Sep
09

Mailbag: Darvish, Felix, Nova, Wang, Banuelos

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Just four questions this week, but they’re good ones. We’ll look at where the money for Yu Darvish would be coming from, bad blood between the Yankees and Mariners, an Ivan Nova-Chien-Ming Wang comparison, and comps for Manny Banuelos. Remember to use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar whenever you send a question in.

(Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

Mark asks: In regards to your recent post on Yu Darvish, can you explain how any team, let along the Yankees, can afford to pay a one-time posting fee of $40 million in these current economic times? I always thought the Steinbrenners ran the Yanks at break-even or at a slight loss. Unless MLB allows them to borrow from their YES broadcast subsidiary, I cannot imagine any owner, even the Steinbrenners, having that kind of cash lying around in a liquid investment, but I could be wrong. Or are posting fees paid out over the life of the contract? If not, I wonder why it doesn’t make more sense financially for the Yankees to boost their payroll by say $10-15 million as a way of spreading the wealth around to more players versus just one.

The posting fee is a one-time payment that has to be made when the player signs his contract, so the Red Sox had to cut the Seibu Lions a $51.1M check for Daisuke Matsuzaka back in December of 2006. If the team and the player don’t agree to a deal, like what happened with the A’s and Hisashi Iwakuma this past offseason, then the team doesn’t have to pay the posting fee.

I have no idea what the Yankees’ finances look like, but I’m certain they have $40M+ lying around somewhere to make a payment like that. With a $200M payroll, they’re making ~$17M payments for player salaries twice a month (just salaries, doesn’t not include benefits and non-player personnel), so I’m sure the cash is somewhere in Yankee Global Enterprises. I hear the New Stadium comes equipped with a cash printing press in the basement*, actually. I know I kinda danced around the question but like I said, I haven’t seen their books, but I have to think there’s $40M on reserve somewhere, likely much more than that.

* This may or may not be true.

Elliot asks: While this is very speculative, do you think that Jack Zduriencik getting a two-year extension with the Mariners hurts the Yankees ability to trade for King Felix? Do you think there is still bad blood between Cashman and him because of the failed Cliff Lee Negotiations? 

Felix Hernandez is not getting traded anytime soon, with or without Zduriencik’s extension. He’s only 25 and is under contract for four more years (three more after this season), he’s absolutely going to be part of the next winning Mariners team. They’re not some small-market outfit, they have tons of cash to throw around and a pretty strong young core with Felix, Michael Pineda, Justin Smoak, and Dustin Ackley. They could turn that team around in a year.

As for possible bad blood, yeah I do think there is some, but I don’t think it’s enough to get in the way of a potential Felix trade. He’s a very special case. When it comes to bit pieces though, a spare reliever or a bench bat, then forget it, you can find that stuff anywhere. Zduriencik did what he felt was best for his team, but I have to believe he burned some bridges with that maneuver. I’m sure other teams noticed too.

(Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Mark asks: Do you think Ivan Nova compares favorably to Chien-Ming Wang at this point of his career?

Yes, I do think Nova now is better than Wang then, but they are different pitchers. Yeah, both rely on ground balls, but Wang relied on them to the extreme, I mean he never struck anyone out (3.3 K/9 from 2005-2006) and was regularly over 60% grounders before his foot and shoulder gave out. Nova is more of a 50-55% ground ball guy with 5.5 K/9 or so, and I’d happily trade about ten percentage points of ground balls for one extra strikeout every four innings. Wang was also a year older than Nova is now when he debuted, and although it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s not insignificant.

I will say this, Wang generated more consistently weak contact than I can remember ever seeing out of one pitcher. The history of baseball says it should not have worked for a guy allowing that many balls to be put into play (especially for a team as defensively awful as the 2005-2007 Yankees, man were they terrible with the glove), but it did because he never seemed to let the ball out of the infield. Wang was a 3.60-4.00 ERA guy before getting hurt, and that’s pretty much what I think Nova can be most years, with a little more at his peak.

Patrick asks: Who’s a good comparison for Manny Banuelos? I’d love to say Johan Santana but that’s unfair. What about Ricky Romero?

This question was sent in just a few minutes after Sweeny Murti said a scout dropped a Romero comp on Banuelos, and I’m guessing that’s not an accident. Looking strictly at the whole low-to-mid-90′s fastball/knockout changeup/third pitch curveball thing, then Romero’s a very good comp. The Blue Jays ace uses a two-seamer as well, plus he’s an inch or two taller than the Yankees young southpaw, but otherwise it fits. Of course when Romero was Banuelos’ age, he was a sophomore at Cal State Fullerton, a year away from being drafted (sixth overall in 2005), and four years away from making his big league debut. The two have had very, very different development paths.

Johan’s third pitch was always a slider, and plus his changeup was one of the best we’ll ever see. That’s an unfair comparison to slap on anyone, nevermind just Banuelos. Cole Hamels, Jaime Garcia, and John Danks are also fastball-change-curve, but all three of those guys have added cutters in recent years and are a few inches taller as well. They’re better comps than Santana, but still not perfect. Jeff Francis, Jason Vargas, and Mark Buehrle have the same repertoire, but none of them throw as hard as Banuelos.

That Romero/Hamels/Garcia/Danks group is pretty damn good, and I’m sure the Yankees would be absolutely thrilled if Banuelos develops into any one of them. They’re all well-above-average starters with strikeout stuff, and with the exception of Garcia (who’s in just his second full year as a big leaguer), they’ve shown the ability to stay healthy and eat up innings year after year. Getting that kind of value from Banuelos would be a major player development win.

Categories : Mailbag
  • Ted Nelson

    Good stuff.

    Even if the Yankees don’t have $40 mill lying around I doubt they’d have much trouble getting a fat line of credit. After a full season of operations I’d guess they have the $40 mill, too, though. And of course there’s the luxury tax issue which would seem to ultimately discount that $40 mill investment compared to $40 mill in payroll. (I don’t know how a transfer fee is taxed vs. payroll.)

    I sort of doubt any bad blood the Yankees have towards the Mariners would interfere with a deal getting done. Maybe it would stop them from making a desperation move where they know they’re overpaying but just do it anyway for a short-term gain. I have to guess that most deals they would do, though, are going to be ones the Yankees feel improve their team… and I don’t see letting a grudge stand in the way of that. At least not consciously, maybe subconsciously they’d be less likely due to animosity… which of course assumes there is some animosity.

    • Rick in Boston

      I believe the one-time payment is not taxed as part of payroll.

      • Dan

        This is why I don’t get why so many people would prefer Wilson to Darvish. Wilson is most likely going to cost around 100 million dollars total and a higher annual salary that is going to be further increased because of the luxury tax effect it will have. However, by signing Darvish the 40 million posting fee and maybe 50-60 million dollar salary will have a much lower influence on their luxury tax and allow them more flexibility in signing other players. Granted Darvish is more of an unknown than Wilson, but Darvish is still pretty young and should be able to have a few years of success.

        • Rick in Boston

          My big issue with Darvish is the same that Mike has – lots of innings on that arm from a young age. You’d also be looking at moving him from a one start/week pitcher to being part of a 5-man rotation, which has been an issue for pitchers coming from Japan in the past.

          • Dan

            I am not discounting that the innings are a concern, but you should still be able to get a few good years out of him before the innings start to take a toll. I think he has better stuff than most of the other Japanese pitchers that have come over, maybe Dice-K would be the closest comparison and he had injury problems, but he still gave the Sox one really good year and a few decent years (with a number of DL stints) before this year.

          • Ted Nelson

            People don’t seem to have a problem with Felix Hernandez or CC Sabathia, and both of those guys have had a whole lot of innings on their arms from a young age too… I’m not saying Yu is as good or durable as those guys, but I think the innings thing gets overblown. Especially since Yu was pitching once a week, which might reduce the strain of the same number of innings/pitches compared to a 5-man. And also because I haven’t seen anything on his pitch counts, just innings. People say innings aren’t as important as pitches… then they turn around and rely on innings when that’s convenient to support their hypothesis.

            I would imagine there’s a correlation between usage and injury, especially for young pitchers. However, I think it’s more marginal than deciding to sign or not sign a perfectly healthy guy based on IP as the deciding factor. Some guys with normal or even light work loads get hurt, and some guys eat innings for years. Heck, Xavier Nady needed two TJSs as an OF.

            I can see taking Wilson over Yu (though I can also see arguing the opposite… I don’t watch any Japanese baseball, so I’m really not in a position to say), I just don’t think IP should be the deciding factor. Wilson only pitched 73.2 innings in 2009… but that’s because he was a reliever appearing in 74 games. It’s a different sort of stress on the arm. Not sure if it’s less or more. Plenty of relievers seem to get hurt from my non-scientific observations.

            The Japanese transition I can more see, and the combination of the two… but I’d still want a lot more information about him as an individual before making a decision based on general trends in usage/injury and moving from one league to another.

            • Rick in Boston

              A year ago, Darvish averaged 124 pitches per start (Source).

              In 2011, it’s been 121 with a high of 145 and a low of 103. (Source

              • Ted Nelson

                Interesting, thanks.

                There are still the issues of more rest between starts, a smaller ball, and no one-to-one link between usage and injury… but pitches rather than just innings is a good start.

        • Ed

          When the posting fee gets that high, I’m not either pitcher is a clear win financially.

          If they pay $40m up front, that’s probably limiting the payroll for next season. If they sign Wilson, the payments would be more evenly distributed over time, or possibly backloaded. The value of money decreases over time, so the team would usually prefer backloaded deals over frontloaded.

          I also don’t think the luxury tax is nearly as big a deal as it used to be. Every year the luxury tax threshold increases, but the team’s payroll has stayed in a fairly narrow range from ’05-’11. Their luxury tax peaked at $34m back in 2005, but they’re probably going to be down around $12m this year. Yeah, it still stings to pay it, but they’ve been willing to pay a lot more in the past.

          • Ted Nelson

            Yeah, that’s a fair point about the time value of money.

            However… without actually calculating the net present value of proposed contracts and the value each player brings to the team… not sure how you can determine the value of each player.

            • Bryan

              Quite the financier Ted. The NPV of Darvish’s would be higher since the posting fee is paid in present times.

              Value of each player would be based on WAR, though a slight discount should be given to Darvish since he plays in an inferior league, then an adjustment should be made since Darvish pitches with less frequency.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 Gonzo

          I think it has to do with paying that much money for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors.

          Also, while it’s true that the money for posting is not taxed luxury-wise, you must also consider the economics of paying a ~$50mm in the first year of a deal (Darvish) vs. not reaching ~$50mm later in the deal (probably after 2nd year for Wilson). It doesn’t seem like much, but it is something to consider when going over net present value.

          • Dan

            I agree, but it also stings when you are potentially paying 17-18 million to Wilson at the end of his contract when his production has significantly declined from what it is now, and similarly will hurt the financial flexibility later in the deal.

            • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 Gonzo

              That’s part of the point. $17-18mm four or five years from now is less than $17-18mm in the first two years.

              Also, I won’t assume Wilson’s production has significantly declined in five years. It might, but I won’t just say it will because he’s older.

              • Ted Nelson

                You won’t assume CJ Wilson will decline at 35 years old… but you will assume Yu Darvish is more of a risk having not pitched in MLB? AJ Burnett pitched plenty in MLB, and the guy still stinks.

                The point as I understand it, though, is really about value. Comparing the net present value of their contracts is important (not that you’ve really done that, but made a valid point about time value of money), but it only tells us how much they’re getting paid. Greg Golson is paid less than Curtis Granderson, but clearly we have to consider their contribution to arrive at their value. Just as much as “Yu hasn’t pitched in MLB” is a valid point, so is “CJ Wilson will be in his mid-30s at the end of the deal.” It’s not scientific, but it’s comparable to you not actually calculate the NPV of their theoretical costs and just pointed to time value of money. Time value of money counter acts luxury tax to some extent we have no quantified. CJ being old counter acts Yu being Japanese to some extent we haven’t quantified in terms of their theoretical value. Maybe Wilson ages really well and bucks the trend, but maybe Yu transitions really smoothly and is a great MLB pitcher bucking the trend.

                • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 Gonzo

                  Also, I won’t assume Wilson’s production has significantly declined in five years. It might, but I won’t just say it will because he’s older.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    My point is that it’s a similar claim to Yu being risky because he’s pitched in Japan rather than MLB. Both are based on historical evidence. Pitchers have tended to decline just as Japanese pitchers have tended to be volatile in MLB. Which trend is stronger? I have no idea.

                    I do think that teams should be looking at the general trends, but I also think that they should be trying to beat the market by researching their individual investments. How do Yu’s performance and stuff compare to other Japanese imports? How does his stuff objectively compare to MLB pitchers? What’s the precedent for relief innings early in a career prolonging a SP prime? (Possibly very good between Schilling, Wells, and Rogers.) How do CJ’s stuff and performance play into that analysis along with a general comparison with pitchers in general? And then, of course, there’s the amount it’s actually going to take to sign them.

                    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 Gonzo

                      Like I said below, I never said Yu wasn’t worth it. I never said Wilson was worth it. I never compared the two and said one was worth it relative to the other.

                      I never made any of these statements.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      And I never said you did. Why are you misrepresenting my statements when you are accusing me of doing that to you?????????????

                      You did acknowledge the risk inherent in signing a Japanese pitcher. You then turned around and said you will not acknowledge the risk inherent in signing an old pitcher because his decline may not be ***significant*** I was merely pointing out the contradiction. That’s all.

                    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 Gonzo

                      You did acknowledge the risk inherent in signing a Japanese pitcher.

                      I did not. I was simply pointing out what some other people believe.

                      You then turned around and said you will not acknowledge the risk inherent in signing an old pitcher because his decline may not be ***significant***

                      I did not. I actually said it might even be a significant decline. I worded it to mean that we cannot 100% guarantee a significant decline.

                • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 Gonzo

                  Also, I think you have me pegged for stating something I haven’t.

                  I never said anything that I believe Yu is not worth it because he never played in the majors. That’s an assumption you’ve made about me.

                  You tend to do that a lot.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    Here is what you said: “I think it has to do with paying that much money for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors.”

                    Here is what I said: “You won’t assume CJ Wilson will decline at 35 years old… but you will assume Yu Darvish is more of a risk having not pitched in MLB?”

                    I don’t know if you misread what I wrote or what, but I don’t see how I mis-paraphrased you. Why would Yu not pitching in the majors impact the decision at all unless you think it increases the risk? (Which I agree with, by the way…) If it doesn’t increase the risk, why does it matter whether you pay that much for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors?

                    So… what do I do a lot? Paraphrase exactly what people wrote?

                    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 Gonzo

                      I think it has to do with paying that much money for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors.

                      This was a specific response to Dan’s post. It has nothing to do with my beliefs. It is a simple speculation as to what other people beilieve.

                      “You won’t assume CJ Wilson will decline at 35 years old… but you will assume Yu Darvish is more of a risk having not pitched in MLB?”

                      Yes that is a misquote. I used the words signicantly decline not decline. It was also response to Dan’s next post.

                      So yes, you misquoted me. You also assumed that I took a position when I did not. I did not take the position that I like Wilson more because Darvish has never played MLB ball.

                      If you read what I said, I never said I prefer one over the other.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      “Significantly decline” vs. “decline”… come on. That’s semantics about ill-defined generalities. If I say that Player X is “great” and you paraphrase me by saying he’s “good” I’m not going to accuse you of misrepresenting my statement. If you said he’s going to decline X% to Y level and I misrepresented that… different story.

                      “So yes, you misquoted me.”

                      No. I did not quote you at all. I paraphrased what you said. If what you wrote is not what you meant, maybe you should be clearer next time.

                      “If you read what I said, I never said I prefer one over the other.”

                      Where did I ever say that you did. I said that you acknowledge the risk in signing a player from Japan, but say you will not acknowledge the trend of decline (significant or otherwise… what is significant? 5% 10% 20% 50%????????????????????) among older pitchers.

                    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 Gonzo

                      So this is all about me saying something about Wilson declining?

                      This is the original quote:
                      Also, I won’t assume Wilson’s production has significantly declined in five years. It might, but I won’t just say it will because he’s older.

                      I never said he won’t decline. Shoot, I never said he won’t significantly decline. I just said that I wouldn’t assume he will significantly decline in five years.

                      So are you saying that I should assume he will significantly decline in 5 years?

                      Since this can go on for hours, what exactly do you think I am saying?

                      I said that you acknowledge the risk in signing a player from Japan, but say you will not acknowledge the trend of decline (significant or otherwise… what is significant? 5% 10% 20% 50%????????????????????) among older pitchers.

                      I never said I wouldn’t “acknowledge the trend of decline (significant or otherwise… what is significant? 5% 10% 20% 50%????????????????????) among older pitchers.”

                      Please tell me where I said that? And yes, I do believe there is a difference between decline and significant decline.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      The difference between “decline” and “significantly decline” is intangible and relative. Where’s the cut-off? Is your definition the same as the person next to your’s? It’s objective. It’s semantics.

                      I have made it clear what I think you typed. I have gone so far as to copy, paste, and quote exactly WHAT YOU DID TYPE. I pointed out that in the exact same comment you referenced the risk of Japanese imports, while disagreeing with another commenter’s remark that Wilson’s 35 year old production will most likely be “significantly declined from what it is now” based on historical evidence. Without quantifying anything you stated that Japanese pitchers are risky, but that you would not *assume* CJ Wilson would *significantly decline* by age 34, 35, 36…

                      I was not trying to misrepresent you. I read exactly what you wrote. I pointed out the contradiction. Instead of squabbling over semantics, why not discuss the issue? Why accuse me of misrepresenting you rather than just clarify what you meant? “I typed the first part in response to Dan, here’s what I really meant/think…” would have been fine. Why take it to another level by accusing me of always misrepresenting people?

                    • Ted Nelson

                      “I never said I wouldn’t “acknowledge the trend of decline (significant or otherwise… what is significant? 5% 10% 20% 50%????????????????????) among older pitchers.””

                      You did not acknowledge it by saying “Also, I won’t assume Wilson’s production has significantly declined in five years. It might, but I won’t just say it will because he’s older.”

                    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 Gonzo

                      It’s been fun, but I gotta run.

                      If this is semantics, this could go on forever.

                      Again, I never said I think there is a risk with Japanese imports. You simply cut and paste something out of context.

                      This is the original quote:
                      I think it has to do with paying that much money for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors.

                      It makes no mention of Darvish being from Japan or being a Japanese import. It could be applied to minor league players, college players, high school players, Cuban players, etc… Furthermore, it is not stated to be my opinion. It is stated as a response to be someone else’s post about what other people’s opinions might be.

                      I pointed out that in the exact same comment you referenced the risk of Japanese imports, while disagreeing with another commenter’s remark that Wilson’s 35 year old production will most likely be “significantly declined from what it is now” based on historical evidence.

                      I did not reference the risk of Japanese imports. See above. Another poster said Wilson’s talent will “significantly declined from what it is now.” I did not say the poster is absolutely wrong and his statement could not be true. I actually said it might be correct. I just said I won’t assume it will significantly decline. I cited no historical evidence and neither did the other poster.

                      You did not acknowledge it [trend of aging pitchers declining] by saying “Also, I won’t assume Wilson’s production has significantly declined in five years. It might, but I won’t just say it will because he’s older.”

                      That is correct. I did not acknowledge nor deny the trend of aging pitchers declining. I do not disagree with this trend and stating nothing to deny it.

                      The rest is pure semantics. Let me clarify, I think Wilson will decline with age. I will not deny the trend of aging pitchers decling! However, I don’t think it’s a 100% certainty that he will significantly decline.

                      Before we get into another semantic battle, I think a significant decline is turning into non-starter quality pitcher. That was my definition.

                      If that what this was all about, why didn’t you ask me for my definition before vaulting into this back and forth?

            • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 Gonzo

              I looked at FA deals for the 2006-07 offseason. It’ll give you a chuckle. It wasn’t a good offseason to be handing out contracts.

              Kind of funny. ESPN has the top four FA’s as Carlos Lee, Barry Zito, Alfonso Soriano, and Jason Schmidt!

      • Ted Nelson

        I have no idea, but I doubt the federal gov’t is letting businesses transfer tens of millions of dollars to pay for services without taking a cut… I assume there’s some tax on that transfer fee (could be wrong, but when can you pay someone $40 mill for something without being taxed?), I just don’t know what rate it’s taxed at compared to payroll or even if it’s paid by the Yankees on top of the fee or comes out of the Japanese team’s pocket/the fee.

        • Rick in Boston

          It might be paid by the Japanese team at whatever rate their government is charging them. Of course, who knows what the loopholes are – many (if not all) Japanese teams are owned by corporations for marketing purposes, meaning that money can give written off dozens of different ways.

        • Ed

          For most countries the US is on good standing with, there are tax exemptions in place. The US wouldn’t tax it. The Japanese team would have to deal with taxes on their end.

          Without the tax exemptions, the Yankees would have to withhold 30% from the amount sent for taxes. As in the Japanese team would get $28m and the IRS $12m.

          • Ted Nelson

            With all due respect, I’d like to see some sort of source cited before taking the word of some anonymous blog poster whose authority on the taxation of pro baseball transfer fees I have no idea about. You may be 100% correct and may be an authority on the subject… but someone else could have just as easily typed the opposite and hit “submit comment.”

            • TLVP

              This is like any other investment. If, say GE, buys a asset abroad taht is then used in the US they aren’t taxed when they buy it, the sellers are taxed in their jurisdiction. From the Yankees perspective the question is when the $40m (e.g.) is deductable for their tax return. This will almost certainly be straight lined over the life of the contract that Darvish signs (unless he’s released in which case the residual will be write off immediately from a book value perspective and it will also be deductable immediately from a tax perspective).

              • Ted Nelson

                I appreciate your clarification… but it doesn’t address my comment. I specifically said that I was not saying Ed was wrong. I was saying let’s see a source. Just like Ed, your statements seem totally credible. I have no idea who you are, though. I have no idea if you are correct. I could have just as easily typed the opposite of what you did and hit “submit reply.” You may be the Yankees tax expert for all I know, or you may be making 75% of the things you write up… I have no idea. That’s why I asked Ed for a link. Not to disagree with him.

                And if the Japanese team is taxed you still haven’t really answered my main question (though I may be incorrect on which government is collecting the tax). When I walk down the isle in the grocery store and see a $40 million sticker on the latest Japanese pitching phenom, I pay that plus the sales tax when I check out. When the media reports a $40 million transfer fee, does that include taxes? Does the Japanese team pay the taxes out of the $40 mill? Do they have the leverage to make the Yankees pay the taxes?

              • Bryan

                I would say the posting fee will be treated as a capital payment, therefore the Japanese team won’t pay tax since its not income. Conversely, the Yankees won’t be able to deduct a capital payment from their financial statement.

            • Ed

              Short answer – look up IRS Form W-8BEN. When a US company pays money to a foreign company, they are required to withhold 30% taxes unless the recipient supplies a completed W-8BEN.

        • TLVP

          The recipient gets taxed if there is a profit. Nothing to do with the Yankees

    • Ed

      Posting fees are outside of the luxury tax. That’s a large part of why the Yankees signed Igawa – signing him was cheaper than spending the same money on a free agent.

      • Ted Nelson

        Yeah… that’s exactly what I said: “And of course there’s the luxury tax issue which would seem to ultimately discount that $40 mill investment compared to $40 mill in payroll.”

        • Ed

          Well, your next sentence was “I don’t know how a transfer fee is taxed vs. payroll.”, so I took that to mean you weren’t sure about it.

          • Ted Nelson

            I meant that I would be very surprised if the federal government is letting that much money be exchanged and even leave the country without taking a cut, and that if that’s the case I don’t know if the transfer fee is reported net of taxes.

            • TLVP

              Capital controls went out the window 40 years ago. You can transfer money out of the US freely as long as you are current on you normal taxes and the money isn’t ill gotten

  • Tim

    I look at a bit of a different comp for Nova. He seems to have a bit more of a breaking ball than Wang had. Maybe a better comp is Ivan Nova = Fausto Carmona + better command – maybe 1 or 2 mph. And that could be very interesting.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 Gonzo

    A couple years back, I think someone tried to compare Darvish to two other big name pitchers on the verge of signing MLB deals, Strasburg and Chapman.

    I think the consensus (not 100% positive) was that Strasburg>Darvish>Chapman. If you assume that all clubs believe that, then Chapman’s weird contract becomes the floor. It was touted at a 6/30mm, but it’s complicated with when his bonus is paid out and when he is arb eligible. For shits and giggles let’s just say roughly 6/$30mm+.

    Darvish would get more than that if you assume all clubs held Darvish in a higher light. He would also have gotten less than Strasburg if the assumption holds.

    My question is, what do you think Strasburg would have gotten in a free market deal?

  • vin

    “Wang was a 3.60-4.00 ERA guy before getting hurt, and that’s pretty much what I think Nova can be most years, with a little more at his peak.”

    Remember, 3.6-4.0 ERA is probably like 3.2-3.6 now. Probably better using ERA+ (or ERA- if you prefer). Wang’s ERA was 5-20% better than his peers, and I’d love to see Nova put up that kind of performance in a division with not just the Sox, but also the Rays. The bulk of Wang’s dominance occured when the Yanks and Sox dominated the division. The competition is a bit tougher than it was 5 years ago.

    • Ted Nelson

      I appreciate what you’re saying, but at the same points in their career… I think they’ve got to be close. Nova is at a 110 ERA+ this season, and I would guess it’s been better lately than early in the season. Wang had 116 IP his first season at 25, whereas Nova had only 42 at 23.

  • the Other Steve S.

    So, how much of a posting fee did we get when Darrel Rasnor went to Japan?

  • Preston

    I was as mad at Jack Z as anybody for balking at the Cliff Lee deal. But it would be petty for either side to hold a grudge. The M’s were right to balk on David Adams, Cliff Lee didn’t really want to be here. And we get to keep Jesus Montero. I don’t regret the non-trade at all (that .225/.315/.387 line from Justin Smoak makes me pretty happy as well).

  • Monteroisdinero

    Having seen Banuelos in person at Trenton earlier this year and on TV at ST, I commented last night on the open thread that there were similarities to Romero.

    Hopefully in 5-6 years he will have far surpassed Romero.