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Report: Yu Darvish likely to be posted after Winter Meetings

Dec 3, 2011, 3:04 PM EDT

darvish presser AP

Ken Rosenthal of reports that Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish is likely to be posted for MLB teams following the Winter Meetings.

We’ve heard some uncertainty on the matter recently, though a source told Rosenthal’s colleague Jon Paul Morosi late last week that it remains “more likely than not” that he will pitch in MLB next season.

Darvish, 25, went 18-7 with a career-low 1.44 ERA and a 276/36 K/BB ratio in 232 innings this season with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. Standing at 6-foot-5 and 185 pounds, he has a 1.99 career ERA over seven seasons in Japan.

While his posting fee might not approach the $51,111,111 sum the Red Sox bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka five years ago, the number still figures to be pretty substantial. And once exclusive negotiating rights are secured, it’s likely he will want an annual salary north of $10 million.

It will be interesting to see how this process affects the plans of teams at the Winter Meetings next week, especially those involved in the pursuit of C.J. Wilson. As Rosenthal notes, Rangers GM Jon Daniels and Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos both scouted Darvish in Japan this season. And though the Red Sox may be a little shy following Dice-K, Bobby Valentine’s experience in Japan can’t be ruled out, either.

  1. proudlycanadian - Dec 3, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    He may be pitching in the US, but will his home team be in Canada?

    • D.J. Short - Dec 3, 2011 at 3:39 PM

      Whoops. Meant MLB, actually. Thanks!

  2. uyf1950 - Dec 3, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    I can’t see the Yankees going all in on Darvish. Will they bid on him? Sure. But I doubt they bid $45MM plus just to negotiate with him and on top of that pay him $50MM plus over 5 years or so. I just don’t see the Yankees tying up about $100MM on someone who has never pitched 1 inning in the Major Leagues.
    Just my opinion but I suspect they would rather use that money for someone in the FA class next year that has a track record in MLB.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 3, 2011 at 4:01 PM

      I doubt that the Yankees and the Red Sox will bid based on their past experience with Japanese pitchers. The Jays are known to have scouted him.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 3, 2011 at 4:16 PM

        I think they will bid. If for no other reason then to keep the other teams honest. And if by some chance they win the rights at a price they want that’s great. My guess is in total the Yankees will probably limit the total deal posting and actual contract to about $85MM if he can be had for that (which I don’t think he can be) then they will sign him. For that much since the posting fee isn’t subject to the luxury tax I think the Yankees can live with it.
        Just my opinion but I’d say the chances of the Yankees getting him are less then 10%.

      • JBerardi - Dec 3, 2011 at 9:09 PM

        “I doubt that the Yankees and the Red Sox will bid based on their past experience with Japanese pitchers.”

        Do you think the Yankees past experience with Joba Chamberlin or Andrew Brackman will keep them from bidding on American pitchers?

  3. cur68 - Dec 3, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    Darvish I think will be fine in MLB. He’s a far different animal than Matsuzaka. I’d be real happy to see him on the Beaver Men. Anyhow, who says Japanese guys can’t play out of this world basbeball?

  4. dondada10 - Dec 3, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Saying the Yankees or Red Sox wouldn’t have interest because of the failures of past Japanese pitchers is short sighted. It’s like saying a team won’t draft a high schooler because of the failures of past high schoolers.

    Teams will make their judgements based on their scouting of Darvish.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 3, 2011 at 4:44 PM

      Right on.

    • Ben - Dec 3, 2011 at 5:21 PM

      I think the analogy is a bit misleading. Sure high schoolers haven’t been introduced to the rigors of a major-league regimen, but they’ve got several years to adapt and thrive. MLB teams are taking players from Japan who are used to a very different form of baseball (different pitching strategies, different training regimens, etc..) and expecting them to thrive right off the bat (pun intended). Thus far those players who have successfully adapted have been the exception rather than the rule. It’s not an enormous sample size to work with, but the results so far have hardly been encouraging.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 3, 2011 at 5:50 PM

        Of course, the high schoolers have faced a lower level of talent, and really as different a game (fewer breaking balls and far fewer changeups).

        I think the point is that no one should be (and probably no one is) allowing some Japanese players’ failures to judge the entire talent pipeline. Especially when no pitcher as good as Darvish has ever come over.

      • Ben - Dec 3, 2011 at 6:16 PM

        There’s another difference in that when you botch a high school draft pick, you’re out 4 million bucks, plus the opportunity cost of the draft pick. You botch a signing like this and you’re out 100 million. I think that’s what gives teams pause.

        I was pretty down on Darvish before, but the more I see of him the more I think he probably can succeed in the MLB. Hope he can.

  5. Ari Collins - Dec 3, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    If he’s posted after the winter meetings, when will teams know who won the bidding? Anyone know?

    • uyf1950 - Dec 3, 2011 at 5:14 PM

      I think the posting time is about 10 to 14 days plus or minus. But I’m not really sure.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 3, 2011 at 5:24 PM

      Forget what I just posted about the time frame. I just got this from Wikipedia and I quote:

      “Under this system, when an NPB player is “posted”, MLB holds a four-day-long silent auction during which MLB teams can submit sealed bids in an attempt to win the exclusive rights to negotiate with the player for a period of 30 days. If the MLB team with the winning bid and the NPB player agree on contract terms before the 30-day period has expired, the NPB team receives the bid amount as a transfer fee, and the player is free to play in MLB. If the MLB team cannot come to a contract agreement with the posted player, then no fee is paid, and the player’s rights revert to his NPB team.”

      • Ari Collins - Dec 3, 2011 at 5:47 PM


      • Chris K - Dec 3, 2011 at 11:11 PM

        Does that mean a team could win the bid, negotiate in questionable fate, then block Yu from entering MLB by not coming to terms? Does this make sense?

      • Ari Collins - Dec 4, 2011 at 8:14 AM

        Yes, that’s exactly what it means. The As failed to reach agreement with a Japanese pitcher last year, and he had to stay in Japan, though most think it was a good-faith negotation.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 4, 2011 at 8:18 AM

        Chris, what happens is as long as the Major League team bargains in “good faith” if the 2 parties do not come to an agreement the team gets it’s posting fee back and the player goes back to Japan.

        If the team that won the original bid does NOT bargain in good faith with the player MLB can award the bid to the next highest bidder providing the Japanese Club accepts the 2nd teams bid. Then it would be up to that team to negotiate a contract with the player.

  6. jwbiii - Dec 3, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    “it’s likely he will want an annual salary north of $10 million”

    He made ¥500M, about $6.6M last season, so yes, he likely will want more than $10M.

  7. Ari Collins - Dec 3, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    I still doubt Boston can fit him in their budget, but the fact that they hired Valentine has made it more likely, in my mind. He’s a big fan of Darvish’s, and so might push for him. What’s more, they may have hired him partly BECAUSE he knows NPB so well. And, of course, Boston MAY be looking to make a splash, though that’s pure conjecture.

    Again, still unlikely in my mind, but probably less unlikely now.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 3, 2011 at 6:55 PM

      Obviously not a Red Sox fan. But if they were to sign Darvish and he I’ll be kind and say he didn’t live up to expectations. I think the fans would run the Sox brain trust out of town on a rail.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 3, 2011 at 8:00 PM

        Was “brain trust” an oxymoron?

      • JBerardi - Dec 3, 2011 at 10:08 PM

        What, you think brains are untrustworthy?

      • paperlions - Dec 4, 2011 at 9:59 AM

        They are inherently untrustworthy because of chemical information storage process….every time you are “remembering” something, you don’t recall things how they happened….information isn’t stored in one big piece, but in lots of little ones (like a badly fragmented hard drive). Your brain essentially re-creates the event, filling in gaps where the information no longer exists (things you have forgotten), and creating information that may have never existed….the problem is that you can’t distinguish the 3 types of information (recalled, replaced, fabricated) that are instantly combined into one narrative. In addition, people have an inherent bias in how they interpret and re-create these narratives, usually to paint themselves in a better light….so….yeah….brains are untrustworthy.

  8. realgone2 - Dec 4, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    I don’t see all the hype with this guy. The record for Japanese pitchers in the big aint too great.

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