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Report: Red Sox, Matsuzaka not close to a deal

Kyodo News

The Boston Red Sox and Daisuke Matsuzaka have yet to come to terms on a contract but early signs are that the sides may have to overcome an initial gap “as wide as the Pacific Ocean,” according to a report Monday in the Boston Herald.

“According to sources, the Sox’s initial proposal was roughly half of what Matsuzaka’s agent, Scott Boras, proposed,” the article said. “The most likely scenario is that the Sox proposed somewhere in the neighborhood of $7-8 million annually and Boras came in at roughly $15 million.”

The report also said the length of the contract also could be an issue, particularly if Boras, as has been suggested, is lobbying for Matsuzaka to become a free agent after three years.

Under the terms of the agreement between Major League Baseball and Japanese baseball officials, the Sox would own Matsuzaka’s rights for six years.

Boston has begun talks with the prized 26-year-old pitcher after the Seibu Lions announced Nov. 15 that they had accepted a $51 million offer, nearly four times the previous high the Seattle Mariners paid for Ichiro Suzuki in 2000 under the so-called posting system.

Green joins Fighters

Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Andy Green has agreed to a contract for next season with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, Nippon Ham chief supervisor Toshimasa Shimada said Monday.

The versatile 29-year-old made 73 appearances for the Diamondbacks this past season and had a batting average of .186. He has batted .199 in a total of 136 games in the major leagues.

Meanwhile, the Japan Series winners, who expect to officially announce the acquisition of Green in the next few days, said they will not be giving a new contract to left-hander Brad Thomas.