Matsuzaka is 91-55 with a 3.07 ERA in seven seasons in Japan's Pacific League
and was recently named the MVP of the World Baseball Classic with a 3-0 record.
So what's next? "Major league baseball is currently the best league in the
world, so I would like to try what I can do in this league in the future,"
Matsuzaka said through an interpreter after beating Cuba in the WBC final.
He could sign
with a major league club this winter if his team, the Seibu Lions, honors his
request to put him up for bid. Through the same process in 2000 the Mariners
won the rights to negotiate with outfielder Ichiro Suzuki (paying $13 million
to the Orix Blue Wave). Matsuzaka, 25, has a 95-mph fastball and a nasty
slider, and could fetch twice that amount from the Yankees, Red Sox or
Mariners-who would then have to kick in many millions more to sign the ace.