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Yu Darvish might not make himself available until January

Dec 4, 2011, 10:03 AM EDT

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FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal heard Saturday that Japanese ace Yu Darvish is expected to be posted soon after this week’s annual Winter Meetings in Dallas, Texas. But that might not be the case.

In an update to his Saturday column, Rosenthal writes that Darvish’s father is telling news services in Japan that his son might not make himself available to major league teams until mid-to-late January and that it’s only 50-50 that he actually accepts a deal.

The uncertainty is natural — Darvish would be leaving his comfort zone in Japan and taking on great expectations in the majors — but waiting until a month or so before the start of spring training would almost certainly mean disaster for the right-hander’s market value. MLB teams can’t afford to be patient when it comes to filling vacant starting rotation spots.

Darvish, 25, posted an 18-7 record, a 1.44 ERA and a 276/36 K/BB ratio across 232 innings this past season for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. He has a 1.99 career ERA over seven seasons in Japan.

  1. proudlycanadian - Dec 4, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    I guess that it all depends on the timing of his divorce.

  2. alexb64 - Dec 4, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    classic Rosenthal attention whoring. It was basically made known that Darvish would be waiting until his divorce is finalized before signing any sort of MLB deal so that he wouldn’t have to part with it. So Rosenthal puts out some “sources close to” BS about Darvish being posted soon to get “Yu Darvish, posted, KEN ROSENTHAL” out there & then today squashing it with the same news that was already reported last week.

  3. tomlotter1948 - Dec 4, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    I think DARVISH might be some kind of a prima donna…..he might be a bust…some GM’s will take chance on anything……

  4. uyf1950 - Dec 4, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    If the Sox or Yankees were to sign him I can see the Boston Media and/or the NY Media chewing this guy up and spitting him out at the very first sign that he isn’t earning his pay.

    I think the best place for him is Toronto. At least in Canada hockey is king.

    • brucewaynewins - Dec 4, 2011 at 12:53 PM

      I agree with uyf1950. With his divorce and leaving his comfort zone NY/Boston would be a horrible fit. The second he does something bad the media will never let him live it down and he wont recover. He’s better off in a place where it won’t be as big of a deal.

      • alexb64 - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:27 PM

        I think even if he doesn’t have his MLB money included in his divorce, he’s still going to looking to recoup what he did lose. I think even if The New York market made him uncomfortable, he’s not going to turn down the market because it would offer him (outside of Dodgers getting involved out of nowhere) for endorsement & marketing himself. Boston would give him that exposure too, just with the endless amount of attention ESPN gives them, but I think they’re less likely to take a chance on him coming off the collapse, shake up & problems with Matsuzaka.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:46 PM

        alex64 – I’m not sure it’s a matter of him turning down a NY or Boston offer. I thinks it’s more a matter of the Yankees and Red Sox not feeling comfortable going all out to bid on him. I can’t or won’t speak for Boston fans but I think the Yankees over time have come to realize that it takes a “special” type player to handle NY and the NY Media and that goes double for pitchers. The fans and the media especially can be and often are brutal when a player doesn’t live up to expectations. I can think of no better recent example of someone who couldn’t handle NY than Randy Johnson. Even though in many ways his performance during his time here was not all that bad the media hounded him like a dog and he never grew accustomed to NY. Imagine the culture shock for someone like Darvish who is used to being idolized.

        If I’m the Yankees Ownership/Management unless he can be had for a “bargain price” I stay way. That’s just my opinion.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 4, 2011 at 2:38 PM

        I think the Yankees over time have come to realize that it takes a “special” type player to handle NY and the NY Media and that goes double for pitchers

        This is nothing but ex post facto BS spewed by fans/media to explain away a player’s ability. It’s also not based in any form of reality.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 4, 2011 at 2:51 PM

        church…, thank you for those thoughtful and insightful comments.

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

        I can think of no better recent example of someone who couldn’t handle NY than Randy Johnson.

        Fine, here’s insightful:
        ’05 – 34 GS – 225.2IP – 8.4 K/9 – 1.9 BB/9 – 1.3 HR/9
        ’06 – 33 GS – 205.0IP – 7.6 K/9 – 2.6 BB/9 – 1.2 HR/9
        ’08 – 30 GS – 184.0IP – 8.5 K/9 – 2.2 BB/9 – 1.2 HR/9

        Clearly those first two years in NY he couldn’t handle the pressure. Maybe it’s just that he was 41 years old and not the player he once was.

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

        church…, not to nitpick but did you see me refer anywhere in my original post to the word “pressure”? I said the “media hounded him like a dog and he never grew accustomed to NY”. To deny that fact is to deny that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. You don’t need to feel pressure in order not to be or get “accustomed” to someplace. It could be you just don’t like it.

        He then went back to the quiet and familiar confines of the desert where the deer and the antelope play.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 4, 2011 at 8:12 PM

        Not to nitpick, but the sun doesn’t move.

        And forgive me if after reading dozens of articles that say a player can’t handle the media/pressure as euphemism fire having a bad year, that you literally meant he didn’t like the media. Who cares though? Who likes the media? And outside the shoving incident, what issues did he have with the media?

      • uyf1950 - Dec 4, 2011 at 8:55 PM

        church… if I may quote one of your posts here “Clearly those first two years in NY he couldn’t handle the pressure. Maybe it’s just that he was 41 years old and not the player he once was.” Your reference to his 2005 stats when he was in NY:
        ’05 – 34 GS – 225.2IP – 8.4 K/9 – 1.9 BB/9 – 1.3 HR/9 – 4.6 WAR

        Just so I under you here are his stats from 2004 when he was in Arizona at the age of 40. Not really a big age difference would you agree?
        ’04 – 35 GS – 245.2IP – 10.6 K/9 – 1.6 BB/9 – 0.7 HR/9 – 7.4 WAR

        I’m mot sure I buy your argument that in 2005 at 41 years of age in NY that made a difference in his numbers from 2004 when he was 40 years of age in Arizona. But that’s just my opinion.

        BTW, I never said or even implied the sun moved. I said the sun rose in the east and set in the west. Which I believe most clear minded thinking people would accept as fact. If you have any doubts about the validity of my comment I suggest you click on the attached link.
        http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question14.html

    • cur68 - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:12 PM

      There is the minor issue of the Japanese community in Toronto. The estimated population (last time I checked about 6 years ago for a cousin of mine who’s 1/2 Japanese) is around 25000. There were very few truly Japanese focused communities or amenities (I think I found one mall somewhere which catered that way). He’d really miss home there. With that being said, the Asian community itself is massive in Toronto and heavily intermarried, just like his heritage. Probably he’d be among people in his unique position of being of mixed heritage and displaced culturally, so ultimately he could find himself being utterly lionized and totally homesick: the stuff of melodramas and sitcoms. Its by no means a lock that he’d be happy in TO.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:25 PM

        Then Seattle would probably be a better choice but Seattle really doesn’t need pitching. They are pretty much covered there. It’s offense that the Mariners are in dire need of.

        LA possibly but no way with their present situation can they afford to bid on him.

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