Then the injuries started and he could never get it right. It was failed signing for Boston, and — let’s be honest — it probably wouldn’t have been much better in Queens… because, when it comes high-profile free agents, is it ever? That said, he’s a fine acquisition today.
It indicates the front office is willing to take chances, and not just make the standard move, which is going to be how things operate this winter if they intend to get better for 2014. Despite his results, Dice-K is still pretty cool, and he brings a bit of attention and a new (maybe better, maybe worse) dynamic to the ballpark at a time of year when things tend to get mundane. I dig it.
Read More: ESPN New York (Rubin)