Sherman: Front office unlikely to okay big bid for Darvish

Open Thread: World Series Game Two
Mailbag: Montero, Miller, Outfield, Yu, Hughes

Via Joel Sherman, Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman are unlikely to authorize a big money bid to win the negotiating rights for Yu Darvish this winter. Sherman hints that the Kei Igawa fiasco may be scaring them, and if that’s true, I assume they’ll never sign another white guy after the A.J. Burnett mess. Seriously, if they’re going to start ignoring talent pools because of nationality, soon enough they won’t have anyone to wear the uniform.

Anyway, I suspect this is all just posturing. No team, let alone the Yankees, has any incentive to come out and say “we’re going to bid big on Darvish.” It’s counterproductive. The team’s scouts love the right-hander according to Sherman, so they’d be foolish not to make a serious run at him.

Open Thread: World Series Game Two
Mailbag: Montero, Miller, Outfield, Yu, Hughes
  • Thomas Cassidy

    Then I guess that means Darvish is gonna be a great pitcher over here.

  • RalphieD

    and the plot thickens (or in reality, stays the same)

  • RalphieD

    and the plot thickens (or in reality, stays the same)

  • Gonzo

    Sounds like you are assuming it’s because of nationality. That seems a tad unfair at this point.

    • Thomas Cassidy

      It makes sense. All Japanese pitchers have sucked since coming over here. Nomo had a few good years, and that’s it. Kuroda and Saito have been decent. Everyone else has sucked.

      They should be skeptical, but I’d go after him before Wilson. And he shits the bed in the playoffs.

      • Gonzo

        That might be the same line of thinking that made teams avoid Mike Trout in the draft.

        • Thomas Cassidy

          Mike Trout didn’t cost over 100 million dollars.

          • Gonzo

            My post was more about judging talent on something other than locality not about money.

          • Highland Cow

            Exactly. This isn’t the same “line of thinking” at all. A team will have to shell out $30 million just to have the rights to negotiate a contract with Darvish. At that point, Darvish will essentially become the team’s highest pitching prospect.

            • Dave

              A team doesn’t shell out anything to negotiate a contract. They only pay if they reach agreement on one.

              • Highland Cow

                Salient point.

      • jramey

        Uehera is good

    • Mike Axisa

      I was being sarcastic more than anything with the Burnett crack. I don’t think the Yankees will avoid all Japanese pitchers from here on out because of Igawa.

      • Gonzo

        My bad. Didn’t mean to accuse you of anything.

        • Brian S.

          It’s reverse racism!
          /Fox News’d

          • Jesse

            I laughed.

    • Ted Nelson

      If “their scouts love him” and they are “scared off because of Igawa”… what else is that besides nationality? I don’t think it’s Mike who brought up nationality, but Sherman.

      • Gonzo

        Exactly, it was Sherman who brought up Igawa. If you read his tweet, he doesn’t specify if the #thinkigawa was his point or his source’s point.

        Also, he doesn’t specify if the similarity he is looking for is spending money a ton of $$ on a pitcher that has never pitched in the MLB or because of his nationality. I’ll assume Yankee scouts didn’t “hate” Igawa when they bid over $20mm for posting and offered him a multi-year deal. So they might have that in common too.

        That’s why I think assuming it’s because it’s because of his nationality is premature.

        • Gonzo

          So are you saying you are comfortable with saying that the Yankees are giving up on all Japanese players wholesale based one one vague tweet?

          Seems kind of lacking to me.

          • Ted Nelson

            I’m assuming Sherman is just writing whatever crap he catches off some receptionist or intern or janitor in the Yankees’ org. Or that the Yankees are leaking information that furthers their own interests.

            • Gonzo

              Huh? So you do or don’t think it’s because of his nationality?

              • Ted Nelson

                I am saying that this came from Sherman, not the Yankees. So I am saying I don’t see why you are putting this on anyone else besides Sherman. That it’s highly unlikely any real decision maker leaked real info the Sherman. That either he got this off someone who has no power, or a real decision maker was planting information to further the Yankees interests: i.e. drive down the posting fee for Yu.

                Yes, I think if Sherman mentioned Igawa and Yu in the same sentence it was motivated by nationality.

                • Gonzo

                  Exactly, it was Sherman who brought up Igawa. If you read his tweet, he doesn’t specify if the #thinkigawa was his point or his source’s point.

                  That was me like 40 minutes ago.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    “So are you saying you are comfortable with saying that the Yankees are giving up on all Japanese players wholesale based one one vague tweet?”

                    That was also you 40 minutes ago… That was exactly the comment I responded to. What the HELL is your problem? You ask a question and then catch an attitude when I directly answer it?

                    • Ted Nelson

                      It doesn’t matter what I am comfortable saying about the Yankees… it matters what Joel Sherman said about the Yankees based on his alleged source within the org.

                    • Gonzo

                      Hey, slow your roll. I am not cathcing attitude. I approach everything on RAB with a little levity.

                      My response was specific to the post in which Mike implies that the Yankees are excluding players because of nationality.

                      I interpreted your post:
                      If “their scouts love him” and they are “scared off because of Igawa”… what else is that besides nationality? I don’t think it’s Mike who brought up nationality, but Sherman.

                      As a continuation that the Yankees are excluding players based on nationality. That is based on the basis of my orginal post regarding the Yankees’ beliefs. Seems like a logical continuation no?

                      If not, then we are talking apples and oranges. My original post was regarding the Yankees’ beliefs not Sherman’s.

                      In which case you misinterpreted my orginal post.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      “My original post was regarding the Yankees’ beliefs not Sherman’s.”

                      And my comment to you was that we do not know the Yankees beliefs, only Sherman’s (or really his interpretation of his “source’s” beliefs).

                      Mike was clearly being facetious. He was saying that if the Yankees ignore entire ethnicities based on one or a handful of failures they’re not going to be able to field a team, so clearly he is saying they are NOT intending to ignore entire ethnicities if they want to remain an MLB team. I think we all assume they want to stay in MLB.

                    • Lemmiwinks

                      And my comment to you was that we do not know the Yankees beliefs, only Sherman’s (or really his interpretation of his “source’s” beliefs).

                      That was my point as I did not know Mike was being facetious. It was written like he assumed the Yankees were avoiding Yu because of his nationality. I missed the sarcasm.

        • Ted Nelson

          Reports are that the Yankees didn’t scout Igawa much, and the decision was not made by the baseball people.

          If you want to believe the reference to Igawa is not motivated by their common nationality, good for you.

          • Gonzo

            I believe it could be related to nationality, but I won’t make that leap off of one hashtag on tweet.

            If you will, good for you.

  • James A

    Yu Darvish has nothing to do with Irabu or Kei Igawa or any other Japanese pitcher for that matter, and I don’t suspect that there’s anything to this report.
    The only warning Kei Igawa should have in this situation is if somehow Boston gets Darvish, the Yankees shouldn’t feel they need to sign a Japanese player of their own and overpay Hishashi Iwakuma (although even he would probably be a solid 4th or 5th guy). The Yankees should throw out a very strong bid, and if they happen to lose out to Texas or Toronto, so be it. But Darvish is going to be worth it

    • Dave203

      There is almost no change Boston will bid anything substantial on Darvish. They are still paying for their last mistake which makes our Igawa folly look small. I would be shocked if Boston put in a bid at all, but even if they did, I doubt it would be for more then 30 million.

      • UncleArgyle

        Don’t be so sure. John Henry is richer than King Midus and likes showing off his cash. Remember this is a guy who bought a 20 million dollar mansion so he could tear it down and build a bigger one. I’m not saying Boston WILL bid for Darvish, but you never know. The Sox really, really need some good press this offseason.

        • Ted Nelson

          And they need to address their rotation, probably as badly as the Yankees. They have more coming back in Beckett, Lester, and Buchholz maybe, but the Yankees have far more depth in terms of MLB ready prospects.

    • Ted Nelson

      Good point about the biggest lesson from Igawa being not to react to Boston moves. Yankees mostly seemed to learn that lesson last off-season, outside of maybe Soriano (but I don’t really see that as a reaction to Crawford and AGon, anyway).

  • ryan

    i saw sign him… in the end its only money

    • KeithK

      Easy to say when it’s not your money.

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        I think he meant it won’t cost a draft pick to get Darvish, where it would cost one to sign Wilson.

  • Gonzo

    From Tim Dierkes:

    Talked to an agent tonight who thinks a Yu Darvish posting fee would be $50MM, and then a five-year, $75MM contract.

    That’s a lot of cheese.

    • Brian S.

      If we can buy Yu Darvish with cheese that would be even better.

      • Gonzo

        Dang. I looked up world’s most expensive cheese. I didn’t find anything close to $400k-$600k a pound. Assuming Yu weighs 200+++ lbs.

      • Jesse

        I laughed again.

    • Highland Cow

      That’s Felix Hernandez money. (If we ignore the $50 mil posting fee; which we essentially can given that this is the Yankees we’re talking about.)

    • Ted Nelson

      Of course an agent’s going to say that, though… He may actually be right, but it’s hard to take him as an objective source since he has every incentive to raise the market value of players as a group.

      • Gonzo

        Never said it was an objective source.

        • Ted Nelson

          I never said you said it was…

  • Mike (generic version)

    A story like this leaking actually has me believing the Yankees fully intend to make a bid on Darvish.

    • mustang

      Yes, Sir.

      They could never afford CC, AJ and Tex either.

      Let the gamesmanship begin.

      • Jesse

        I seriously doubt this has anything to do with the Yankees being able to afford Darvish. If Tim Dierkes is correct, they’d only be paying him $15M a season for him, which is next to nothing, for the Yankees that is.

        • CP

          I think his point was that during the 2008-2009 offseason, there were plenty of ‘leaks’ that indicated the Yankees would not sign CC, AJ and Tex.

          • mustang

            We have a winner!

            Thank you for clearly things up.

        • steve (different one)

          I’m confused, wouldn’t they be paying $21M/year assuming the contract. Covers 6 years? Just because the posting fee doesn’t count as “payroll” doesn’t mean it’s not real money being transferred out of the Yankees coffers.

          I want them to pursue him, but $21M/season is a ton of money for someone who has never pitched in the bigs.

          • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

            Yes it’s a lot of money, but in this case not all dollars are equal. The posting fee is paid as a lump sum, not annualized over the life of the contract. Yes, that makes it worse from a TVM standpoint, BUT those dollars don’t count as payroll nor therefore against the luxury tax which, for the Yankees, is a very important consideration.

  • mbonzo

    When it comes to Cashman and his circle, it seems more news is always good news. When they don’t stop talking about how they won’t spend money on some player, or that guy might not make it in NY, the more you hear about it, the better.

    I’ve seen videos of Darvish pitch, scouts are insanely high on him, projections are high on him, and I like the price. (in terms of how it fits in their luxury tax cap) If the scouts are as high on him as they’re saying, there is no reason for the Yankees not to sign him. They have more money than they know what to do with, the only thing holding them back from spending it is the league flipping out when they’ve bought every free agent. A posting fee on Darvish is a drop in the bucket for the Yankees, a risk/reward thats probably as great as any other #2 available. The only difference is that it won’t hold them back from signing someone in 2013. For instance, Igawa’s addition to the payroll, didn’t affect their aggressiveness in 2009, AJ Burnett’s, however might affect them every year. As much as I hate people comparing CJ Wilson and Edwin Jackson to Burnett, the risk in signing a questionable player making double digit money every year, is that they’re committed to the team, even if they fail. Darvish may cost the same in the long run, but he can be hidden behind the payroll like Igawa was. My point is that, the Yankees shouldn’t be worried about spending too much on anyone, as long as it doesn’t affect their aggressiveness on the market in the future.

  • BK2ATL

    And here we go…..

    This could be a negotiating ploy. I hope. Cashman is not even signed for 2012. His deal expires in a little more than a week. C’mon Cash, sign that deal and flex some muscle.

    Sounds like it might be a Randy Levine leak, where Cashman needs to be there to talk sense to the brass. They are probably thinking Wilson, as he’s the known entity, but Darvish offers so more upside. Our own scouts are impressed and much more advanced now in 2011 than in the past. Darvish is neither Irabu or Igawa.

    Whatever the case, we need to do something different with our SP, as we got lucky in 2011 with Garcia and Colon.

    • Ted Nelson

      “Darvish offers so more upside.”

      It’s hard to have much more upside than 10.5 fWAR over two seasons. He’s younger and projecting his MLB production is more volatile, but you can’t look just at the positive risk and ignore the negative risk.

      I’m not saying sign Wilson over Darvish, I’m just saying that “so more upside” is an exaggeration. If he can produce like Wilson that would be a great outcome for the team that signs him.

      • BK2ATL

        You think any advertising dollars generated by Wilson will exceed those of Darvish in NYC??? Upside to Darvish. Less money against the salary cap? Upside to Darvish. Retaining 1st round pick? Upside to Darvish.

        On the field, Wilson has only been a starter for 2 years as well, in the AL West. Darvish has overwhelming praise from so many scouts, that it’s ridiculous. He’s been dominant for years now, at 24. I’m sure with the modern scouting mechanisms and resources being expended, all of them can’t be wrong. Darvish is only 24, 6’5″ and already knows how to pitch and correct his own delivery when he loses his arm slot. Something AJ still doesn’t know how to do. Darvish is aware that he needed an MLB training regiment, so he did it before being told or asked to.

        What’s the negative risk??? That a 24 yo pitcher needs an adjustment period before understanding how his stuff translates in MLB, and the AL East??? Everyone has thoroughly dissected this kid, his makeup and his pitching abilities. He’s passed with flying colors. A 24 yo kid going thru a possible divorce and still out on the field in top form. not an end-all, be-all, but his makeup is not something to sneeze at. This ain’t Dice-K apparently. I mean, hell, we’re carrying AJ Burnett’s dead weight for 2 more years, and he has no value to trade. We were capable of financially eating Igawa’s contract, although in AAA.

        There is a clear upside of Darvish over Wilson. The risk is definitely worth it here, if money is to be spent.

        • Ted Nelson

          You don’t seem to have a good grasp on what upside is. Losing a draft pick is a cost, not upside.

          You’re sure that all the scouts can’t be wrong, even though they’re wrong all the time? How does that work?

          “What’s the negative risk???”

          That he can’t transition to getting MLB hitter out or pitching every five days. That the work load already experienced by his body wears him down by his late 20s.

          “Everyone has thoroughly dissected this kid, his makeup and his pitching abilities.”

          They’ve done that to plenty of flops, and plenty of successes. Please stop acting like Yu Darvish cannot fail. It makes you look ridiculous.

          “This ain’t Dice-K apparently.”

          The same arguments you’re making for Yu were made for DiceK.

          “There is a clear upside of Darvish over Wilson.”

          And clear downside, too. Take a finance class and learn something.

          • BK2ATL

            Who the fuck are you???? You’ve been chasing me around threads for days now. You have your opinion, I have mine. Keep it moving.

            1st – Signing Wilson means we give up a 1st round pick. Signing Darvish means we don’t. Do you understand what the word “retain” means? There is an upside to signing Darvish over Wilson.

            2nd – Same can be said about ANY FA pitcher (see AJ Burnett). According to many scouts, nothing is 100%, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with Darvish. Do you have some inside knowledge to dispute all of these scouts who’ve personally seen him pitch many times over the past few years??? I don’t. Go ahead and google it. Come back and let us know what you find.

            3rd – Where did I ever say that Darvish can’t fail?

            4th – Dice-K was signed in, what, 2007??? Is it possible that scouting has advanced since then? Is it possible that scouts have a better idea of what to look for now, taking everything in account?

            5th – Seriously, stop being a troll and get a fucking life. Stop chasing people around on Yankees boards trying to force your opinion on people as the end-all, be-all.

            • Ted Nelson

              I am reading through threads commenting on the comments I feel like responding to. Don’t flatter yourself. I am not following you anywhere. I find your comments to be mostly nonsensical and incorrect (often factually, not in your opinion), so I comment on them.

              1st… your twisting the English language to suite your point. Darvish HAS MORE upside than Wilson is not the same as there is AN UPSIDE TO signing Darvish over Wilson.

              2nd… yes. That’s exactly my point smart guy. No free agent pitcher is a sure thing. Not Yu. Not Wilson. Not CC. Yet you are going on and on about what a sure thing Yu is. Have you ever watched him pitch even?

              The scouting reports are not as universally incredible as you make them out to be. You are factually incorrect there. There are negative reports.

              3rd… You directly imply there is no negative risk, when the negative risk is clearly failure. “What’s the negative risk??? That a 24 yo pitcher needs an adjustment period before understanding how his stuff translates in MLB, and the AL East???”

              4th… Scouts have figured out how to never be wrong between 2007 and 2011?

              5th… again, don’t flatter yourself. Make better comments and I’ll stop ripping them apart. My opinion is not anything. However, when you spout crap I feel the need to point out the incorrect facts and logical fallacies. If you don’t want people to comment on your comments, either don’t leave comments or ignore the responses.

              • BK2ATL

                We don’t need to go back and forth. Your “opinion” is clearly superior to all other posters here. Why do you waste your time here and not in the Yankees’ front office? Especially since you know it all.

                I know the English language very well and have been quite successful outside of a Yankees blog. Keep at it. I have no reason to respond to you again.

                • Ted Nelson

                  I never said my opinion was superior to anyone else’s. I clearly said it’s not your opinions I take issue with, but your logic and disregard for fact.

                  People who don’t know a word of English can be successful, and everyone has their own definition of success. Knowing English is in no way a prerequisite to success. What I said was that you were twisting the language to fit your point.

  • eman2101

    If the Yanks signed Darvish, would it be crazy to start him in the minors? I know ownership wants to trot out the new toys as fast as possible, and Darvis is reportedly MLB ready now, but wouldn’t half a year/full year in the minors help him transition to stateside pitching schedules and travelling grind with less pressure?

    My quick research shows of the high-profile Japanese imports, only Nomo and Irabu spent any time in the minors and both for very quick periods. Could be wrong though.

    • Jesse

      No. He’ll pitch in the Bigs right away. Dice K did, and Darvish is supposed to be a lot better than him. He’s MLB ready.

    • Gonzo

      I forget who said this. “If he has to start in the minors, you signed the wrong guy.”

  • Michael Kay

    I think it’s pretty obvious – Darvish will go to the Mariners so he can be with his good friend Ichiro.

    • Jesse

      I wonder how many times we’ll hear this joke throughout this entire process…

  • FIPster Doofus

    Sweet. Go ahead and sign another 30-something for $100 million and give up another first-round pick in the process. Jackasses.

  • Virgil Earp

    Darvish will be a Yankee. The front office always oks big bids, just look at Soriano last year. This is a ploy and not a very good one.

  • Dave203

    I am not calling Chapman the same pitcher has Darvish, but there was similar hype surrounding Chapman when he was coming over. Chapman gets 6 yrs/30.25 million in Cincinnati’s effort to outbid everyone else. Somehow, Darvish is worth paying 40-50 million in just a posting fee, plus a contract for 6 yrs at 9-10 mil/yr?

    Forgive me for being skeptical, but Chapman was projected as an ace too and struggled coming right over from Cuba. The chances Darvish will come right over and dominate MLB is slim. Sure he has tremendous upside, but that’s exactly what they’ve said about DiceK and Chapman and others. They are all prospecs until they prove themselves in MLB. IMO, regardless of how good they were in the previous league, when they hit MLB, they are a prospect until they prove their worth here.

    I find no issue signing him and yes, it’s just money (not mine too). However, from an owner standpoint, I can completely understand the hesitancy to pay 40-50 million in a posting fee on top of moderately priced 6 yr commitment for a prospect.

    • bonestock94

      Chapman’s numbers look pretty damn good to me, it’s just that he’s stuck in the pen. I suspect it’s for durability reasons since he throws extremely hard. I don’t think 30/6 is a bad deal for his upside though, the Yankees have spent that AAV for broken LOOGY’s anyway.

      • CP

        Durability issues may be part of it, but he also has no idea where the ball is going. He walked nearly 20% of the batters he faced this season. That was the highest rate for anyone with at least 20IP.

    • Ted Nelson

      The risk runs both ways… you also risk missing out on a very good pitcher. It’s not an easy decision.

      Hype should not enter into the Yankees thought process on Darvish, by the way. Scouting should. Both traditional and statistical. He’s more/less hyped than Chapman or DiceK or Irabu or Doc Gooden or Stasburg or Cole or whoever else should not be the deciding factor. Whether he’s as good as them should.

      • Ted Nelson

        Well, actually hype should enter into their thoughts in terms of how much other teams are bidding and whether he remains a good value at the market price… Not in terms of evaluating what he’s worth, though, just in terms of evaluating whether he’s worth the market price.

    • BK2ATL

      You could tell that Chapman was raw, but a 6’4″ lefty throwing upwards of 100 mph, with a nasty curve, will always garner attention and hype. They gave him a 6 yr deal, so I suspect that they knew that there was work to do there.

      However, they (Reds) probably had to look at their resources, their farm system, and wonder whether they had anything close to a Chapman at their disposal. To this minute, even with his wildness, it’s not a bad deal. 6 yrs, $30 million. I think I read that he may be starting next year.

      We don’t have a Darvish in our farm system right now. Even our top SP prospects, Banuelos and Betances, are not without question marks.

      We don’t need Darvish to come over here and dominate. Hopefully, we’ll have CC for that. We need Darvish to come over here and provide another stable, consistent presence in the rotation while he continues to learn the league, make adjustments, and keep us in position to win ballgames.

      If that occurs, well, the advertising generated by Darvish over the life of the contract, will more than pay for the posting fee. If it doesn’t all go according to plan, we’ll make up enough of the posting fee that it won’t be that hard to swallow. Plus, we’ll still have our 1st round pick.

      • Ted Nelson

        You keep referring to advertising revenue without citing a single source.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Give Swish’s salary to Darvish if he is that good. We can win with Mike Axisa in rf with CC, Yu and Nova et al pitching.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

      Then we’ll have to deal with all of Darvish’s stat-padding next year.


  • Greg Price

    It’s not because of nationality or race, it’s because it’s a different game in Japan than it is in North America. Therefore, success in one region doesn’t necessarily translate to the other. The track record so far among pitchers obviously suggests that quite strongly. Therefore, Cashman is absolutely correct in being highly skeptical. Come on, Mike, you know better than this.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      The track record so far among pitchers obviously suggests that quite strongly.

      I could pick 20 sucky white pitchers too. Not so hard to do.

      • MannyGeee

        hell, I could make a strong case that the Yankees should only develop and sign Black and Venezuelan pitchers, based on their 40 man roster.

        SSS FTW!

      • Greg Price

        You totally miss the point. Nothing to do with race. It means that just because someone looks great somewhere else, playing a different game, doesn’t mean they’ll be good here.

        Those hypothetical 20 sucky white pitchers you mention wouldn’t get signed, either. And it won’t be because they’re white. It would be because they suck based on their track record of pitching in the MLB.

        • MannyGeee

          they = NPB Players?

          Again, broad brush to paint Darvish with. The BEST pitcher in the league, still has not hit his prime, and has been heavily scouted by many teams.

          not quite Hideki Irabu, you know

        • Ted Nelson

          It’s not about race, it’s about sample size. There have only been so many pitchers to make the jump from Japan. There have been even less players with Darvish’s ability level and who have had a chance to learn from all the mistakes and what have you of the guys who failed before him.

          Those 20 sucky white players are not hypothetical. They were signed, and they are playing in MLB. Burnett, Lackey, Werth, Dunn, etc., etc.

          Not only doesn’t success in Japan guarantee success in MLB, neither does success in MLB.

          • Greg Price

            True, but it is even more of a risk to go nuts over a pitcher with no track record in the MLB.

            Yes, he scouts great but I’d be more comfortable with a minor-league contract to acclimate/develop him into an MLB player. But when you include the posting fee, the cost is a tad high, no? I would give the same answer if we were talking about some US high school pitching phenom.

            • Ted Nelson

              Yes, by and large there’s less risk with a proven MLB commodity.

              “I’d be more comfortable with a minor-league contract to acclimate/develop him into an MLB player.”

              Then you aren’t getting Yu Darvish. His talent and Japanese production garners a premium price.

              Japan’s pro league is not US high school.

    • Bubba

      I call shenanigans. If we can’t say Swishalisous sucks in the post-season due to SSS, how can we comment on a pitcher coming over from the Japanese leagues? There have been what maybe two or three dozen ever.

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

    I actually agree here. If we’re really talking 50 mil posting fee, 5/75 contract, you laugh and turn away as fast as you can. That’s desperation talking. Whatever nationality, color, height, shoe size, etc. he may be, the guy has never thrown an inning of professional baseball in the US.

    I know that, other than the Yankees’ own pitcher they need to keep, it’s not exactly great pickings in the starting pitching free agent market. It is what it is. The team, to me, is better off waiting it out until conditions favor them more than overpaying for Wilson or Darvish (I’d pay a fair price for either, though.) It it means another early playoff exit then, hey, less reactionary fans on the boards next October. :)

    • Ted Nelson

      A. Those numbers were thrown out by an agent who has every incentive to raise the market value of players so his own guys get paid more and make him rich(er).

      B. The Yankees can offer whatever posting fee they feel Yu is worth. It’s a closed bidding process. If they think he’s worth a $30 mill posting fee, they can make that offer and see if it wins. Not only are they on the hook for nothing if someone outbids them, they don’t have to pay even if they win the bid and are unable to sign Yu (which would theoretically help them in negotiations with Yu and keep his price down a bit since he can’t get nearly that money in Japan).

      C. How do you know what he’s worth? There’s risk on both sides. They could end up with the next Igawa, but they could also miss out on the next Roger Clemens. Unless you’ve scouted him and run statistical regressions on the Japanese League, are you really in a good position to comment on his value?

      • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

        I agree with you on A and B. With C, though, my opinion that he’s a risk at a high price is just as valid as anyone else’s opinion on here that they should go after him hard. In the end, NONE OF US have scouted him and run statistical regressions. We’re just fans with opinions.

        • Ted Nelson

          I didn’t say that your opinion is less valid than someone who hasn’t scouted Yu… I said that anyone who has not scouted Yu’s opinion is worthless. Mine included. You can talk about theoretical “if he’s paid this much he’d better be this good and the risk is this”… but you nor I have the knowledge required to actually make a decision on Yu.

  • MannyGeee

    I am guessing yes to the 5/75, but I am thinking the posting fee will be shorter than that.

    $35-40M maybe?

    • Holy Ghost

      At 20 to 30 mil to sign, I think the Yanks would be all over it. When we’re talking 50 to 100 million to sign the guy, the Yanks are right to proceed with caution…

  • DERP

    Guys, Darvish is Iranian. Not sure what Igawa has to do with that.

    • Dave

      So now they’re not getting him because he’s a terrorist?

    • MannyGeee

      Iranian players have an even worse track record in the MLB. Obviously he should not get any consideration….

  • Grover

    I feel the smoke being blown up my ass. The Yanks will go hard after Darvish. Their biggest concern is the flack they will take for the difference between their winning bid and the runner up.

  • Beboppin’ and Scattin’ Nick Swisher

    Hopefully this is just a smokescreen, otherwise equating Igawa and Darvish is an epic logic fail.

  • Another Bronx Dynasty

    I can just hear Sterling now – “Another strikeout…simply Darvelicous”

    • pat

      +1. That’s awesome.

    • John Sterling

      He’s a Whirling Darvish!

  • Holy Ghost

    “if they’re going to start ignoring talent pools because of nationality, soon enough they won’t have anyone to wear the uniform.”

    I don’t think it has anything to do with nationality. After guys like Igawa/Dice K/Contrearas… etc, the issue is throwing ridiculous amounts of money at players who haven’t shown that they can pitch a effectively in the Major Leagues. With few exceptions, it doesn’t make sense to spend 50 to 100 mil on a guy with no major league experience. Darvish might turn out to be a pretty good ML pitcher, but it’s perfectly legit for the Yanks to ask whether he’s worth the financial risk.

    Some of their best free-agent pickups from other countries have come relatively cheap(ie El Duque, Wang, Rivera, Cano, etc).

    • Ted Nelson

      They have to ask whether he’s worth the financial risk, but that doesn’t mean they have to answer that he’s not. He might not be, but you’re also risking losing out on a great pitcher by passing… not an easy decision. Yankees can tolerate a lot of risk (that they feel is justified) with that payroll, though.

      Wang and Rivera and Cano were young men with no professional track records, so they aren’t really good comparables to Yu. There are dozens of guys you never hear of and dozens of good prospects who never quite make it for every one Rivera, Wang, or Cano… So while their signings were cheap, they were among dozens of players signed to unearth the one gem… which adds up to a lot of money.

      El Duque was listed at 32 years old his first MLB season, and suspected of being older than that… so again not sure it’s comparable. He also was one of the guys paving the way for someone like Jose Contreras. People saw the success of someone like El Duque, Livan Hernandez, Nomo, etc. so the market price for these unproven commodities appreciated. Without El Duque and his brother, Contreras probably makes a fraction the money he ended up getting.

      • Holy Ghost

        “Yankees can tolerate a lot of risk (that they feel is justified) with that payroll, though.”

        I agree that the Yankees are rich enough to be able to absorb the risk in signing an unproven pitcher. That doesn’t mean they should. They have to draw a line somewhere.

        I’m not sure if Mike was being serious or not with his comment. The Yanks have never been hesitant to grab players from other countries. The only issues with Darvish seems to be “how much?” and “is he worth it?”

        If the bidding was starting around 20 to 30 mil, I think the Yanks would be all over it. But starting at 75 to 100 mil, they are right to be a little cautious. And for all we know it could all just be a negotiating tactic. If teams are collectively balking at the asking price, then the price may come down…

        • Ted Nelson

          I agree. The Yankees would rather spend less money on Yu, not more.

    • MannyGeee

      If you are waiting for jewels like Cano and Mo to fall in your lap, then you are gonna be spending a ton of time hanging with Pittsburgh and KC.

      and FWIW, Igawa keeps getting thrown around on this topic, when the fatal flaw (outside of jumping the gun as a Dice-K fireback) might have been that they did not start him in the minors and figure out what he’s got. Who knows, he has stayed relatively healthy, he could have been developed into a LOOGY extraordinaire, sparing us Marte and Feliciano’s contracts…

      You have to roll the dice sometimes on guys with this kind of talent. sometimes you land a Javy (that guy with a steady track record of eating innings and relative health), sometimes you land a CC (you know, the guy who’s weight is going to hinder him and wont be able to hang in the AL East… *ohhhh the pressure!!!*)

      • Ted Nelson

        Agree with the first paragraph.

        Igawa had plenty of time in the minors and never developed into anything, so I don’t buy that he would have developed into more under different circumstances.

        You have to roll the dice, but you also have to be a little discerning about when you’re rolling the dice and at what cost.

        • Holy Ghost

          “I don’t buy that he would have developed into more under different circumstances.”

          Not saying that at all. My overall point is that developing prospects is a crapshoot no matter how highly touted the prospect is or how much teams spend to sign and develop the prospect.

          There is risk in all baseball decisions but signing a player who has no major league experience obviously comes with a much higher risk factor than signing someone who actually has major league experience. Teams have to consider that risk even more when deciding to throw major league money at a player who has no major league experience.

          • Ted Nelson

            What does this have to do with your point that “the fatal flaw (outside of jumping the gun as a Dice-K fireback) might have been that they did not start him in the minors and figure out what he’s got?”

            What they gave him was his market value. Who cares if they paid it in a minor league or major league deal? If your attitude is that you will not sign any Japanese or Cuban player to a major league deal, fine. You just won’t sign any good Japanese or Cuban veterans. You’ll avoid some busts, but you’ll miss out on some good players too.

    • bg90027

      That is exactly the point I have been making elsewhere. People are talking about dollars for Darvish that you would pay for a proven front line pitcher not a really good and expensive prospect which is essentially how you have to view him given how poor a predictor pitching success in the Japanese league has been for success in the Major Leagues.

      If the Braves were to post Julio Teheran or Tampa were to post Matt Moore (and I know they can’t), what would people bid for them? Would it really approach $100 million in combined salary and posting fee? I doubt it. Aroldis Chapman was a pretty good and highly hyped prospect but he only cost $30 million over 6 years. I know he’s not necessarily a good comp but should Darvish really cost 2-3X or more in combined salary and posting fee? Personally, I don’t think so.

  • Rich

    Maybe you can answer this Mike or one of the commenters can. As far as the posting fee goes does the Japanese team have to accept the highest bid. Say Darvish tells his team he only wants to play for the Yankees and we get outbid by 5 million. Can they accept a lower bid to accommadate their player?

    • Tim

      No, they can not. If he wants to pick his team, he has to wait in Japan until 2014 when he’s a free agent. Then he can sign anywhere.

  • meaty balls

    would darvish be on an innings limit?

  • Nihon Ichiban

    Let’s try the “giving the benefit of the doubt” route: perhaps the “Igawa fiasco” comment is really more about “pitching success in the Japanese leagues means jackshit” than about “race/nationality.” Given that everyone loved Hideki Matsui-san and Ichiro, I tend to think it’s not a race thing.

  • JU

    Be more myopic, Axisa. Have you considered the possibility that they are hesitant because of the league he plays in (and all the variables that come with it) and not his ethnicity? Besides, he’s half Iranian anyway.

  • toad

    No team, let alone the Yankees, has any incentive to come out and say “we’re going to bid big on Darvish.” It’s counterproductive.

    I don’t see why it’s counterproductive. At worst, it seems harmless. At best it might scare someone off.

    • Rookie

      It behooves everyone interested in Darvish to lay in the weeds and act like they’re not interested so that they can come in and win the rights to him for the lowest possible bid — like the Red Sox did with Matsuzaka.

      Prepare for a rash of stories from Gammons and other Red Sox fans about their team not being aggressive bidders for Darvish — and then for the Red Sox to bid a sky high posting fee for Darvish.

  • toad

    Prepare for a rash of stories from Gammons and other Red Sox fans about their team not being aggressive bidders for Darvish — and then for the Red Sox to bid a sky high posting fee for Darvish.

    Exactly why it’s not counterproductive. Gammons isn’t going to be the one who decides how much Boston bids. Do you think that Henry et al are going to be influenced by some comment from the Yankees? I don’t.

    • Rookie

      I agree with you, Toad, that Henry et al. are unlikely to be influenced by some comment from the Yankees. But I think that’s in part because their friends in the media successfully faked out the Yankees in the auction for Matsuzaka. So having played that game, they know it well.

      I even suspect that the Yankees won’t be fooled again this time — although given the way they didn’t seem to learn from A-Rod’s contract (given what they did with Jeter, how quick they jumped to go to two years with Mo, and what they paid Soriano) I’ll believe they’ve learned when I see it.

      My suspicion is that Cashman learned quickly, that Levine will never learn and that the only question is when the Steinbrenners will learn to listen to Cashman and ignore Levine. Again, I’ll believe they’ve learned when I see it.