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Yu Darvish might not be posted? Really?

Nov 8, 2011, 9:08 AM EDT

darvish presser AP

It’s been long assumed and reported that Yu Darvish will be posted by Nippon Ham, his NPB team.  Jon Paul Morosi is talking to someone who has a doubt or two, however:

Even then, there are questions about whether Darvish will come to the majors for the 2012 season. One source with close knowledge of the process said the Fighters will “more likely than not” post Darvish — but cautioned that it’s “not definite.”  For teams who view Darvish as an alternative to domestic free agents Wilson and Buehrle, the doubt could be enough for their pitching plans to remain in neutral for several weeks.

File it under “who knows?”  Worth noting that last year’s big (well, not big, but still) NPB posting was of Tsuyoshi Nishioka.  He wasn’t posted until mid-to-late November and the Twins didn’t land right to negotiate with him until November 25.  This stuff takes some time.  Morosi himself notes that there’s a delay right now because the NPB season was pushed late due to the earthquake.

Darvish’s team almost certainly understands the notion of selling high. It’s hard to see how his stock gets any higher than it is now. And the U.S. teams will wait for him.

  1. uyf1950 - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    IF and I said if Darvish doesn’t get posted this year he might as well wait then until he becomes a “true” free agent I believe that for the 2014 season. Then all the money he can make is his less of course his agents “fee”, no posting fee involved at that point. With the proposed FA class next year one would have to believe the demand for an unproven commodity on the Major League level would be less than it is this year. Come out this year or wait until 2014. Those are his options as I see it.

  2. El Bravo - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    How very cool…I looked up Darvish to see where that clearly non-Japanese name came from. His parents met at Eckerd College in FL and his dad is Iranian (Farsad Darvishsefat) and mother Japanese. Yu was raised in Osaka. Fun Facts for you.

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      That is some cool info, thanks….

      • El Bravo - Nov 8, 2011 at 10:14 AM

        He also prefers pies to cakes. At least, I think I’ll add that to the wiki page…

  3. pete1050 - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    I think a lot of people forget/ignore some important aspects of the potential Darvish posting:

    1) The PLAYER has to ask to be posted before the team can post him. If he is happy where he is, that’s the end of it.

    2) Darvish is currently the highest paid player in the NPB at approximately $8M (US), and that figure will doubtlessly keep on rising. Thus, some of the MLB contract guesses ($50M for 5/6yrs, etc.) seem far too low.

    3) Darvish is the most marketable athlete in Japan, and his sponsorship/endorsement deals reflect that; he makes more as a spokesman than any other Japanese personality (approx. $4M US). Would that decrease if he came to the MLB, would it increase? Tough to say.

    4) Darvish is on pace to break a lot of NPB pitching records, possibly challenging Masaichi Kaneda career Win/Strikeout records. That’s worth something; as a personal accomplishment, a historical achievement, and a post-playing career resume builder (as manager/announcer/spokesperson etc.)

    People assume a lot about the desirability of playing the MLB. You have to consider if it would make more sense long-term for Darvish to stay in the NPB. Aside from the competitive challenge, and (likely) a little more money – Is there a draw?

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