Posted on August 11, 2006 at 5:28 AM
The Yankees and Mariners are shaping up as the teams most likely to pursue Matsuzaka heavily this offseason, the Seattle Times reports. According to the report, if Matsuzaka is made available by Seibu via the posting system this winter, his posting fee might reach a record $30 million.
ROTOWIRE FANTASY ANALYSIS
The World Baseball Classic MVP has gone 11-4, 2.07 in 18 starts so far this season for Seibu in Japan's Pacific League, with an 0.96 WHIP and an eye-popping 137-to-26 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 130.1 innings. Although Matsuzaka has topped 120 pitches in nine of his 18 starts this season, he regularly pitches on six days' rest (Seibu almost always has one off day every week on its schedule, and it usually employs a six-man rotation), so despite the high pitch counts, Matsuzaka may not be dealing with as heavy a workload in Japan as people first thought. Unofficially, Matsuzaka has thrown 1,967 pitches so far this season in Japan; through Wednesday, 78 different MLB pitchers have thrown 2,000 or more pitches this season.