Scouts from two MLB teams were in Japan to see Matsuzaka during the last week of May, the Japan Times reports.
It's now almost an open secret in Japan that Matsuzaka's club, the Seibu Lions, likely will allow Matsuzaka to go to the States this offseason via the posting system. The Lions could make Matsuzaka, who won WBC MVP honors earlier this year, stay with them for 2007, but Lions ownership would then have to pass up a posting fee from the MLB team that signs Matsuzaka, a fee that could well exceed $10 million. So far this season, Matsuzaka has gone 7-2, 2.21 in 10 starts for the Lions, with a 1.06 WHIP and a 77-to-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 73.1 innings. The Yankees and Mariners would appear to be the two teams most interested in pursuing Matsuzaka this winter.
Sounds like it's a foregone conclusion that the Seibu Lions are going to post Matsuzaka which means he's probably going to either be in Seattle or in pinstripes come 2007. As a Matsuzaka owner I REALLY hope George opens up the checkbook and makes the Seibu Lions very, very happy. The difference in value between Matsuzaka as a Mariner and Matsuzaka as a Yankee is staggering to think about.