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The Yankees aren’t afraid to go after Yu Darvish

Aug 23, 2011, 1:04 PM EDT

darvish presser AP
Joel Sherman notes today that the Yankees are likely to be involved in the bidding on Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, who is expected to come to the United States next season.  As Sherman notes, this is somewhat interesting given how the Yankees have been burned in the high-priced Japanese pitching market before. See, Irabu, Hideki and Igawa, Kei, but nothing ventured nothing gained, I suppose.
Less interesting, from the same column, is Sherman’s take on CC Sabathia:
Speaking of Sabathia, how the Yankees handle his potential free agency after this season will be interesting if he continues to pitch as less than an ace the rest of the way. Sabathia has allowed 10 hits in three of his past four starts, all in August.
Call me crazy, but I’m going to guess that the likelihood that Sabathia’s current less-than-acey streak will have approximately 0.0000% influence on what the Yankees do with him long term.
  1. yankeesfanlen - Aug 23, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    I detect haircut/beard issues.

  2. humanexcrement - Aug 23, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    The Yankees have been burned? Pretty much everyone has been burned. Take away a couple good seasons by Hideo Nomo and one by Daisuke Matsuzaka and you’ve got bust after bust after bust. I’d leave this one alone if I were the Yankees. Let someone else break the bank for this guy.

    • southofheaven81 - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:31 PM

      I wouldn’t exactly call Matsui a “bust.” He underperformed but October 2009 makes up for a LOT.

      • youngyankee - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:50 PM

        how did Matsui underperform?

      • humanexcrement - Aug 23, 2011 at 11:25 PM

        I was talking about pitchers.

      • Mike Sommer - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:15 AM

        Matsui had four 100-rbi seasons for the Yankees. Four times he hit 20 or more HR. His OPS+ numbers ranged from 108 to 137. He hit .292 as a Yankee, OPS+ 123 for them. In 56 postseason games as a Yankee, he hit .312-10-39. How did he underperform, in ANY way?

    • southofheaven81 - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:31 PM

      Oh, but we’re specifically talking pitching. Never mind.

    • pisano - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:37 PM

      You’re 100% correct, if the Yankees didn’t learn anything from Irabu,and Igawa they’ll never learn. These guys just don’t hold up in major league baseball. One after the other has fallen on his ass. Ask Boston if they had it to do over again if they would sign that broke down Dice-k, and I don’t want to hear this sh*t about him winning a world series for them,because there were 24 other guys on that team. Hey let Boston sign him they don’t seem to care about taking a chance on 100 mil.

  3. trevorb06 - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    What I don’t understand is why MLB teams don’t treat big japanese players the same as big latin america players. Success in Japan does not mean success in the USA. They should sign these guys and have them start out in the minors and get used to the new baseball system. Even guys like Nishioka could have benefitted from this. He wasn’t used to the concept of take out slides and sure enough he got burned by one. This isn’t meant as any disrespect to foreign players by ANY means, it’s just that baseball is different in the USA than it is in Japan or Cuba or South America. It’s a different level of competition. Once MLB teams start to understand this (and really foreign players and their agents) then we’d probably see more successfuly players from Japan making more money over the course of their career when they spend 10 seasons in the majors instead of being run out of town after failing 2 or 3 seasons.

    • dlevalley - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:44 PM

      This doesn’t really reflect the relationship between MLB and the NPB. While MLB teams are not prohibited from signing Japanese amateur players, they have agreed not to in order to allow the Japanese professional league thrive. Once a player signs with a NPB team, they cannot sign with an MLB team until they hit free agency or are ‘Posted’.

      Therefore, there really is no mechanism for an MLB team to sign and develop Japanese players in the U.S. minor leagues. Unlike Latin American players, MLB only gains access to a Japanese player at the height (or even a bit after) his professional career.

      Sure, the Twins could have signed Nishioka and sent him to AAA to learn how to play ‘American’ baseball. But then they are paying millions to develop a guy who has already gone through the development phase of his career (he’s 27). Then, they’ll either have to overpay him for many years (in order to cash in on his early 30’s, after he’s spent 2-3 years in the U.S. minors) or risk the chance that he departs for another MLB team through free agency (thus leaving the Twins with the development bill and another team reaping the rewards).

      Sure, many MLB teams have been burned by overpaying for Japanese players on both sides of the ball. But sending them to the minors after bidding on them in the posting process is not the solution.

      • trevorb06 - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:27 PM

        What I’m saying is when the MLB gets a guy thru posting why not start him in the minors to let him get a feel for the new system.

    • Joe - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:48 PM

      Because most of these guys are more advanced than the Latin American players (who sign as early as age 16), and really don’t belong in the minors. Did Ichiro really need to be in the minors to learn how to play in the US? Matsui? Daisuke has been a disappoinment, but even he was an above-average major leaguer when he came over.

      And if the Asian players aren’t good enough to play in the majors, they usually do spend time in the minors.

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