Thursday, December 14, 2006

Daisuke Matsuzaka Signs and Gives Sox Young Core of Starters

With Daisuke Matsuzaka now in the fold the Red Sox now have the best core of young starters in all of baseball. This point can’t be stressed enough. Take a look at the core of the Red Sox pitching for years to come:
Josh Beckett – 26-years old and under contract for 3-years with an option for 2010.

Jon Papelbon – 26-years old and won’t be a free agent for another 5-years.

Jon Lester – 22-years old and won’t be a free agent for another 5-years.

Daisuke Matsuzaka – 26-years old and under contract for 6-years.
The average cost for the four above starters will be average lss than $25 million per year combined over the next four years. That’s a cost effectiveness that is near impossible to attain these days.

The Yankees in comparison will have three starters who will be 35-years old or older next season and the only starter they have contractual control over for more than two seasons is Chien-Ming Wang. There will be constant turnover in the Big Apple and New York is a tough place to get used to pitching in (witness Roger Clemens whose 4.60 ERA in his first year in New York was the highest of his career).

The only rotation that comes close to youth and talent is the rotation for the Florida Marlins where two starters are 24-years old and three others are just 22-years old. The Marlins boast a starting rotation of Dontrelle Willis, Ricky Nolasco, Scott Olsen, Josh Johnson and Annibal Sanchez. I still give the Red Sox the edge in talent and should point out that Willis will probably only be with the Marlins for two more seasons (if he isn’t traded before then).

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