May
13

Yu oughta know

By

Jim Caple, not usually one of my favorite ESPN.com writers, penned a massively long piece on Yu Darvish that went live on the Worldwide Leader’s site today. It delves into the history of Yu and the role he plays in Japanese baseball. It also, of course, mentions the posting fees that someone of Yu’s pedigree and quality could command. Caple speculates that the Nippon Ham Fighters could draw in upwards of $75 million for the youngster, and the Yankees would be right there atop the list of potential suitors. Make no mistake about it; Darvish is better than Daisuke Matsuzaka and doesn’t even belong in the same sentence as Kei Igawa. But $75 million just for the rights to talk to a pitcher? I’m not sure about that one.

Categories : Asides
  • xkevinx

    $75 million to talk is crazy.

    As an aside, I just read at Chad Jennings SWB blog:

    Melancon to Trenton
    Cox to SWB

  • Joltin’ Joe

    Seeing how the Yanks need a frontline starter for the future and have a lot of money coming off the books, why not? It is better to invest in young, strong starting pitching than offense anyway, because it would give us a better chance of building another dynasty. If he is posted this offseason, I think it’d be less likely ’cause of CC and Ben Sheets, but you never know.

    • A.D.

      I’d rather have CC, and CC is likely cheaper (when one includes posting), established, and left-handed

      • http://www.ilikemygirls.com Seven Costanza

        he’s also fatter and pitched a career high in innings last year…

  • http://www.samiamsports.blogspot.com SAMIAMSPORTS

    Even if this guy is the real deal , there is no chance the yanks go after a guy with that price tag from japan after Igawa.

    • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

      Since when do you not delve into a talent pool because one player from said pool hasn’t worked out?

      • steve (different one)

        after Brien Taylor, i am surprised the Yankees signed another black player.

        • dan

          let alone someone they drafted

      • A.D.

        2…see Hideki Irabu

        • steve (different one)

          Irabu worked out very well for the Yankees.

          173 innings of 109 ERA+ in 1998
          169 innings of 98 ERA+ in 1999

          then he was traded for Westbrook and Lilly.

          all in all, not bad for about $8M.

          • A.D.

            Fair enough, and I guess can’t really say he kept the team down at all, so it’s just Kei

  • A.D.

    Well the Yu Darvish posting can be 200 million for all I care, if the Yankees are smart they’ll stay out of it, Japanese pitching hasn’t worked out for them, and arguably it’s worked out for no-one….Dice-K has been pretty good, but not worth the money yet. Don’t forget Kei Igawa was dominant in Japan at one time leading the league in K’s 3 years and winning their Cy Young once

    75 mil posting, that might be worse than taking Pavano’s option next year

    Robertson
    Cox
    Melancon
    ….we may see them in the majors soon

    • barry

      I hate Dice-K but he’s honestly been nasty. I just don’t want any more ridiculous shit at the stadium. Remember “dice-k mania” imagine that in the Bronx, I’d rather not.

  • Yankees 4ever

    I posted on this at MVN, he is pretty good, bring him on youtube.com, he has a fastball low 90′s, slider & sick curve ball. he is 21 and always wants to do better is never satisfied. The $75 million does not count towards any revenue dollars, the yanks also gain about 30-40 million (i think), because they do not have to pay any revenue sharing because they used their own money to build the stadium.

    I think they could still sign Yu, CC & Tex next year.

  • Casper

    What is the white powder on Yu’s pitching hand in the video over at the WWL? If there is anyone in the house who knows Japanese baseball well… Are there many rules over there that are different than MLB rules (i.e. apparently pitchers may have foreign substances on their pitching hand over there)?

    • A.D.

      The rules are essentially the same, but the ball is marginally smaller

    • giselle

      i noticed that, too. it looks like that chalk that olympic athletes put on their hands before doing their routines on the bars…

  • Joe

    I guess I understand some of the apprehension after the Kei Igawa disaster, but come one guys – Darvish is better than Daisuke ever was in Japan, and he’s only 21. Yeah, the $75 million posting fee is absurd, but how often does the opportunity to pick up an established talent with his stuff and, yes, his celebrity, at his age come around? I mention the celebrity only because I see it as a way to recoup at least some of the money they’d have to pay for the kid.

    Keep in mind Darvish is the same age as Phil Hughes, too. Even if Japan were like AAA, he’s putting up even more ridiculous numbers than Hughes did in the minors, and he still has just as much room to improve. Yes, he might bust – anyone can – but if he doesn’t? Plain scary. It would be like buying the #1 slot in the draft, basically.

    • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

      I heard the level of competition in Japan is relative to the AA level, but yeah you’re basically right. Upper minors is the level of play over there.

  • tony from the bronx

    75MIL then a six year deal similar to Dice K another what 50mil thats 125 for 6yrs
    That is the going rate for front line starters.How old is he? If he is younger then Dice I think the Yanks will go all in for him. I would also

  • giselle

    i would love to see darvish play for the yankees, but there are so many questions… does he even want to play in the US? i doubt he’d make that decision by the end of this year. would cashman go after him? would his success in japan translate to the MLB? is he too cocky? how would he deal with the ny media?

    i like darvish and i think the yankees should take a chance on him. it’d be expensive though! Our homegrown guys are good but you have to keep your eyes open for talent everywhere, not just in the farm system. Also, darvish is light years ahead of igawa, you can’t write him off just cause igawa sucks. it’ll be interesting to see how all this plays out.

  • mooks

    If the Yankees are interested, they better be scouting the living hell out of him.

    One thing is clear, the red sox would NOT be in the running for him in all likely hood.

    The posting fee isn’t that big a deal in that Darvish would easily generate that revenue right back (see Matsui).

    Japan baseball is between AAA and the major leagues, kind of would be like AAAA type of league.

    But its a big risk, and you also have to look internally to make sure you do not have better options, something the Yanks might have.

    I also do not see them getting Darish, CC and Tex in the offseason, maybe one, two max, but not all 3.

    • Casper

      Why is it clear that the Red Sox would not be in the running for Darvish?

      • mooks

        They are going to have to redo the contract for Becket at the end of this season, and also Varitek is a free agent, I think they have another big name that is also a free agent, I’m not sure if its Manny or not though, and they have pretty much already maxed out at their budget now (in terms of revenue being brought in, and expenses being paid out).

        To afford Yo Darvish, they would need to downgrade the roster via slashing payroll.

        Also keep in mind, their closer wants a contract too for big money. He is going to get a raise one way or another no matter what.

        • Casper

          Nobody knows when Darvish will be available to MLB teams, and you certainly don’t know what their budget looks like (or will look like if/when Darvish is posted).

          • http://www.mvn.com/milb-yankees Ashish Skaria

            He’s available officially after 5 years.So when he’s 26.

          • mooks

            If he is posted this year, then no chance for the sox, next year maybe, year after, unknown.

            Its also not that hard to figure out some teams revenues and expenses, hell a quick trip through a few sports business sites, and an issue of forbes magazine and you got a pretty good working base.

            • steve (different one)

              They are going to have to redo the contract for Becket at the end of this season,

              no they aren’t.

              this is baseball, not football.

              this doesn’t happen.

              • mooks

                They have said they would earlier in the offseason after Becket made clear that he wasn’t seeking a redo of his contract for this season, but left the door open for it to be done after the season is over, which the red sox said they would do.

                Why they are doing it, makes no sense, they didn’t get Santana (which is how the whole thing started in the first place), but they did say they would do it.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    There is ZERO chance of the kid living up to the hype. Take the $75M that would go to a posting fee, and use it to go bananas in the draft over the next 4 years. You’ll get a much, much better return on the investment.

    • http://knickerbockerchatter.blogspot.com/ Bruno

      HERE HERE

      CC’s a better risk

      • A.D.

        Now that 75 mil will has been put out there it means the posting fee will be higher, i mean the Yankees thought they had enough for Dice-K but the Sox blew everyone out of the water

    • steve (different one)

      sure, but that investment wouldn’t pay off for another 3-6 years. Darvish could pay off immediately.

      not saying $75M isn’t insane, or that the Yankees should do it, but i don’t think this argument holds too much water.

      the yankees aren’t really limited in who they can draft by money. they are limited by the order of their pick and the fact that there are many other teams who are all selecting from the same pool of players. in other words, another $10M in their budget still wouldn’t have gotten them Porcello or Price.

      i guess my point is that the Yankees don’t need an additional $75M in their draft budget. in theory, they could sign Darvish AND continue to pour big money into the draft.

      • Joe

        Agreed. The Yankees can pour that $75 million into their draft picks for the next ten years, but that won’t do anything to change the fact that the best players will be gone by the time their picks come around. Besides, it’s not like the Yankees have had a hard time signing draft picks, or a problem going over-slot anyway.

  • http://knickerbockerchatter.blogspot.com/ Bruno

    Millwood, Teagarden
    for
    Kennedy, Tabata, Cervelli?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Did you just pull that out of thin air? What does it have to do with anything here?

      • http://knickerbockerchatter.blogspot.com/ Bruno

        I’m bored LOL

  • Glen L

    Why would anyone complain about the money involved in the posting fee?? its not like if the refrain from posting the money for Darvish, ticket prices will come down

    This is a no-brainer, provided the scouts say he’s as good as advertised (hopefully they have a different person/group running the japanese scouting though)

    He’s only 21! Yes myraid things can go wrong, but the same types of things could easily go wrong with CC … and any of the big three who everyone (including me) didn’t want to part with to get Johan

    • http://knickerbockerchatter.blogspot.com/ Bruno

      We wouldn’t have only given up Hughes or IPK but Melky too. IPK for Santana would’ve been done without even thinking about it, but that wasn’t the “offer”.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        No one said it was.

  • A.D.

    The Yankees could do it, if you take the news swiriling on contracts:
    Tex: 20 mil a year
    Darvish: 22 mil a year (including posting, going off the ESPN article)
    CC: 25 Mil a year (guessing)

    brings us to 67 Mil, if the Yankees cleaned house of everyone becoming a free agent they save around 80 mil, so there still is savings. We’d loose draft picks, but Abreu is an A free agent, Mussina, Giambi, Farnsworth are all Bs going into this season, so we’d still have picks. Plus we’d still have minors depth.

    It is intriguing

  • tom yf

    Mike, you’re probably right.

    “But $75 million just for the rights to talk to a pitcher?”

    Ben, it’s this kind of thinking that caused the Yanks to lose out on the Matsuzaka bidding. Sure, it doesn’t seem like we lost out on that much in that case. But in general, once you’ve splurged on the bidding, the player himself seems almost compelled to accept a deal as long as it’s not ridiculously low. That’s what went down with Matsuzaka. I’m not saying it’s the right move, but we should think of what kind of low-ball deal the posted player would almost HAVE to accept once the negotiating rights were secured as part of the equation.

    • A.D.

      Well you get the posting back if the player doesn’t sign, it would actually just hurt his home club

  • giselle

    i think the biggest factor is whether darvish would want to come play in the MLB next year, if at all. He’s like a god in japan. Imagine moving and being a rookie/nobody in the US? Plus he has a wife and baby now, it’d be difficult for him to leave his home country i think. He would make bank, though.

    • Joe

      Given the media circus that surrounded Ichiro and Daisuke, I don’t think he’d be treated like just some rookie in the U.S. He’s a bigger star than either of them ever were to begin with, too.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    And not for nothing, the article made him sound like kind of a douchebag. Seems like a pampered primadona.

    • Joe

      Where did you get that feeling? He’s a confident kid, and with the kinds of numbers he’s putting up, he should be. The part that I liked was when he said he wouldn’t be happy until he won every game with a 0.00 ERA; that’s the kind of sentiment that’s going to sell the Yankee brass on him.

    • giselle

      yea i kinda get that vibe, too. then again, i don’t know him so i have no idea. it’s interesting because even though they’re the same age, you can see how incredibly different darvish and hughes are, personality-wise.

      how weird would it be if hughes posed naked for a women’s magazine? sorry i brought it up, but i’m just saying…

    • giselle

      i think alex is a douchebag/pampered prima donna, but that didn’t stop the yankees from signing him cause he’s an amazing player.

  • bkight13

    MLB needs some kind of worldwide draft. If a Cuban makes it the DR he is a free agent, but if he comes here he is put in the draft. Anyone else from Latin America can be signed at 16 and now teams have to pay $75M for the rights to Japanese pitchers. It’s all out of whack.

    I would prefer the Yankees stay away from posting fees for any Japanese pitchers and use the money elsewhere to develop young talent. The stigma to buying championships seems to only stick to the Yanks even though the titles came before the salary explosion.

    • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

      my only point of contention with a ‘world’ draft is the obvious mix of experienced professional players internationally with U.S. amatuers…there is a distinct difference in talent levels. It’s like applying to a job and you have a master’s degree but you are treated like you have high school graduate qualifications.

      • bkight13

        It doesn’t have to be combined with the regular draft, but it is very unfair to the many teams that cannot spend $75M just for the rights to a player. Some kind of supplemental draft could be held and the Japanese players that reach free agency would go there first. If the Yankees wanted to trade $50M to Rays for BJ Upton the league would never allow it, to me it seems like the same thing.

  • Jake

    One of the things that concerns me from Caple’s article is the description of Yu’s home park: deep dimensions with high fences all around and acres of foul territory. Never mind the change in quality from Japan to the U.S., the change of parks alone could greatly hurt his numbers.

  • Chris

    I think it’s worth spending the money. Yu’s younger than Phil Hughes, so even if he struggles, there’s a lot of time left for him to improve. I know he wouldn’t like it, but it probably would make sense to put him in AAA for half a season when he comes over (assuming it’s next year) so he can get more accustomed to american baseball, before throwing him into the majors.

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    sure $75 mil is astronomical for an unproven ML pitcher, but so is $51 mil. $24 mil more for a pitcher 5 years younger with the same (or similar) hype/success, etc? sure, what do i care? give it a chance. not my money and now that i’ve stopped (mostly) attending games, it’s not like i’m paying for it in any way.

  • felixpanther

    I think he will worth over 100 million, think about the tv right, the endosement that that Yankees will get, he’s more than a RHP

  • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

    Oh what the heck, it’s just money, right?