Nov
02

Agent calls Yankees a ‘dark horse’ in Iwakuma bidding

By

Via NPB Tracker, agent Don Nomura called the Yankees a “dark horse” in the bidding for Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a classic case of an agent trying to drive up the price by looping the Yanks into the mix. I posted about Iwakuma yesterday, and we have zero indication that they actually have interest in acquiring him, at least until this report from his agent. The posting process started today, so we should found out a results in the next week or so.

  • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S

    I hope the Red Sox pay out the nose for him like they did Daisuke, then have him suck like Daisuke.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a classic case of an agent trying to drive up the price by looping the Yanks into the mix.

    (nods)

    • http://www.facebook.com/cecala Joseph Cecala

      (nods as well)

    • Gonzo

      Just curious, but why would an agent want the bidding for his player to go up? Doesn’t that money go to his current team?

      Wouldn’t it be more like an agent trying to get his player more attention and looks?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        But a higher posting fee with more bidders involved is something agents use as a proxy for estimated demand when the subsequent contract is negotiated.

        DiceK got more money than any other NPB import because his posting fee was higher than any other NPB import. Nomura will go into negotiations saying “Since he was posted for X million dollars, it means he’s worth X million per year, or he’s going back to Japan.”

        • Gonzo

          I see your point. However, DiceK got more money and a higher posting fee because of who he was and his hype. There is a flaw in the way you put it.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            I didn’t say it wasn’t flawed.

            • Gonzo

              Not the system, your logic. You stated that DiceK got the most money because his posting was the highest. You ignored the fact that the main reason why he got the most money was that he was the most hyped and biggest import in a long time.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                No, I didn’t ignore it, it’s part of the process.

                He got the most money because his posting fee was the highest because he was hyped because he was a big import. They’re all related.

                • Gonzo

                  You didn’t ignore it, you just failed to mention it. To my point that his agent is trying to garner more attention for his client, not necessarily increase the bidding. The increase in bidding is the byproduct of his real motives. You seem to think his goal is the byproduct. I could be wrong, but we are on different sides of the same coin. It just sounds weird your way.

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    In my opinion, it sounds weird your way because you insist on splitting the smallest and least significant of hairs.

                    • Gonzo

                      Oh, dear lord. You can take it personal if you want. I simply pointed out something that is flawed in your logic. Don’t you do that like 20 times a day?

                      It’s ok to be wrong on the internet dude.

                    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                      Which one of us is taking it personal, now?

                    • Gonzo

                      Not me. I am actually amused by this.

                    • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S

                      …Why can’t we be friends, why can’t we be friends, why can’t we be friends, why can’t we be friends…

                    • Gonzo

                      I’ll agree to disagree. It’s all good.

  • I Voted 4 Kodos

    I hope that they take a chance and submit a low bid. He sounds like the type that might be able to squeak out a decent year or two on deception alone.

  • vinny-b

    japanese pitchers = intentional walk

    • http://twitter.com/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

      Just like Hiroki Kuroda right? Or Hideo Nomo? Or Hisanori Takahashi? Let’s not go down the ‘Dominicans are lazy’ path with this.

      • vinny-b

        let’s.

        political correctness = sucks @ss

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Broads with ponytails are stupid. I said it.

        • FIPster Doofus

          It was politically correct of you to substitute an @ for the letter itself in the word “ass,” for what it’s worth.

          Also, Hiroki Kuroda – with his 2.06 BB/9 during his MLB career – says hello.

          • Poopy Pants

            Someone doesn’t understand what ‘politically correct’ means.

  • Joey – hughes#34

    Eh, I guess he could be alright for a 5th starter if Pettitte retires or Lee doesn’t sigh with the yanks. I would still prefer that job go to Joba but it doesn’t look like the yanks see him as a starter.

    • http://theblogthatruthbuilt.com Craig

      Exactly. Pass on this cat and his low ceiling. If they’re pinched for a starter, Joba is the best way to go. They either need to put him back in the rotation or trade him.

  • dan

    darvish or no one.

    • vinny-b

      media hype

      Dice K was a better japanese prospect.

  • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

    Iwakuma’s four-seam fastball averaged about 91 mph in the WBC. He got 11 inches of hop and six inches of tail, which is pretty typical for a four-seamer. He threw it 19 percent of the time to left-handed batters and 24 percent of the time to right-handed batters. He had some trouble throwing it for strikes, missing for a ball 48 percent of the time. Here is a photo of his four-seam fastball grip.

    Iwakuma’s two-seam, or sinking, fastball averaged 90 mph, and he got eight inches of hop and nine inches of tail on the pitch, which is about four to five inches of movement relative to his four-seamer. He threw the sinker 17 percent of the time to left-handed batters and 18 percent of the time to right-handed batters. He did a better job throwing this pitch for strikes (68 percent) and he induced six ground ball outs against four air balls. Here is a photo of his two-seam fastball grip.

    His split-finger fastball averaged 86 mph, and he got three inches of hop and eight inches of tail on the pitch due to spin. Adding in the effect of gravity, the splitter dropped about nine inches relative to his four-seamer. He threw the splitter 31 percent of the time to left-handed batters and 20 percent of the time to right-handed batters. It was his main strikeout pitch, accounting for five of his nine strikeouts in the last three games of the WBC. Batters swung and missed at 34 percent of his splitters, which is an excellent mark. Here is a photo of his split-finger grip.

    Iwakuma’s slider averaged 80 mph, and he got four inches of horizontal deflection on the pitch. He threw the slider 20 percent of the time to left-handed batters and 35 percent of the time to right-handed batters. He did a decent job of throwing this pitch for strikes (63 percent), but it didn’t deceive the hitters that much, only garnering whiffs seven percent of the time, half the major-league rate for the slider. Here is a photo of his slider grip.

    He threw a curveball infrequently, and it averaged 72 mph, with seven inches of lateral deflection and three inches of drop due to spin. He threw the curve 13 percent of the time to left-handed batters and only three percent of the time to right-handed batters. Here is a photo of his curveball grip.

    Iwakuma’s splitter is the only pitch that strikes me as an above-average major league pitch. His other pitches seem passable, but I’m somewhat skeptical whether they will play against major-league hitters.

    • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

      That’s a SR from a reputable source. Posting (almost) complete articles is a bit of a no-no, so I wont link back to it.

      If you want to have some fun, try to guess where it’s from. For those of you who want to say ‘my dog’s ass’, I’ll just preemptively say you’re wrong.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Mike Pagliarulo?

        #notserious

        • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

          It’s amazing how little nostalgia I have for just about every Yankee from the 1980’s. I could wake up one morning and hear that Rick Cerone, Dennis Rasmussen, Mike Gallego, Alvaro Espinoza and Bob Tewksbury could be riding on a bus that goes over a cliff, and I don’t think I’d stop eating my cornflakes.

          • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S

            Any decade where Mets win the WS = Generally not a good decade.

      • Evan

        Mike Fast from BP.

      • FIPster Doofus

        Your cat’s ass, clearly.

    • Joey – hughes#34

      From this scouting reports it seems like he is a jack of all trades, master of none, as far as pitches go.

      He can only get by with deception for so long.

      • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

        Maybe, but guys who mix their pitches well and throw strikes can be effective without any one outstanding pitch. The real key with Japanese pitchers not getting gun shy in the bigs. Way too many have come here and thrown a quality pitch that gets deposited in the seats, and then they start nibbling. Nomo and Dice-K come to mind. They have to stay aggressive to be successful.

        • Joey – hughes#34

          True, but you can say that about most pitchers, not just Japanese pitchers.

          • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

            No doubt. It’s only worth noting because some of them had huge success in Japan, and then fizzled in the US.

            • Joey – hughes#34

              Yea, I kinda see Japan as AAAA though. Better then AAA but not necessarily good enough to stick it in the majors, thus the inflated numbers.

  • Andrew Brotherton

    I think if we could get him on a two year deal I’d go for it. He could be a great 6th or 7th starter. Give him around 20 starts and use him out of the pen the rest of the time. Basically an Aceves like role.

    • Joey – hughes#34

      Speaking of Ace, any word on his injury/surgery?

  • zs190

    Doesn’t make sense for Yankees to bid much on him, so I guess they are only a dark horse team in the sense that if nobody else bids high, they are in contention.

    We have two rotation spots available and Andy Pettitte and Cliff Lee are both available still. It does not make any sense to invest 10+ million in a starting pitcher until one of those two is retired/off the market.

  • http://theblogthatruthbuilt.com Craig

    I don’t want anything to do with this guy at all.