Darvish “highly likely” to be posted this offseason

25 things you don't know about baseball
Game 148: A third try for 20

Ken Rosenthal reports (with a hat tip to MLBTR) that the latest Japanese sensation, righthander Yu Darvish, is “highly likely” to be posted by the Nippon Ham Fighters this coming winter. It’s the same process that Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kei Igawa went through, meaning MLB teams will bid for the rights to negotiate with the player, and then discuss a contract separately.

The Yankees have been all over Darvish, having sent some serious heat to watch him in the not-too-distant past. Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker explained why Darvish is the real deal over at FanGraphs earlier this year, and it’s not hard to connect the dots with the Yanks in need of at least one, but likely two starting pitchers after the season. Believe it or not, Darvish is close to two full months younger than Phil Hughes.

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25 things you don't know about baseball
Game 148: A third try for 20
  • Johan Iz My Brohan

    Instead of paying the ridiculous cost it’s going to take just to be able to talk to him, can the Yankees just trade Igawa and his salary to the Hammies instead?

    • http://twitter.com/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

      Doing so actually costs the Yanks more money.

      • http://www.informedinstigation.com JustinPBG

        How much longer we got on that? Ends after 2012 right?

        • YankeesJunkieinMadrid

          2011

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

          Igawa? Is contract is up after next season.

  • http://twitter.com/kschmidt2 Kiersten

    Hideki Irabu. ugh.
    Kei Igawa. ugh.
    Dice-K. meh.

    Pass.

    • whozat

      Hideo Nomo. damn.
      Hiroki Kuroda. solid.

      Now what?

      • http://twitter.com/kschmidt2 Kiersten

        National League?

        I’m just not a fan of the idea of spending tons of money just to work out a contract with a guy who’s never pitched in the Majors.

        • http://twitter.com/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

          I think the main thing is comparing Darvish to other Japanese pitchers because well…they’re Japanese.

          I think his stuff is truly different from those other pitchers but your point is still solid.

        • Bill S

          spending tons of money???? 1) as if they don’t do that every year 2)they have tons of it 3) as if it’s your money you’re worried about…

      • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

        70m+ to post, 70m+ to sign.

        Pass.

      • YankeesJunkieinMadrid

        Kuroda and Nomo both had good careers in the majors, but I don’t think the Yankees should spen 130 million to find out how good he really is. If a team wants to pay him 20 million a year (with posting) they are more than welcome to.

    • Accent Shallow

      But Darvish has better stuff (as well as results) better than all three of those guys.

    • HotCarl

      Racially profiling athletes is an absurd thing to do. Dice-ks struggles have nothing to do with how Yu will perform.

      • MikeD

        No, but it could have a lot to do with starting pitchers moving from the Japanese leagues to MLB, and the AL. I have no doubt he has good stuff. I just wouldn’t pay the price.

        • bobtaco

          I believe Darvish is only half Japanese, he has one parent who I think is Iranian.

          • HotCarl

            Yeah, I remember he feared the USA welcome because he was 1/2 Iranian

  • Dream of Electric Sheep

    1. Can his numbers translate in the states?
    2. how much will it cost me just to talk to hiim
    3. Can I allocated that resources better somewhere else.

    • Dream of Electric Sheep

      4. how much estimated revenue can he generate for me ?

    • whozat

      1) http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....real-deal/
      2) Who cares, unless that amount is coming out of the salary budget?
      3) Obviously. Why would anyone make a decision that they don’t believe optimizes their deployment of resources? Even bad decisions like ARod’s last contract are made because the person made them believed they were the right deployment of resources.

      • Dream of Electric Sheep

        1. compelling arguments
        2. Yankees might care, if they have a budget.
        3. obviously to the Yankees? I have yet to hear their takes on this .

        • whozat

          You have yet to hear the Yankee take on whether or not they should deploy resources optimally? Whether or not Darvish is the optimal deployment of the money in the Yankee opinion we don’t know. But that’s not what you said…You said, if there’s a better way to deploy resources they should do that. That’s a tautology. Obviously, one attempts to deploy one’s resources optimally.

          Whether there’s a better deployment of X dollars and a roster spot for Y years than a Darvish contract is unknowable unless you know what X and Y are.

          • Dream of Electric Sheep

            fair point, I did use ‘I’ instead of the Yankees. This is not an argument against for signing of Darvish , rather, the level of concerns I imaging the Yankees would consider in go into such process.

  • Mike Nitabach

    The Nippon Ham Fighters? Do they *fight* against ham, or are they *powered* by ham?

    • Dream of Electric Sheep

      both.

    • Frigidevil

      Powered by Ham, Nippon Ham that is. Japanese teams are named after advertisers. They’re technically the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters

    • Accent Shallow

      The name of the team is the “Fighters”, not the “Ham Fighters”, unfortunately. The name “Nippon Ham” is a major Japanese corporation.

      • Dream of Electric Sheep

        Where is the love for Mario? Jumping Mario would be a great name for a baseball team.

        • Mike Nitabach

          It would be cool if the Yanks were the New York Guss’ Pickles Yankees.

        • Frigidevil

          Yeah, I’m surprised Nintendo doesn’t have a team. Third largest company in Japan and probably the one with biggest global reach.

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

            Doesn’t Nintendo have a huge stake in the Mariners?

            • Dream of Electric Sheep

              I think the the majority owner for the Ms is the chairman for Nintendo corporation. I think Fighting Zelda would be cooler name than the Ms as well.

            • Frigidevil

              Yeah, I knew they had a big chunk but i didn’t realize they’re the majority owners of the Mariners.

              Also i hear you can bring your DS to Safeco and use it to order food and other things, and that’s awesome.

              • Dream of Electric Sheep

                The chairman himself has yet to see a Ms game in person. Imaging that !

                free Johnny Rocket’s burger for old Nintendo Catridges !
                I still have my Zelda gold somewhere, somewhere…

                • Frigidevil

                  Wow that’s kind of messed up, sure some old cartridges are worth a few bucks but I bet there’s a lot of people with some rare games that have been traded for a burger. Mike Tyson’s Punchout!! is worth almost $20!

  • yankees1717

    as much as the price scares me, i would sure as hell love to have this guy in pinstripes.

  • Frigidevil

    Here’s a great article on Darvish that ESPN ran a few years ago. He seems pretty poised for the spotlight. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn.....ge=darvish

    • MikeD

      I remember lots of great articles and “can’t miss” predictions for Dice-K and Irabu. Both have (or had) varying levels of success (yes, even Irabu), but no way Darvish will live up to the hype. Proceed with caution.

  • http://www.progressamericana.com/ Pablo Zevallos

    This would probably end better than signing Cliff Lee. I’m down.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      How can you say that?

  • Jake

    I would love to see Darvish in pinstripes, but I think there’s no way the Yankees can justify the cost of such an unknown quantity. Especially given the risks inherent with all young pitchers.

    Strasburg got ~$20 million, Champan got $30 million, no way they should spend over $100 million more than that to acquire Darvish.

  • whozat

    So, think of it this way…there’s a 24 year old pitcher stuck in AAA that’s got great stuff and command, and he’s been wrecking the league for years, and you can have him for nothing but money.

    Clearly, they’ve done their due-diligence this time — as they did not with Igawa. They’d be insane not to come up with a figure they’re willing to spend and get involved in the process.

    • Jake

      Right, but who would give a 24-year-old in AAA $130 million? In my mind, the posting fee makes his price prohibitive. If they wouldn’t go to $30 for Chapman are they really going to spend four times as much to acquire Darvish?

      • Gonzo

        IIRC, most scouts had Yu>Chapman. It also depends on what the Yanks project for both. If the Yanks projected Chapman as a closer/reliever and Darvish as an ace, then you have an answer on why they may pay way more for Yu.

  • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

    I’ve said it time and time again.

    Comparing Yu Darvish to…well ANYONE…that has come over to the US from Japan is really doing a disservice. It’s like comparing an orange to a t-bone steak.

    Irabu, Dice-k, Igawa…the reasons these guy fail in the majors is because they do not have the FB command nor the velocity to challenge major league hitters on a consistent basis. With that comes a lack of confidence that can’t be recovered. This lack of confidence in their FBs leads them to go to insane amounts of breaking balls that either get hit all over the fucking ballpark or in dice-K case leads to walks and crazy high pitch counts.

    Darvish has command and velocity on a very live FB and alone puts him LIGHT YEARS ahead of his predecessors.

    I’d break the bank for Darvish and would sleep like a baby, even with what will undoubtedly be a pretty hefty posting fee.

    • http://twitter.com/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

      Agreed. There are reasons and arguments not to get him whatever they may be but I don’t like the comparisons like Igawa and how he failed.

    • Frigidevil

      +1
      This guy isn’t some huge upside guy like Aroldis Chapman, he’s already a star.

    • MattG

      “Darvish has command and velocity on a very live FB and alone puts him LIGHT YEARS ahead of his predecessors”

      Spoken like fact, but how do you know? I read very similar, very authoritative, and ultimately very wrong statements concerning Daisuke Matsuzaka.

      And the wear on his arm, and his ability to pitch every fifth day (issues shared by all Japanese pitchers), are valid concerns that should interrupt your sleep ever so little.

    • MikeD

      That’s an unknown. Irabu was called the Japanese Nolan Ryan, throwing harder in Japan than he ever did in the U.S. Same with Dice-K, who registered higher velocities in Japan. Igawa was not considered anywhere near as good as Dice-K, but even his velocity dipped in the U.S. There is a very slight difference in the balls used in Japan compared to MLB, creating both a velocity and command issue for some pitchers. Darvish will face the same.

      There’s always going to be hype, and Darvish’s owners are seeing a big payday coming if they can keep the hype running high.

      I’m not saying he won’t be a solid major league pitcher, but I doubt he’ll be what’s predicted.

      I would love to see Jorge catching Darvish. The language barrier alone would make it worth the price of admission. Jorge trying to tell Darvish what to throw, and Darvish just ignoring him.

    • Avi

      Are you kidding me??
      Irabu was the Japanese NOLAN RYAN (i’m not sure but i think he threw hard). Dice-K was BIGGER than Ichiro and Matsui COMBINED as per erestes destrada (who played in Japan)and said so on Mike and the Mad Dog when he was coming over from Japan. Both had the reputation of throwing VERY hard WITH command. to Spend $100 mil on darvish or even HALF that would be totally ASININE!
      But it fits perfect with Brain Cashman’s pitching acquisitions. Carl Pavano, Jaret wright, Aj burnett, randy johnson, Kevin brown over resigning andy pettitte (after ’03), Javier Vazquez part one, Javier Vazquez the sequel, Kei Igawa..
      i guess Darvish will be a yankee next year. we’re due for one.

  • Hughesus Christo

    After the (EARLY) apparent fail of passing on Chapman, this needs to get done. Also have to think about freeing the franchise to deal some of the MiLB pitchers for deals to acquire long-term talent in the starting lineup.

  • Jake

    Look at it this way, just for the posting fee to negotiate with Darvish, they could absolutely dominate the international free agent market for the next decade. I mean, they could sign everybody.

  • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

    This looks like a job for Mryankee

  • MattG

    All Japanese pitching stars, including Nomo, regressed after early success in the major leagues. A theory would be that they cannot adjust to pitching every fifth day, after being conditioned to pitch once a week for their entire lives.

    There’s just not enough data to prove or disprove that theory, but I find any Japanese pitcher a significant risk until proven otherwise.

    That is to say the Yankees should have interest, but there should be someone more brazen with more interest. Damned if I know who though. I can’t see Theo diving headlong into that pool again, the Mets are too cheap, the Mariners need bats, and on and on.

    • Dream of Electric Sheep

      Age might have factor into this, since most of them are posted after their prime or at their prime.

      Matsusaka could prove to be exception in this.

      • Gonzo

        Most college pitchers adjust to pitching every 5th. Just consider Yu an old college senior.

  • icebird753

    LOL I love the comments here. Before Dice-K signed with Boston, everyone thought he would be awesome as well. He was purported to have a high velocity, an amazing array of pitches, and a young enough age to be a star in MLB for years to come. Sound familiar? Darvish isn’t worth it, not at that price

    • 28 this year

      he was never touted for velocity. It was his six pitches and decent command that made him popular.

      • MikeD

        His velocity was lower than advertised.

  • Gonzo

    Does anyone else think that Yu’s posting fee might be lower than Dice-K’s? I’d say there is a reasonable chance the big money teams might not go north of 50mm. The Dodgers and Mets probably can’t afford it because of ownership’s $ woes. The other factor is that the economy has changed drmatically since Dice-K got posted. I imagine most big $ owners would be hesitant to spend 50mm to get the right to make an offer. I think the M’s and Sox are the only real threats. I can’t imagine Theo convincing Henry to go over 50mm again after signing Lackey and Beckett, and overbidding for Dice-K by a lot.

    I think this puts the Yanks in the driver’s seat. I think a 50mm bid get’s it done and keeps him out of a real contender’s hands.

    • 28 this year

      wow, i should have hit refresh. I have the same point. I think the Rangers could be a threat to some degree since they seem willing to spend on Lee but I doubt they would spend on a lesser known quantity. To be honest, there aren’t that many teams out there that would spend and whoever does, it will be a surprise and in that case, you tip your cap to their gusto and watch what happens.

      • Gonzo

        Nolan Ryan + Yu Darvish = Comedy Gold!!!

    • yanksfan81

      the soxs have 5 pitchers for next yr, Beckett, Dice k and lackey are untradeable and theres no way Buch or lester gets moved. The Mariners are probably going to be heavily involved with there strong ties to japan. I could see the Angels getting involved if they choose a pitcher over Crawford or Werth, Tigers have alot of money coming off the books and maybe texas with there aggressive new ownership group. If Chapman got 30M i would guess that Darvish gets betweenn 35-45m and a 5 yr deal at 12-15m.

      The yanks are in the drivers seat if they want to be, I still think Lee is going to be there top priority but if Pettite retires i could see a very strong push for both

  • 28 this year

    maybe the Yankees should just post a fee they are willing to go. The Red Sox aren’t going to get in on him having six aces in their rotation. There aren’t that many big spending teams around. Post 30 million. If that doesn’t work, move on. I mean, the Red Sox spend 15 million more than us. We only need to beat another team by a dollar for the Fighters to post him to us.

  • j

    Comparisons to Matsuzaka are ill-founded. When you compare them up to their age 21 season, guy blows Dice-K out of the water production wise. The only issue I have with Yu is his health. Hes been pitching 150+ pitches with alarming regularity. Granted, he has starts every six days, but it is concerning to me.

  • Amol

    Considering that Darvish has been ambivalent at best about coming to the US, what happens to the posting fee if he doesn’t sign?

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

      The team still gets it. I’m 99% sure about that.

      • MikeD

        If the Yankees (or any team) win the posting rights and the player decided to stay in Japan, but in three years wants to play in the U.S., would MLB team that won the posting rights still “own” him?

        • Gonzo

          I hate to disagree with Mike, but I was fairly certain (until Mike’s post) the money was returned to the MLB team. I think that a player can be posted year to year because that was definitely talked about when Dice-K’s negotiations went to the very end.

          Now off to internet research!

          • Gonzo

            I was right except for when the money is exchanged. The posting money is ONLY exchanged if a deal is made between the MLB club and the posted ballplayer. That’s why the Red Sox had all the leverage in their negotiations with Dice-K. And yes, a player can be posted subsequent years if he returns to his Japanese team.

            Simplified:
            http://mopupduty.com/index.php.....explained/

            Actual agreement:
            http://jpbpa.net/convention/2001_e.pdf

  • M-Three

    If we have a chance to get Darvish then I say go get him. Some of you are turned off by this because of Dice-K and Igawa but I think I know why most of these Japanese pitchers are bust when they come here.

    Over in Japan they use 6 man rotation and the starters only pitch once a week. They are not use to pitching once every five days. If we get him it doesn’t mean that we have to throw him into the majors right away. To get him use to pitchin once every five days if the Yanks can sign him they should put him down in Scranton for half a season. Let Darvish get use to pitching this kind of schedule. Then in July if all our starter are healthy and pitching well we should convert him to relief just to break him into the bigs wqith the intend of making him a starter again in 2012.

    This may be a big risk for a pitcher who is unproven in the U.S. but I think the risk will be worth the reward. The kid may be something special and it would be a shame if we let Igawa’s falure scary us from acquiring Darvish. I mean I may be alone in this but I regret us not getting Chapman to be our future closer. Lets not pass up the chance to get another ace. It would be a great offseason if we could get Lee and then Darvish as well.

    • MattG

      No, this is backwards. Japanese pitchers have all, without exception I can think of, enjoyed their greatest success immediately after hitting the states. They may not be ready or able to pitch every fifth day, but for most that doesn’t manifest itself for a while.

      • Gonzo

        According to Dusty Baker they are “fresh” when they first arrive. He implied that pitch restrictions stifle them. Great stuff!

  • Matty Ice

    If they go after Lee AND Darvish, that’s an ass ton of money.

  • mike c

    young pitchers like this are almost impossible to get, it’s probably worth a gamble

    • Mike HC

      I feel like Japan continually over hypes their players because the US has to bid on these guys. Of course they are going to talk up their players as if they are the greatest thing since sliced bread, because they know the payday will be larger from the ignorant US MLB teams.

      I want to think he will be great right away, but I doubt it. He seems to clearly be better than Dice-K, but that is not saying much. The Yanks overpay for everyone (except for Damon and Matsui of course, ha) so they might take the chance, but they will almost surely be overpaying.

  • bonestock94

    Imagine Cliff Lee and Yu Darvish both getting signed, and Darvish panning out. Shit it’s not my money. That would be beyond epic.

  • daneptizl

    Darvish sits around 92. Not that that’s not enough, but I don’t see why so many people say he sits higher than that.

  • Hurling Darvish

    One thing to consider is that the posting fee, whether it’s $30MM or $100MM, is NOT subject to luxury tax. Since the Yanks are over the limit every dollar spent on free agents, actually costs a buck twenty (I think the rate is 20%). The Sox spent around $100MM on Daisuke and about half was the posting fee.

    I believe Yu makes about $3-4MM currently, so he should be signable for $5mm or so annually. Yu’s deal would be subject to luxury taxation. By comparison the $20MM per year or so for Cliff Lee carry a far heftier tax premium.

    • Gonzo

      He isn’t coming to the US to play for $5mm annually.

      • http://twitter.com/marcos_aguirre Marcos

        This. For Yu, it’s his big payday, he knows it. I’d imagine that he would want/get around 45/4 or 60/5. perhaps a touch more.

        • Hurling Darvish

          He’s not a free agent, and has virtually no leverage. When Matsuzaka got posted, Boras wanted $15MM annually, but got about half of that. Maybe Darvish will get a bit more than $5MM, but not as much as you suggest, hopefully.

          Every single Japanese posted player has signed, and none got “premium” contract.

    • Hurling Darvish

      I was mistaken about the luxury tax rate. The Yanks have to pay 40% on top of every dollar spent at this point. FORTY percent. If Cliff Lee is signed for $20MM per, it will actually cost $28MM per for 4 yrs, at least. Cliff will be 32years old next season.

  • Sean

    I don’t think we can have a pitcher with Muslim heritage that close to ground zero. JK

  • Hurling Darvish

    It is true that no Japansese starting pitchers have sustained excellence at the MLB level, but we are dealing with a miniscule sample size when it comes to top flight, in their prime pitchers. For the sabremetrically inclined, it’s just not good science to judge Darvish on the performance of a handful of other guys, who happen to be all over the map as far the kind of players they are/were.

    Any true Japanese free agent is going to be around 29 or 30years old, like Kuroda for example. Posted guys like Igawa (28yrs) and Daisuke (26yrs), although not old, have been abused for years in Japan by American pitching standards. Darvish is much younger and statiscally superior to any previously posted pitcher.

    The Yanks have been the most unlucky with the Japanese pitchers they acquired at great expense: Irabu and Igawa. Igawa is a good guy who works hard, but just doesn’t have MLB stuff, period. Irabu had some natural stuff, but was a lazy, unprofessional player, a stark contrast compared to guys like Matsui or Ichiro.

    In a long-winded way, I’m saying that the Yanks should trust their scouts/personnel evaluators when determining if and how much they want Darvish, and not base the decisions on previous Japanese pitchers.