Hot stove rumors so far: Sox have reportedly put in the top bid for the right to negotiate with [checks spelling] Seibu lions right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka. According to the rumors, the bid was around $40 million. Just to talk. Yikes. If they sign him, the price would be something around $45 million. $85 million. Jesus.
Even more disturbing is the rumor (though not perpetuated by any credible sources) that the Red Sox would then trade this $85 million Japanese phenom...to the Yankees...for A-Rod.
Just hearing that rumor makes my stomach turn. The only way I can envision it happening is if Theo Epstein was frozen in carbonite somewhere. Or if someone had given him a frontal lobotomy. That and the fact that the Yankees and Sox haven't made a direct trade for decades; historically, when they have, it has turned out to be a losing proposition for the Sox, and that's not just with the Babe; and that would amount to saying, here, you take this pitcher we just broke the bank for when both our pitching needs are desperate, and we'll take the biggest albatross around your neck--have fun winning the next five World Series!
This is one of the reasons I dislike the hot stove season--I'm forced to even contemplate terrible, insidious ideas like that one, and they hardly ever actually materialize. Wasted energy, as far as I'm concerned.
However, there's also the matter of breaking the proverbial bank for this kid. Maybe he's the next Ichiro of pitching. Or the next Pedro Martinez. It could happen. Or they could have just blown a bazillion dollars just to talk to a right-hander unproven in the American League--if true, it would appear that among the powers that be, the conversation has gone something like: Okay, we tried your "fiscally responsible" method for a year...now we're going to make a big splash.
Strategically made, big splashes could help the team. If he turns out to be the next Byung-Hyun Kim, I don't even want to think about it.
P.S. Seth Mnookin and his commenters, on the other hand, have some particularly nice ideas about this. My favorite was this one:
Fans in Japan aligning themselves with NY or Boston and thus forming a satellite rivalry with the pinnacle moment being Daisuke vs Matsui. Red B’s and White NY’s on top of foreign heads talking smack in another language. Not that I like the saying, but what is “Yankees Suck” in Japanese?
P.P.S. In this brilliant post, Joanna breaks down Daisuke Matsuzaka's name into its kanji parts. To me it all seems to come together to mean "great savior long-lasting hill", which, if I'm correct in that interpretation, would be...kinda creepy if you think about it.