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Sox to make new 'record' offer

Posted by Gordon Edes, Globe Staff  December 12, 2006 01:25 AM

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Red Sox GM Theo Epstein in a post-midnight conference call described the dramatic turn that took place last night in the negotiations for Daisuke Matsuzaka, saying that with John W. Henry providing the plane, he and CEO Larry Lucchino flew to southern California, unsolicited, for a meeting with agent Scott Boras in the Daisuke Matsuzaka negotiations.

Epstein said the team plans to make another offer, one that will be the largest ever given to a player who has never played in the big leagues, and the largest given to a Japanese player. But it remains to be seen if that will satisfy Boras, who has made the case that Matsuzaka is one of the game's elite pitchers and should be paid as such, with no weight given to the size of the bid the Sox paid for exclusivity to negotiate with him. That $51.1 million, Boras has stated, is just another indication of how valuable a talent Matsuzaka said.

A feisty John W. Henry, frustration evident in his voice, said: "I think it's also fair to say we're on Scott Boras's doorstep because he hasn't negotiated with us so far. We're taking the fight directly to him to try to have a negotiation here.''

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