As Baseball Prospectus' Joe Sheehan has been warning us, and Yahoo's Jeff Passan echoes, the baseball contracts you're going to see this winter will blow your mind; teams are ready to spend like crazy. But, still: Our jaws are still dropped that the Boston Red Sox are paying $51.1 million just for the right to sign Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. As Passan points out, when you add in the money they're going to have to actually pay Matsuzuka, they're going to be shelling out A-Rod money for a guy who throws once every fifth day and, oh yeah, has never thrown a pitch in the major leagues.
It's bizarre and amazing, and Red Sox fans are still trying to make sense of it themselves. One soul has gone so far as to compare Matsuzuka to the Nissan Skyline GT, a car previously available only in Japan, and the rest of us have to wonder how much the guy would make if he actually had pitched in the majors before. What if he tears his labrum in his first game? Sure, injuries aren't inherently as much of a crapshoot as we think they are, but still: You never know.
Whenever huge deals are signed like this, there's a temptation to throw your hands in the air and say, "Hey, it's not my!" This argument makes no sense; after all, it is your money (it's not as if sports franchises just have their own printing press). The amount of money is staggering, not just for its volume, but it's lack of historical context. We're fully expecting So Taguchi and Scott Spezio to sign $22 million deals each in the next few weeks.
(UPDATE: They're having a great discussion about this at Yanks Fan/Sox Fan.)