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Godzilla and the Yankees

Discussion in the Rumor Mill forum
Godzilla and the Yankees
I just saw on Yahoo Sports an article about the Yankees' Assistant GM Jean Afterman taking in a Giants game at Tokyo Dome.

Interestingly enough, the end of the article mentions that the two big-spending teams are discussing a "cooperative agreement." Could it be that the Giants are trying to find a way to let Godzilla go only to the highest-profile team in MLB?

Apparently the newspapers in Japan are running wild with speculation... anyone on that side of the Pacific care to comment?

(As a Yankee fan, I'm ecstatic, but I'm trying my best to reign in my enthusiasm... )

~Chris
Comments
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: CFiJ | Posted: Aug 16, 2002 6:53 PM ]

Interestingly enough, the end of the article mentions that the two big-spending teams are discussing a "cooperative agreement." Could it be that the Giants are trying to find a way to let Godzilla go only to the highest-profile team in MLB?

Well, with Matsui a free agent, I don't see how they could. The cooperative agreements are nothing new; the Buffaloes have one with the Dodgers, the Swallows have one with the Indians, and the BlueWave have one with the Mariners. As the article mentions, the Yanks used to have one with the Fighters. I'm inclined to believe that the Yankees are seeking to align themselves with the "Yankees of Japan" much like they did with Manchester United, the "Yankees of football".
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Aug 16, 2002 11:50 PM | YBS Fan ]

There was a similar article on the Seattle Times, pointed out by Garland-san on the Pro Yakyu mailing list. This one has a twist of (possibly controversial) merchandising rights also being exchanged.

It was pointed out (by myself on a number of occasions) that Matsui will be a free agent, so no amount of back-room deals between the offices of the Yanks and Giants should make a difference to where Matsui goes. He's not being posted! It doesn't seem to me that much of the press has gotten that, yet.

The only thing that this back-room dealing may influence, though, is giri. If the Yanks and two other teams put up similar offers, a word from Nabetsu could very well push the ball to the Yankees' corner. Also, it would look bad to Matsui's old boss to just goff off any advice he'd made in public. If the Yomiuri Group says he'll be in Yankee pinstripes next year, then it'll be hard to say otherwise. (And Watanabe has made some statements hinting that if Matsui crosses, it'll be to a team suitable to his position, such as the Yomiuri Giants of MLB.)

On a related note, scouts from the RedSox, Padres, and Pirates were taking in a Lions' vs. Marines' game earlier this week to scout out "Little Matsui."
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: Guest: NyMike | Posted: Aug 17, 2002 5:09 AM ]

> It was pointed out (by myself on a number of
> occasions) that Matsui will be a free agent, so no
> amount of back-room deals between the offices of the
> Yanks and Giants should make a difference to
> where Matsui goes. He's not being posted! It
> doesn't seem to me that much of the press has gotten
> that, yet.
>
> The only thing that this back-room dealing may
> influence, though, is giri. If the Yanks and
> two other teams put up similar offers, a word from
> Nabetsu could very well push the ball to the Yankees'
> corner. Also, it would look bad to Matsui's old boss
> to just goff off any advice he'd made in public. If
> the Yomiuri Group says he'll be in Yankee pinstripes
> next year, then it'll be hard to say otherwise. (And
> Watanabe has made some statements hinting that if
> Matsui crosses, it'll be to a team suitable to his
> position, such as the Yomiuri Giants of MLB.)



Is there any chance you could explain this a little more? If Matsui is a free agent, why would the Yomiuri Group or Nabetsu have any influence on his decision? I honestly don't know anything about any of this stuff. All I know is that I'd like Godzilla as an outfielder for the Yankees next year, and I'm sure George Stienbrenner feels the same way. I was just wondering if the Yankees broadcasting Giants games here in America on their television network might help them sway Matsui's decision.
Influence of Giri
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Aug 17, 2002 9:21 AM | YBS Fan ]

- I was just wondering if the Yankees broadcasting Giants games here in America on their television network might help them sway Matsui's decision.

Yes, it can influence things. People from North America are generally on their own after leaving home. What percentage of 28 year olds would weight their parents' or boss' desires over their own? While "giri" is losing ground with young Japanese here, it's not yet a comletely dead concept. And Matsui is not the type the disrespect his "duty" or "obligation" to his oyabun, whether it be his parents or boss.

So how do Yomiuri TV rights get Matsui? If Steinbrenner can make it in Watanabe's best interest to talk Matsui into considering the Yankees first and foremost, then such a talk will have a great deal of weight on Matsui's final decision. It won't be 100% certain, but there will have to be a very compelling reason to go elsewhere. After all, if he does decide to go to the Majors, that's a pretty large defiant move in and of itself. Matsui will need to make up for that in some way.
Re: Influence of Giri
[ Author: CFiJ | Posted: Aug 17, 2002 10:22 AM ]

Certainly such back-dealing is possible, but I don't think it's likely. It would essentially mean that Nabetsu's thrown in the towel. I'm not yet sure that Matsui really wants to go to MLB, but regardless of that I have the distinct feeling the Giants are going to make a tremendous offer to keep him. Something hugely historically significant. Like Matsui becoming the first $10 million player. And if the Giants do do something like that, I think Matsui will probably stay, even if the Yankees offer $20 million.

(Oh, and I'm not so sure giri is losing ground with the young Japanese. I'm sure they said the same thing about the "Sun Tribe" generation, and the "shinjinrui", and those groups make up the establishment now.)
Re: Influence of Giri
[ Author: Guest: NyMike | Posted: Aug 17, 2002 10:26 AM ]

Thanks a lot for the explanation.

Besides the fact that it may influence Matsui's decision, I'm really hoping the Yankees can work something out to broadcast some Japanes baseball games just so I can watch the sport. As 1908 said, the MLB players will most likely go on strike at the end of the month. Unfortunately, there is a chance the strike could extend into next season. Being able to watch some Japanese baseball on the YES (Yankees Entertainment and Sports) Network would be a nice alternative.
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: 1908 | Posted: Aug 17, 2002 7:26 AM | HT Fan ]

As a Yankee fan, I'm ecstatic, but I'm trying my best to reign in my enthusiasm...

MLB players set a strike date yesterday. If the owners and players can't agree on how to share their billion-dollar pie by August 30, baseball will have yet another work stopage on its hands. I'm still hopefully that something will get done. However, if there's a strike, and if it carries into the off season, I don't see Godzilla in a MLB uniform.
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: yankees | Posted: Aug 21, 2002 12:51 AM ]

If he comes over, why does eveyone think he will be a Yankee? And if he does, what happens to the yankee outfeild? Rondell White, Bernie Williams, and Mondesi, and they have Juan Rivera in AAA hitting .339.
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: 1908 | Posted: Aug 21, 2002 12:28 PM | HT Fan ]

Why does eveyone think he will be a Yankee?

Garland-san posted the following under the Godzilla and the USA thread. I, for one, hope he's wrong.

"The Yankee situation? Steinbrenner is thinking dollars and Matsui would bring that to his club in spades. If Godzilla takes off at all, you will see Matsui tours to NY Yankees games just as you did with Ichiro and Nomo. It would also enhance the Yankee presence in Japan, which is pretty much a Mariners company town to exaggerate only slightly. Moreover, that lineup would give Matsui the best protection of any in baseball and thus the best chance of success."
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: Guest: bergkid | Posted: Aug 25, 2002 12:59 PM ]

The RedSox are interested in Little Matsui, not in Godzilla.
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: Guest: 1988 | Posted: Aug 25, 2002 6:50 AM ]

The Yankees outfield?

R. White batting .240, R. Mondesi with his 3rd team in 3 years, Rivera a rookie, the only sure thing in N.Y. is B. Williams and lets not forget about DH... As many of you have pointed out, George is fully aware of what Godzilla could do for the Yankees.

I have no clue if the Yankees are after Godzilla but lets face it, Boston is rumored to be interested and for that reason alone the Yankees will try and sign him.
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: Guest: Eric | Posted: Oct 21, 2002 1:24 AM ]

The Yankees need him. Modesi won't return, and I'm betting that White and Rivera will either share left field or one of them will be traded. Matsui is awesome, he could have an impact to rival Ichiro's.
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: Pa-League no Aniki | Posted: Aug 21, 2002 1:46 AM ]

I remember seeing a Tokyo Sports headline exclaiming of a "decided" trade of Godzilla Matsui and Raul Mondesi.

It is only a "To-Spo" headline and you can say all you want about its credibility and nobody will be very upset. However, the newfound love affair between the Yomiuri Giants and the New York Yankees seems to lend a certain degree of credibility to the story. I personally wouldn't think trading Matsui with Mondesi would be a good move on the part of the Giants' front office.

I had a chance to see Mondesi playing against his former club in Toronto this past July. He may have had his share of limelight in the big leagues, but the way I saw it, he looked like he was still suffering from a year-long slump. With Mondesi's current selectivity (or the lack of it) at the plate, he would have a hard time adjusting to the junkballs thrown by many "gaijin-killer" hurlers in Japan.

Or would it be a possibility that the Yankees would pay all the Giants wants in compensation and also offer them the services of the slumping ex-Blue Jay slugger who might have a great year or two in Japan?

I believe The New York Yankees were in partnership with the Nippon Ham Fighters, at least until last year. Their change of partnership would strike me as rather abrupt, if it hadn't been for some back-dealing with the Yomiuri Giants. The Yankees couldn't have changed partners, predicting the Nippon Ham's "dishonest" beef packaging scandal, could they?
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: Guest: Popowski | Posted: Aug 30, 2002 5:10 AM ]

Totally agree. Mondesi is a complete head case. To send him to Japan would send him over the edge ... he'd never go ... he'd demand a trade to a MLB team. Matsui with the Yanks ... makes a lot of sense. Their outfield is their weak link, if they have a weak link. I saw Matsui against Hiroshima a couple of weeks ago, big win (15-1) and he had two blasts ... just rockets. I'd love to see him over here, but not with the Yankees. Anybody, but the Yanks.
Anybody, but the Yanks.
[ Author: 1908 | Posted: Aug 30, 2002 7:51 AM | HT Fan ]

Agreed.
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: Rankdog | Posted: Sep 19, 2002 7:38 PM ]

This is my first post on this site, and first time visiting. I came here after reading several different articles mentioning the Yankees interest in "Godzilla." Quite frankly, up 'til then I had no idea who this guy was. Since then I have looked up a thing or two.

First comment I wanted to make is this. Mondesi cannot just be traded to Japan. First of all because he is a player traded in the middle of a multiyear deal he has the right to become a free agent at the end of the season. He would be crazy to do so because one he won't ever make that much again (especially with the new luxury tax) and, two, he loves playing in NY. That being said, if he is involved in a trade to Japan the Yankees would need his full approval to do so.

Also, from what I hear, this guy is a free agent. Correct me if I am wrong, but the highest bidder on this guy has to deal with him and the former team. Both the player and the former team have to agree upon the terms of the contract. I could be wrong, but I believe there is some compensation agreement with Japan and MLB where the former club receives compensation for the lost player. I believe this is where the Yankees/Giant agreement would have impact. In the article quoted earlier from TSN it also sites the two sides join investing in clubs in China.

Personally I don't think the deal is as much about Hideki Matsui as it as about revenue. If YES can get its TV piped in to Japan showing Giants games as well as spread its customer base in to China, YES is bound to generate some serious revenue. As noted above, they are partnered with Manchestor United. YES is also linked the New Jersey Nets and will broadcast their games as well. Not to mention the pushing of more Yankee merchandise, adding advertisers, and increasing the viablity and populuarity of Yankee players. If the Yankees truely want Hideki Matsui, they have the resources and ability to outbid nearly every club. Most of baseball will be in conservation mode as a result of the new collective barginning agreement.

With the current size of the payroll and the development of Juan Rivera I don't see a huge need to bring another outfielder at 10-20 mil. With Rivera in LF, Mondi in right, Bernie in center, and Johnson/Gimbi at DH the Yankees seem pretty set. Then you have Vanderwall, White, and Spencer come off the bench. Add the salaries of Spencer, Johnson, Rivera, and Vanderwall; its rough 3 mil. Need low salary to make up for the huge contracts of Williams, Jeter, Gimibi, Clemens, Mussina, Posada, and MoRivera. Then you still have to sign soon to be 40-40 man with 200+ hits, 100+ runs, 100+ RBIs, +.300 average, .900+OPS, 230+ total bases. (Soriano for MVP) Needless to say, he wont come cheap when his contract comes due. The Yankees also need to address pitching. Clemens is up next year and even if isn't playing in NY, the Yankees pay him 10 mil defered cash. Wells, Clemens, and El Duque are question marks heading into 2003. We have Weaver, Pettitte, Mussina, and Hitchcock locked in for next year. If Clemens doesn't come cheap, look for the Yankees to chase Maddox for a pretty penny.

So do I want a guy who is as talented as Hideki Matsui? Definately! At the 20 million that someone suggested it would take to lure him here.... Nope. There are two players who make over 20 mil. Barry Bonds and ARod. Thats a pretty high standard to follow coming into the MLB. But if the Yankees get him at a discount without a bidding war and 50 million + in additional to revenue/programing, then I am all for it.
Compensation to Former Team
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Sep 19, 2002 9:14 PM | YBS Fan ]

- Correct me if I am wrong, but the highest bidder on this guy has to deal with him and the former team. Both the player and the former team have to agree upon the terms of the contract.

That's a very good point that I wasn't aware of until recently. You're right, the team does get compensated. If the player choses another Japanese team, his former team is compensated 1.5 times the player's previous year salary. That figure isn't fixed, so far as I know, for going to a Major League team. It may turn out to be higher, it may be lower. (Finance really doesn't interest me, so I don't tend to pay to much attention to such details.)

Up until a week ago when I had the chance to talk with someone who deals with the "powers that be," I thought that the teams just lost the 1.5 times salary compensation. But there is compensation, nonetheless. You are correct.

What I still don't know is how long a team can refuse any and all offers. The player is free to go elsewhere. It makes sense that there is a mechanism in place for arbitration should a player want to go and the team refuses all bids in order to keep him. But I don't personally know what conditions and/or time frame that entails. Say, for example (not that it'll happen, but...), that Matsui wants to go to San Francisco, but they aren't willing to dish out as much to their namesake as the Yanks are. Matsui often says that his choice isn't going to be made based on money. Matsui and the (Yomiuri) Giants become dead locked.

So, how can such (hypothetical) differences be resolved?

Very nice and well thought out first post, by the way.
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: CFiJ | Posted: Sep 20, 2002 11:41 PM ]

> Also, from what I hear, this guy is a free agent.
> Correct me if I am wrong, but the highest bidder on
> this guy has to deal with him and the former team.
> Both the player and the former team have to agree
> e upon the terms of the contract. I could be wrong,
> but I believe there is some compensation agreement
> with Japan and MLB where the former club receives
> compensation for the lost player.

Are you sure you're not confusing free agency with the posting system? I have never heard that a Major League team must compensate a Japanese team for signing one of their free agents.

In every case I've seen of free agents coming over, including Taguchi and Komiyama, the MLB team has to deal only with the player and his agent. I do not believe the Mets paid the Tigers anything for Shinjo, nor did they pay the Marines anything for Komiyama.

In the case of the posting system, the Japanese team has absolutely no say over the terms of the contract. They can choose only to either accept the highest bid or turn it down. Once they accept it, contract negotiations are between the player and the MLB team.

If you have heard differently, I'd appreciate it if you could tell me where you heard it.
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: Guest: Jimmie | Posted: Sep 1, 2002 12:08 PM ]

I heard that Hideki Matsui was already signed with the Yankees but they were still working out a deal about showing the Yes network in Japan so they could watch Hideki on T.V. Face it Hideki Matsui will be a New York Yankee next season !!!
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: 1908 | Posted: Sep 1, 2002 11:50 PM | HT Fan ]

Oh really? Where'd you hear that? Cite your source.
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: yoyogi1231 | Posted: Sep 2, 2002 3:31 AM ]

Yes exactly, how about citing your source? ...A link?

That kind of talk may be standard on the mlb.com forums but it has no crediblity here.
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: Kilika808 | Posted: Sep 6, 2002 10:46 AM ]

I once lived in New York, and believe me, you have to take anything the media says with a bit of cynicism, especially when it comes to sports.

I checked both the NY Daily News and New York Post websites, and there is no big news about Matsui there. Godzilla might have been mentioned in a couple of past articles, but I'm not about to pay $2.95 an article to find out.

Interestingly enough, I found a recent article on the Christian Science Monitor website, of all places. It's pretty much doom-and-gloom in tone, but it does have a bit of information on the Yankees-Giants deal at the end.

I'll keep digging, and post more if I find anything.

~Chris
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: Kilika808 | Posted: Sep 12, 2002 7:48 AM ]

More information on the Giants-Yankees deal from Sporting News writer Ken Rosenthal (9/11/02).

~Chris
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: CFiJ | Posted: Sep 20, 2002 11:22 AM ]

You know, I'm fascinated by the Rosenthal's idea that a Yankees-Giants affliation might steer Matsui to the Yankees.

It seems to imply that Matsui, company automaton that he is, would go to where the Giants want him to go, rather than where he wants to go. I find it hard to imagine that Matsui might be audacious enough not to sign with the Giants again, even though they'd love to keep him, but out of the goodness of his heart go to the team that has had less than a one-year affliation with them. If Matsui was so interested in doing what's best for Yomiuri, he wouldn't leave at all.

This is akin to saying that a star Cubs free agent might be steered to the White Sox because WGN (which owns the Cubs) also broadcasts White Sox games. It sounds absurd, of course, but for some reason people have no problem believing that's how it would be with a Japanese player.
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: Guest: Gary Garland | Posted: Sep 20, 2002 7:05 PM ]

There was an article in Yuukan Fuji indicating that there are rumors (no doubt concocted by the paper itself just to have a chance to write about this issue) that Matsui may have already signed a multi-year deal with Yomiuri, but that it has an escape clause in it that would allow him to go to the MLB this off season should he opt to do so. I thought that was pretty amusing.

But according to more reliable Japanese sports press organs, YES is balking at broadcasting Yomiuri games due to the audience being too limited for Japanese baseball. Moreover, as for broadcasting Yankees games in Japan, that would have to be approved by MLB, not just the team itself (like that is going to be a problem). The merchandising issue would have to be approved by MLB as well. I get the feeling that YES is playing hardball with Yomiuri here. We'll have to see how this develops.

As for compensating the Giants for losing Matsui, I know that a Japanese team would, but I don't see how they could impose that on an MLB club. As far as I know, the Dodgers never paid Kintetsu a dime for Nomo and Orix never received anything for Hasegawa.
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Sep 22, 2002 3:02 PM | YBS Fan ]

- As far as I know, the Dodgers never paid Kintetsu a dime for Nomo and Orix never received anything for Hasegawa.

Nomo retired and joined the Dodgers, so he was no longer the property of Kintetsu. I think that the current agreement came after Hasegawa left via the same "hole." He did follow the next year, right?

Daimajin (Sasaki) went to Seattle as a free agent, and he was the player that this person mentioned. I don't remember the figure, but I was told that Yokohama was paid compensation for him. I have no reason to disbelieve this person, but perhaps somebody else can confirm this? Might there have been somethinng in the Seattle press about it back then?
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: 1908 | Posted: Sep 23, 2002 12:42 AM | HT Fan ]

Daimajin (Sasaki) went to Seattle as a free agent, and he was the player that this person mentioned. I don't remember the figure, but I was told that Yokohama was paid compensation for him. I have no reason to disbelieve this person, but perhaps somebody else can confirm this? Might there have been something in the Seattle press about it back then?

Did some digging and found a couple of 1999 articles on Sasaki's signing. Neither M's sign Japanese reliever Sasaki to two-year contract nor New pitcher Sasaki could be Mariners answer to Pokemon makes any reference to Yokohama being paid compensation by the Mariners. Doesn't mean it didn't happen, of course, but it's odd the Seattle press didn't mention it if it did.


More Matsui Rumblings
[ Author: 1908 | Posted: Sep 23, 2002 1:38 AM | HT Fan ]

Peter Gammons had this to say in his latest Diamond Notes:

There has been a lot of speculation that the Yankees will go hard after Tokyo Giants slugger Hideki Matsui. But some in Japan feel he will wait a year before coming. The Matsui several teams are watching is Kazuo, the speedy shortstop of the Seibu Lions. "I think the shortstop Matsui will be the better player here," says one AL official who knows Japan. "His game is line drives and his legs. Hideki might have trouble with our parks. And it don't be easy to get the Giants to let him go, either".

Peter should stop by this forum from time to time. If he did, he'd know that the Giants can't stop Matsui from coming to the US, and he'd also know that Hideki will lose his free agent status (for four years, right?) if he resigns with the Giants.
Re: More Matsui Rumblings
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Sep 23, 2002 11:13 AM | YBS Fan ]

- [...] Hideki will lose his free agent status (for four years, right?) if he resigns with the Giants.

I thought it was three years, but it may depend on the resigning contract. For example, Komiyama went to the BayStars after becoming eligable for free agency in 2000 (although he was released from Lotte, so he never declared FA). He then became a free agent in 2002 and signed with the Mets.

Tanishige first became a free agent after the 1997 season. In his case, he signed a four year, 6-oku yen deal, which next made him eligable after the 2001 season, when he jumped to Chunichi as a free agent. That backs up the four year cycle.

Hmmm. We need another example of a multiple free agent player. Does anyone know the years Furuta was a free agent?
Re: More Matsui Rumblings
[ Author: Guest: JinguLover | Posted: Sep 23, 2002 11:47 AM ]

I am not quite sure about the year in which Furuta got his free agency, but I am quite sure of the fact that the Swallows signed Furuta to a 5-year contract after he did. Meaning, he is probably still in the middle of that contract. If I am not mistaken, he has the remaining of this year, and an additional year left in his contract with the Swallows.
Re: More Matsui Rumblings
[ Author: Guest: Gary Garland | Posted: Sep 23, 2002 7:19 PM ]

First of all, the Yankees could not already have signed Matsui without having a tampering complaint filed against them. Which leads to something rather interesting I saw in Chunichi Sports the other night.
According to them, the deal to have the YES network
broadcast the Yomiuri games here in the U.S. is "linked" to the Giants delivering Matsui to them, something that would also violate tampering regulations since Matsui is still under contract to Yomiuri. They cite as their source a September 17th ABC Radio report. What I suspect is going on here is that the Japanese reporter (and Chunichi Sports' articles on the Yankees-Giants negotiations have been pretty spot on so far) misconstrued something he heard on a sports talk or news show. I passed this item on to an aquaintance in the media, but I doubt the Chunichi report will have much foundation to it. If it does, though, the fireworks will be very interesting, especially since Selig has it in for Steinbrenner.
Re: Godzilla and the Yankees
[ Author: Guest: PFG | Posted: Sep 26, 2002 11:49 PM ]

This might be interesting regarding the Yankees and Matsui.
The Ball Starts Rolling...
[ Author: Kilika808 | Posted: Nov 2, 2002 6:10 AM ]

Not much new information here, but ESPN.com reported that Hideki Matsui has officially announced his intention to leave Yomiuri and pursue a career in MLB [warning: unrequested popup windows courtesy of MSN - fortunately Phoenix blocks them for me with a warning].

The article also reports the November 13th date for the start of negotiations with free agents.

[Popup warning added by: westbaystars on Nov 2, 2002 9:13 AM JST]
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