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The day in numbers: $51.1m

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The Boston Red Sox baseball team will pay Japan's Seibu Lions a record $51.1m just to negotiate with star pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Red Sox have 30 days to seal a deal with the pitcher. The amount is believed to be a record amount bid for a Japanese player.

$12m: The amount the Red Sox will have to pay Matsuzaka a year for the next three or four years, placing the entire deal in the $80 million to $100 million range.

26: Matsuzaka's age.

108-60: The hard-throwing Matsuzaka, with his deceptive "gyroball" pitch, has a 108-60 career record and an earned run average of 2.95.

$40m and $30m: The amounts the Mets and the Yankees bid respectively for Matsuzaka

2004: The year the Red Sox won the World Series.

$13.1m: The previous record for a Japanese player under blind bidding involved Ichiro Suzuki, who later went on to break the US record for hits in a season. Seattle paid $13.1m in 2001 to negotiate with Ichiro before signing him to a three-year deal worth $15m.

$25m: In 1981 the Lakers agreed a $25m deal with Magic Johnson to run over 25 years. The deal was later shortened to 10 years, but the contract still stands as the longest in North American sports history.

$67.5m: The amount the NHL team, the New York Islanders, will pay to goalie Rick DiPietro in a 15-year signed in September. The deal is believed to be the second-longest in North American sports.

$252m: The amount Texas Rangers agreed in a 10 year deal with Alex Rodriguez in 2001. The offer was the most lucrative in sports history and doubled Kevin Garnett's previous $126-million record.

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