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Yankees’ bid fell short for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish

Dec 18, 2011, 4:39 PM EDT

darvish tall getty Getty Images

From Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger comes this update on the Yankees’ effort to land righty Yu Darvish:

The Yankees submitted a bid. But the only way they can emerge with Darvish is if it proves to be the highest on the table, and the person with knowledge said the Yankees’ bid will not be high enough to top those they believe were submitted by a pair of American League rivals, the Rangers and Blue Jays.

“A ridiculous number,” the person with knowledge said, while declining to offer exact figures.

The Cubs also submitted a bid for the 6-foot-5 starter, but it sounds like their attempt will fall short as well.

Franz Lidz of Sports Illustrated reported Saturday that the winning posting fee is higher than the $51,111,111 sum that the Red Sox paid for exclusive negotiating rights to right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka back in November of 2006. The Fighters are expected to formally announce the victorious club on Tuesday.

For what it’s worth, the New York Post has already claimed the Blue Jays as the winning team.

  1. Mark - Dec 18, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    It’s only a ridiculous number because the Yankees didn’t have the high bid.

    • djpostl - Dec 18, 2011 at 4:56 PM

      Lol. Sure buddy. 50 plus million then anther 75 million to sign a guy who has never thrown a ball in MLB is not ridiculous.

      Tbh, anything above 10-20 million for Japanese pitchers is nothing more than buying a lottery ticket. Might hit the jackpot, but odds are you won’t. Smaller ball in Japan, steeper mound, pitching every 7th day (instead of the 5th day), having pitched versus inferior competition, cultural barriers etc…all make it risky no matter who you are.

      If these numbers end up in the neighborhood of 50 million, then you add the 60-70 million it’ll take to get him (he makes 12 mil per year w/ endorsements already in Japan so it will take that much) now you are talking about paying him more than Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay.

      THAT makes it a ridiculous number.

      • Mark - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:15 PM

        I’m not saying I agree with Darvish being worth that much. I don’t think Darvish will be that good, to be honest. I’m a Jays fan, and I’d rather see them spend the $$ on Fielder.

        Really, I’m just poking fun that an official of the Yankees, the team that is no stranger to signing players to ridiculous amounts of money, is complaining that the bid for Darvish was ridiculous. Pot, meet kettle.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:22 PM

        Mark, I’m just curious. Where does it say in the piece an “official of the Yankees” as you have commented. The only reference I see is where it says “the person with knowledge…” It makes no reference to that person being an official of the Yankees.

        The pot may yet meet kettle but not based on that article.

      • alexb64 - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:26 PM

        Mark I don’t see where The Yankees are attributed to the quote at all. Also I would say that a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in nearly 20 years bidding above 51 million bucks to negotiate a contract with an unknown pitcher qualifies it as a “ridiculous sum”.

      • Mark - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:35 PM

        I must have misread it then, because I thought it said Yankees official. My apologies.

        Although you’d think if someone had knowledge of the Yankees bid they’d have to be a pretty good source, considering nobody has a clue what anybody has bid to this point.

      • djpostl - Dec 18, 2011 at 7:29 PM

        Where did he complain about it? He just said it got to that point in the bidding.

        Frankly, knowing that Rogers Comm won’t ever break the bank like an individual owner would (large companies owning teams never bodes well for the team in the long run) it is better for Toronto to tie up an exaggerated chunk of it’s payroll on such a risky player.

        I agree with you though, Fielder would be wiser move imo.

      • skane2005 - Dec 19, 2011 at 10:48 AM

        Awful lot of Yankee cry babies on here.

      • bozosforall - Dec 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

        Yankee crybabies? Please, child…the biggest crybabies on here are and will always be Boston fans.

    • damnyankee13 - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:59 PM

      Which Yankee official complained?Name him! Not mentioned in article which was written by Marc carig.Quit blowing smoke thru your butthole because you hate a better team

      • damnyankee13 - Dec 18, 2011 at 7:38 PM

        yall are giving thumbs down, fine, but still, WHERE IS THE NAME OF THE YANKEE OFFICIAL?

      • damnyankee13 - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:07 PM

        Oh, I finally found where you got the “yankee official” from..”a person with knowledge” Oh, you mean the sealed bids go to the Yankees front office?
        A Yankee official only knows how much the Yankee bid is, not any others, far as I know.
        You haters are sure showing your IQ

      • skane2005 - Dec 19, 2011 at 10:49 AM

        That wouldnt surprise me if the bids went there. My god you are cranky.

    • randygnyc - Dec 18, 2011 at 11:44 PM

      It’s ridiculous because this guy has probably dreamed his whole life of winning a world series playing in MLB. Now, he won’t be living in America, or winning a ring. He’ll get paid, but he’ll eventually be like every player that has ever played in Toronto, and want to leave. Just ask Doc.

      • cur68 - Dec 19, 2011 at 1:22 AM

        Trolling Canadians, randy? How beneath you. But, heck, its a slow day, this Sunday. I’ll bite.

        So, did I imagine 1992 & 1993? Joe Carter, Roberto Alomar, Cito Gaston, Duane Ward, Tom Henke, Devon White (and so on) have all indicated that they were damn proud to be Blue Jays. One of those guys is even in the HOF. As a Blue Jay. He seemed pretty proud about that. Last time I saw Fred MCGriff interviewed, he certainly said some very kind things about his days as a Blue Jay. Carlos Delgado, too.

        It may come as a surprise to you rand, not everyone wants to live in America. I’ve lived there. I won’t get into the many ways Canada is better than America: I like lots of things about America and a good portion of the Americans on this message board. They tend to be kind thoughtful people who are probably going to cringe when they see what you wrote.

        As to Asian pitchers on the Yankees, in America…last Japanese pitcher the Yankees had. Igawa was it? How did he fare there? Any good? Think he’s happy with America? What about Irabu? What do you think he would say about playing in America? For the Yankees?

        I won’t presume to speak for Darvish, as to his happiness about his team etc. But he has every chance to enjoy his time in Canada. Given how his compatriots fared in New York, I’d think he’d do well to steer clear of there.

      • randygnyc - Dec 19, 2011 at 10:57 AM

        The championship years you refer to happened 20 years ago and much has changed since then in the American league east. Primarily, the financial structure of the Yankees and red sox with regards to their television stations and the money that pours in from it. Everything changed in 1995. On the rare occasion that another team besides the Yankees or sox make the playlets out of that division must be viewed as an aberration.

        I’ve been to Toronto. It’s a very nice city. My point was that it’s very probable that it’s been Yu’s dream to come to America to play baseball. And to win. By going to Toronto, he’s just as far from reaching that goal as if he had just stayed in Japan.

        And Roy Halliday, is THE perfect example. Even the fans didn’t hold a grudge when he left, knowing that winning was an improbability, at best.

      • cur68 - Dec 19, 2011 at 11:22 AM

        I can’t tell if you’re making an “America is better than Canada” or a “Yankees are the greatest” statement; the shifting sands of you points make it difficult for this to be little more than a row as opposed to reasoned debate. But WTF, I’ll do my best:

        You made a blanket statement (“he’ll eventually be like every player that has ever played in Toronto, and want to leave”). Now you’re qualifying it with a “last 20 years” codicil. Hence, I’m perfectly accurate to your original argument. As to your addendum:

        So, in the last 20 years is Irabu THE perfect example of why Japanese pitchers should steer clear of your country? Igawa? Matsuzaka? How’ve they done?

        You know Yu? I certainly don’t. Many, many Asians, like some of my family for instance, preferentially move to Canada over the States. Or, like a bunch of my cousins, move FROM the States. Here I quote, “high unemployment is a mo fo, homes”.

        Good morning.

      • nategearhart - Dec 19, 2011 at 11:28 AM

        Randy, there’s a difference between dreaming of playing “in America” and dreaming of playing “in MLB”. A huge difference. For all you know, if MLB was still MLB, only in Russia, he would still want to go because it’s the top league. Not because of what country it’s in.

  2. uyf1950 - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    It would not surprise me if the Yankees were not the highest bid. But so far all of these reports about who and how much are all speculative and don’t seem to be based on the reporting parties actually knowing any of the specifics.

    So I guess we will all be strung along for the next 24 or 48 hours. Until someone who actually has some specifics comes out and says something.

    • cur68 - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:07 PM


  3. natsattack - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    I thought the signing cost 511111111111, not the posting, since whenever you have a contract end in a specific number, generally it is the actual contract, not the posting since it is not known the player wants that number

    • Bryz - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:33 PM

      $51,111,111 was the posting fee. Trust me.

    • jwbiii - Dec 18, 2011 at 9:46 PM

      When it’s in a foreign currency. That’s ¥4B.

  4. Jonny 5 - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Most of the time “not bidding enough” ended up being more than the transaction was worth when it’s all said and done when dealing for JPL league players. In the past anyway.

  5. evanwins - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    I don’t know why these teams can’t see that this whole posting process is just a way for Japanese teams to EXTORT MLB teams. AN above poster is right, when this is all said and done Yu Darvish will cost a some team more than Roy Halladay. Think about that. And if it is The Blue Jays, couldn’t they just have worked out a deal with Roy for this much when they had him?

    This is the equivalent of paying Scott Boras $50M for the purpose of being the only team that he can then further exploit for the services of Prince Fielder.

    The only way this scenario makes sense is if The Blue Jays and Darvish can’t come to terms and Darvish stays in Japan, and is not a Yankee or a Red Sox. Otherwise, bad move Blue Jays.

    • Kevin S. - Dec 18, 2011 at 7:22 PM

      How is it extortion? The Japanese teams have the player under contract. In exchange for releasing him from his contract, they get compensation. Seems pretty fair to me.

      • evanwins - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:13 PM

        I hope your favorite team won the bid.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:28 PM

        His team is the Yanks, so I doubt it.

    • djpostl - Dec 18, 2011 at 7:32 PM

      The posting system is archaic. It made sense at the time, but it is in drastic need of an overhaul.

    • paperlions - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:25 PM

      The purpose of the posting system is to ensure that ML teams don’t buy off all the high-end talent in Japan so that the Japanese can enjoy watching their home grown talent play (and, of course, so that Japanese owners can make money off of them), but it provides a mechanism for some Japanese stars to play in MLB. I don’t know that it needs to be “fixed”, because it’s purpose is not to make it easy or cheap for ML teams to buy off Japanese talent. It seems to serve its purpose just fine.

  6. pisano - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    I smell another Dice-k on the way.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:53 PM

      Matsuzaka does have a world series ring.

      • aceshigh11 - Dec 18, 2011 at 6:54 PM

        True, but he didn’t play what I would call a critical role in their 2007 march to the WS.

  7. steelerchicken - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    This is the league that did not go on strike! The fee is higher than the Pirates entire payroll

    • djpostl - Dec 18, 2011 at 7:34 PM

      The Pirates have been drafting in the best slots for 19 years now. TB is a shining example of how you execute properly under those circumstances and Pittsburgh is the road map for doing it wrong.

  8. Ari Collins - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    I’m glad the Yankees didn’t get him, as a #2 would be perfect for them, and they’re one of very few teams that could afford to overpay for him.

    That said, even though I’m a big believer in Darvish, $120MM-$130MM is kind of crazy high.

    • yankeesfanlen - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:26 PM

      You’re right Ari. We should just use the money for King Felkix insead. Send AJ and THE FAT TOAD as trade bait.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:40 PM

        I think that King Felix would cost a lot more than that. Does anybody really want to live with AJ? He is so inconsistent.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 18, 2011 at 9:05 PM

        No way would that get you Felix. But the Yankees could save their money for Hamels/Cain/Greinke next offseason. (Hamels is a particularly good fit, even if he’ll likely cost $150MM if he hits FA.)

      • randygnyc - Dec 18, 2011 at 11:48 PM

        No way do the Yankees sign a proven QUITTER like Hammels. Phillie fans might have forgiven him for 2009, but were not biased and we don’t forget. Gotta have heart to play in pinstripes.

      • bozosforall - Dec 19, 2011 at 1:00 PM

        Next year, the Yankees bring up the Killer B’s. No need to pay out for a top FA pitcher next season.

  9. natsattack - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    Darvish career ERA: 1.99
    Dice-K: 2.95
    My guess is Darvish has an ERA between 2.80-3.30, so I think he is worth no more than $130mil, but will be close that. Mark my words.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:30 PM

      Why are people saying that Darvish is worth more/less than $130M? he’s not getting the posting fee, only the contract. Is he worth a 5/75 or 5/80? Who knows?

      • Kevin S. - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:37 PM

        Because the posting fee is still part of the acquisition cost for the acquiring team. Unless the posting fee is somehow outside of the operating budget, it’s an opportunity cost to signing Darvish (although quoting the future value of it over the course of his deal might give people a better idea of what that opportunity cost actually is).

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:39 PM

        True, but I’d couldn’t you argue cost and value are two different things. The cost of acquiring the player is X + Y, but the value of the player is only Y?

      • Ari Collins - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:48 PM

        The fact that the posting fee doesn’t go to the player sucks for the player (and rocks for the NPB team), but doesn’t affect the MLB team that gets him whatsoever, so I’m not sure how to make him “worth” or “valued at” just the contract.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:53 PM

        Trying to use a real world example, in NYC every bar/nightclub had a cover charge + cost of drinks. When factoring in whether the drinks we worth the price (almost never, but I digress), would you factor in the cover charge into the drink cost?

      • Ari Collins - Dec 18, 2011 at 9:01 PM

        Yes, you would. That’s the cost of drinking at that bar. You really did pay that cover charge, and it should be factored in when you have to calculate whether to go to a different bar, drink at home, etc.

        Good analogy, by the way!

      • cur68 - Dec 18, 2011 at 11:17 PM

        I never factor in the cover charge, but I can see that’s a mistake :) . Based on that then Darvish’s cost is really (annual salary X years of deal) + posting fee.

        In terms of a realistic annual salary, perhaps we can try to adjust his performance for MLB. Lets use Dice K as our bench mark, then. He had an ERA of 3 over 8 seasons for the Seibu Lions. Then backed that up with an ERA of 4 over 5 seasons with the BoSox. A full 1 point swing to the worse. Probably indicative of how much better the MLB players are.

        Darvish has 1.99/7 years with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (a team name that I just adore: pigs getting going to battle agaisnt Darvish and his cronies, comes so readily to mind). Lets say he has a full 1 point swing in MLB, that makes him a virtual 3 ERA. Nice enough.

        On the Jays, Romero makes about 5 mil/year with an ERA of about 3.6 lifetime, but is underpaid given that his ERA is dropping with each season. Darvish is probably going to be about Romero-good if the Dice-K swing holds. So he’s going to be pretty good. Probably good enough to get paid in the neighborhood of 8 – 10 mil/year X 5 years (if we’re being relatively reasonable) which is up from the 6.4 mill/year he earns in Japan. Total cost then is over 100 mil for his services, non Ham related.

        Wowie. I shoulda learned to throw harder than 72 mph.

      • jwbiii - Dec 19, 2011 at 8:28 AM

        Ricky Romero is underpaid due to his improving performance, true, but mostly due to when he signed his contract. That contract bought out one automatic renewal year, three arbitration years, and one free agent year. Darvish’s contract will be all free agent years.

        Look at at what good, young pitchers in their free agent years have left on their contracts: Matt Cain (1/$15M), Jered Weaver (5/$84), Justin

      • jwbiii - Dec 19, 2011 at 8:30 AM

        Verlander (3/$60), Chad Billingsley (3/$35), Zack Greinke (1/$13.5). That’s the neighborhood.

  10. natsattack - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    130mil total, for at least 5 hrs

  11. natsattack - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    130 mil over 5 yrs

  12. natsattack - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    As the team, you don’t care what he gets or the team gets, if you have to pay the same total, this is his worth from a team’s perspective.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 18, 2011 at 9:02 PM

      Use the reply button, my friend.

  13. mojosmagic - Dec 18, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    Just plain stupid. These Japanese pitchers aren’t worth the investment.

  14. uyf1950 - Dec 19, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    It would appear that the drama about who and what surrounding Darvish will be over in about 12 hours.

    I just read this on MLB TradeRumors and I quote:

    “Top Bidder For Darvish To Be Announced Tonight
    By Tim Dierkes [December 19 at 7:40am CST]
    The Nippon Ham Fighters will announce their acceptance of the high bidder and the winning team for Yu Darvish tonight, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports after talking to agent Don Nomura. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports notes that the announcement will be around 7-8pm central time tonight.

    Thank God, Finally. That’s my commentary not part of the piece on MLB TradeRumors.

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