Fenway's AceSpeculation is speculation, and no one knows who has won the Matsuzaka bidding process. Until it's announced, it could well be the Rangers or Yankees that have won. The odds of the winning team being the Cubs or Mets seems slim at this point, but you never know.
I tend to believe that the Buster Olney story is true and that Matsuzaka will be the new ace of the Red Sox next season. I may eat my words on this come revelation day (which is likely Sunday in the US), but I'm leaning towards the ESPN story. I stick by my comments of one post earlier. I've been saying it for some time now that a per year expenditure of more than $20 million for a pitcher is next to crazy. That said, an ace is an ace.
If Theo Epstein splashed, he's won a huge round for the Fenway faithful. I believe Matsuzaka is one of the Top Ten pitchers in the world, and will prove it within a years time. He may throw to a 3.50 ERA in season one, but he's got better seasons than that ahead of him in my opinion. The Sox have other holes to fill, but they need not worry about finding their #1 pitcher anymore. They will also have opened a lucrative market in Japan that is absolutely dominated by the Yankees, and has been since the days of Babe Ruth, who is a legend here. The Mariners have Ichiro, and they are now nearly as famous as the Bombers. The White Sox and others have had some nice exposure in Japan with their players, but nothing to the degree of Matsui or Ichiro. The acquisition of Matsuzaka will drive some big money to the Red Sox, and help to offset the cost of the bidding. Again, I stick by my opinion that the money that comes in from Asia will not be enough to justify a $40 million+ bid, but a bold blow has been stuck by Red Sox Nation.
Let's wait before we finalize this and put Daisuke in the heat of the New England spotlight, but I believe it more and more as I think of it. For fans of other teams, I believe that it's over for you. I don't think the Yankees bid more than the Rangers or Red Sox at this moment in time, and I think you'll see one or the other of those clubs with Matsuzaka. I may be wrong, but there's been plenty of time for the other clubs to float their own rumors and they haven't......