Nov
27

Changes To The Game Suggest Darvish Is The Right Move

By

One thing Yankees fans are great at is fitting an attractive player for pinstripes before he is a free agent. We see a Joe Mauer or Cole Hamels or Felix Hernandez on the horizon, and we start dreaming up the various ways in which the player will become a Yankee. We often take it as a given that the Yankee will acquire the players they need, whether via trade or free agency. In recent seasons we have added prospect hype to the equation, assuming that the farm system will eventually produce a big bat or a top of the rotation starter who will allow the Yankees to eschew free agency. Somehow, the Yankees will end up with the great talent necessary to continue contending on a regular basis.

However, recent events have seemingly conspired to make the acquisition of top young talent more complicated for the Yankees.  The new CBA will make it more difficult for the Yankees to pursue elite talents in the later rounds of the draft, as well as entirely destroy their ability to target top international free agents. They can no longer buy Austin Jackson types out of scholarships in the later rounds by going well over the recommended slot money, nor can they throw big contracts at the next Jesus Montero or Gary Sanchez. Furthermore, while the new luxury tax might actually help the Yankees in the short-term, its lack of adjusment for inflation makes it likely that it will curtail the Yankees ability to expand their budget in the middle of the decade. With a number of aging players slated to earn large paydays during that period, the Yankees might find their ability to compete on the free agent market hindered to some extent.

Finally, from a purely anecdotal perspective, it seems like more and more teams are locking up their young stars before they ever hit free agency. Contracts that buy out a few years of free agency and give the player some financial security are all the rage, and the ramifications of that trend are obvious. Most of the players who make it to free agency are of the CJ Wilson, Zack Greinke, or Francisco Liriano ilk, players with elite talent who have some questions surrounding them that make teams fearful of handing them huge contract extensions. There are fewer elite talents hitting the free agent market, and when they do make it to free agency, the competition for them is likely to be significantly stiffer.

However, with all of these factors suggesting that the Yankees will have a difficult time acquiring exciting young talent, there is one loophole that could allow the Yankees to make a splash. As Mike said in the CBA post linked to above:

Players under 23 years old and with less than years of professional baseball experience will be considered amateurs and count against the spending cap. That means guys like Yoenis Cespedes and Japanese veterans will be treated as a true free agents. Japanese players run through the posting system will not count against the cap.

Cespedes is something of a wild card whose price seems to be rocketing out of control, and I simply do not know enough about him to advocate that the Yankees throw a ton of cash at him. Yu Darvish, however, is an exciting 25 year old Japanese pitching prospect who is likely to be posted this offseason. Unlike Cespedes, Darvish fits an obvious need for the Yankees, as they have a hole near the front of their rotation that Darvish should be able to fill even if he is only 75% as good as he was in Japan. Furthermore, while his total cost will be prohibitive (likely in excess of 100 million dollars), a large chunk of that money (the posting fee) will not be counted against the luxury tax. That makes Darvish a cheaper long-term option than a guy like CJ Wilson.

There are obvious risks associated with a large outlay for Darvish. Japanese pitchers have not exhibited sustained success in the majors, and some have suggested that the routine for pitchers differs enough between NPB and MLB to make the transition a difficult one. Furthermore, any large amount of money spent on a pitcher who has never thrown a major league pitch represents a major gamble, particularly when reliable veterans such as Mark Buehrle and Roy Oswalt can be had at a significantly cheaper rate.

Despite the risks, the changing nature of the game makes taking a chance on Darvish the right play for the Yankees. They will have a more difficult time acquiring top draft and IFA prospects, making the development of elite talent significantly more complicated. Throw in the fact that the alternative is the shrinking free agent pool, and taking a risk on a 25-year old with Darvish’s stuff is something the financially powerful Yankees should strongly consider. This is one area where the club can still throw around their dollars to grab a young player, and it would behoove them to jump at the opportunity.

Categories : Musings
  • Tyrone Sharpton

    Who cares if the Yankees overspend? IT’s fun to watch them, and it aint my $$

    • laser

      have you ever been to a game and got a $8 hotdog….

      • Urban

        Do you think the price of a hotdog would drop if the Yankees payroll suddenly, somehow decreased from $200 million to $100 million? It wouldn’t. The Yankees charge what they do for their seats and their food because people pay it. Once they stop paying it, the price goes down.

        • Rainbow Connection

          I’m not paying it anymore. Screw them.

  • UYF1950

    Moshe, I’m not sure “jump at the opportunity” is appropriate. But I agree completely that the Yankees shouldn’t be afraid to take a chance on him the new CBA. And as Tyrone said in his post “it ain’t my $$”. The Yankees just need to be able to hide him in Triple A if necessary like Igawa if he doesn’t work out so he won’t be taking a roster spot from a more deserving player if that should become the case.

  • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

    I fully committed to the “get Darvish” bandwagon a few weeks ago, but this reinforces it further.

    Grab Darvish, sign Buehrle or EJax, MAYBE make a trade (preferably someone a little better and more exciting than John Danks)and you’ve got the tools to put together a division-winning rotation.

    • T.O. Chris

      I still don’t get the sign Buehrle and not Wilson meme. If you sign Buehrle to a 3 year deal his final season will be at 35 years old, if you sign Wilson to a 5 year deal his final season will be at 35 years old. Nobody seems to care how much the Yankees spend because we can eat it, and it isn’t their money. If final age of the contract and money isn’t a factor why is everyone so against it?

      It all comes down to comparisons to AJ Burnett which also makes little to no sense. Burnett when signed was throwing 94 MPH on average, he continued to average that in his first year with the Yankees (4.04 ERA, 4.33 FIP, 4.23 xFIP, 3.5 WAR) and we won the WS. Since then his velocity has dropped to 93.1 MPH in 2010, and 92.7 MPH in 2011. He was a 2 pitch pitcher who relied almost entirely on velocity, once the velocity was gone we all knew he would be too.

      Wilson hasn’t relied on his velocity over the last 2 seasons (averaging 90.4 in 2010 and 90.8 in 2011), and has thrown a 4 seamer, 2 seamer, slider, curve, and cutter all at least 13+% of the time. In the last 2 years Wilson is 9th in the MLB in pitcher WAR, better than Lincecum, Price, and Lester. You can’t reasonably argue he is some middle to back of the rotation starter I’ve seen thrown out from time to time.

      I understand not going to 6 or 7 years, and not wanting to give him 20+ million per year. But being against a 5 year deal for 70-85 million doesn’t make sense to me, especially when he would slot in perfectly as a number 2 pitcher.

      Any argument for not signing him because of the postseason is silly in my opinion so leave those out.

      • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

        I usually think in terms of Wilson vs. Darvish while I view Buehrle and EJax second tier targets. I don’t consider Darvish a slam dunk over Wilson, but Darvish is the lesser of two evils in my mind – cheaper contract, maybe cheaper overall, younger and no draft pick lost. I suppose the Yanks could decide to sign both, but that’s just not something that I’d guess is very likely.

        • T.O. Chris

          I see what are you are going with then. I have just seen so many people say they would never sign Wilson, but in the same breath (or post) say they want Buehrle.

          If you are going with Darvish over Wilson I can understand that, but the Buehrle over Wilson stuff I don’t get.

        • Ted Nelson

          Buehrle is a pretty damn good pitcher in his own right.

          • T.O. Chris

            Buehrle is a pretty good pitcher but at this point he is no more than a 3 WAR innings eater, who will likely never post less than a 4 ERA with the Yankees. Wilson is simply better and should be better over the long haul.

            If we only needed a number 4 starting pitcher Buehrle wouldn’t be a bad way to go, but we need a number 2 which he simply isn’t.

            • Ted Nelson

              That’s laughable. Buehrle has been a 200 IP sub4 ERA starter forever. Guy is not a #4 starter.

              • T.O. Chris

                Have you seen his numbers against the AL East and the in Yankee Staidum in his career? They are pretty awful. He isn’t going to be posting under a 4 ERA with the Yankees, you can look at his FIP and see that.

                2006- 4.99 ERA, 5.27 FIP, 4.79 xFIP, 1.9 WAR
                2007- 3.63 ERA, 4.26 FIP, 4.41 xFIP, 3.7 WAR
                2008- 3.79 ERA, 3.94 FIP, 3.98 xFIP, 4.6 WAR
                2009- 3.84 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 4.37 xFIP, 3.4 WAR
                2010- 4.28 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 4.49 xFIP, 3.7 WAR
                2011- 3.59 ERA, 3.98 FIP, 4.14 xFIP, 3.4 WAR

                With an OBA of above .300 in Fenway and Yankee Stadium.

                He certainly isn’t a number 2 starter, and he won’t be slotting in above Nova in the rotation. As it currently stands he would be third Sabathia, Nova, Buehrle, Burnett, Garcia. But I don’t want Nova having to be the number 2 starter in our rotation, he needs to be a number 3. This is something Buehrle can’t help us with, and if we added a pitcher to the rotation to take that spot he would be 4th behind Nova.

                So no it’s not laughable. He is an inning eating 3 WAR pitcher who will most likely give 200 innings and a 4 ERA every year of the contract. There is value in that but it’s not what we need.

                • T.O. Chris

                  That’s an average of 3.45 WAR per season over 6 years.

                • RetroRob

                  Yes, we need that.

                  I want a 3.5 WAR, 200-inning, left-handed pitcher because they are not easy to find.

                  How’s Pettitte doing, btw? Anyone check to see if he no longer is enjoying family time?

                • Ted Nelson

                  It is absolutely laughable to assume that his numbers against the Yankees in YS will also be representative of what he’d do against the whole league in YS.

                  It is laughable to call 3.5 fWAR a “4th starter.” That would have put him second on the Yankees last season by a good margin. That’s what they call a “2nd starter” in the business.

                  FIP is not a perfect measure of anything. It’s a proxy to guestimate “fielder independent” ERA… but it ignores all contact that’s not a HR. I like it a lot as a tool, but it’s not perfect. There will be pitchers who consistently outperform their FIP and players who don’t. As a successful soft-tosser, Buehrle fits the profile of someone who might outperform his FIP consistently. He has, in fact, outperformed his FIP every season except one since 2004.

                  Nova has had one good season… let’s see how he follows it up before calling him better than Buehrle. I’m certainly hopeful, but I’m certainly not counting on it.

                  I don’t necessarily think that the Yankees should sign Buehrle, by the way. I just find the degree to which you’re underrating him ridiculous.

      • http://yankeeanalysts.com Moshe Mandel

        He walks a lot of guys and is coming off a career year. Unless you believe that 2011 is his true talent level, he is likely going to cost more than he is likely to earn over a long term deal. The guys in his expected salary band, Burnett and Lackey, have not exactly worked out very well. I can see why people are afraid to give him a big contract.

        • T.O. Chris

          He walked a lot of guys in his initial year starting, he dropped the walks and his swinging strike percentage rose from 6.7% to 8.3%. If his swinging strike percentage had stayed the same, but his K and BB rates rose I would be hesitant. This isn’t the case however.

          I fully believe Wilson will stay somewhere in between 2010 and 2011 for the next 3-4 years, with a chance for a season or two better than 2011. For the last year or two of a 5 year deal he should be no worse than the expectations of Buehrle.

          Almost everyone at the top of the pay scale isn’t exactly “worth” what they get paid, I believe he will be a legit number 2 starter for the next 3-4 years, and he will be no worse than a 4 by the end of a 5 or 6 year deal. He’s become underrated at this point.

          Just like it’s silly to say you shouldn’t bid on Darvish because Daisuke and Irabu failed, it’s equally silly to say don’t sign Wilson because Lackey and Burnett aren’t good.

          • http://riveraveblues.com Moshe Mandel

            I definitely agree with your last point, I’m just saying I think it factors into the fear of Wilson.

            As for the other stuff, yes he had a great year (although if you include his postseason performance, his walk rate is again underwhelming). The question is whether he will continue to have them, or if he had a career year. I don’t think it’s easy to answer that question.

            • T.O. Chris

              If you add up every inning he’s pitched as a starter, including the postseason, he comes out with a 3.60 BB/9 ratio. That’s not great, but it’s not terrible for someone with only 2 years in the game as a starter.

              I don’t see him doing worse than 2010 at any point over the first 4 years of the deal, that would put him pretty good as a number 2 starter. Plus I think there is something to be said about a guy who pitches as a top 2 starter for a team that goes to back to back WS in his first two seasons starting.

              I know WAR is a flimsy stat but if you can add between a 4.6 and 5.9 behind CC for the majority of the contract it sets us up nice for a WS run.

              No one can know for sure what he’ll do, but I feel good about him on a 5 year deal. I wouldn’t be happy with a 6th guaranteed year, though I could deal with a vesting option of some kind. I think many have AJ on the brain when they talk about Wilson, which gets in the way of a non-biased evaluation.

              • RetroRob

                If…

                If…

                I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t think Wilson will deliver 4.6-5.9 WAR. I think there’s a much better chance that Buehrle will deliver as much, or more WAR than Wilson, and do it cheaper, over the next few years, and he will require not as long a committment.

                I want a #2 starter too, but where most people are having an issue is in the belief that Wilson is that number two starter. I want to add Buehrle as a #3 and continue the search for the #2, which is not Wilson.

      • Joel

        I see wut u r saying but if u spend $ on darvish they went spend it on wilson. Darvish at this point is the lesser of 2 evils even though im a wilson fan. Sign darvish, sign buhrle(i dnt trust ejax) and sign cespedes. See u in october lol

      • Joel

        I see wut u r saying but if u spend $ on darvish they wont spend it on wilson. Darvish at this point is the lesser of 2 evils even though im a wilson fan. Sign darvish, sign buhrle(i dnt trust ejax) and sign cespedes. See u in october lol

  • your mom

    Sign Darvish, trade for Danks. Game over.

    • http://yankeeanalysts.com Moshe Mandel

      That’s my plan! Glad we agree, mom.

      • T.O. Chris

        Not a huge Danks fan. If we can get him on the cheap I’m fine with it, but I don’t see the number 2 starter so many cast him as. He’s a decent middle of the rotation starter, but his numbers don’t bare out the upside so many are heaping on him.

        • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

          I’m with you on this one too. I think Danks is a bit overrated if you want him to be that No. 2 guy that the Yankees and the fans covet. He’s still young so perhaps he’ll reach some more of his ceiling, but if any high upside or top prospects other than Austin Romine are involved, I’d rather the Yanks look elsewhere.

        • RetroRob

          No such thing in MLB regarding young, quality lefthanded staters being gotten on the cheap.

      • Plank

        If that happened, the Yankees would have:

        CC
        Darvish
        Nova
        Danks
        Garcia
        Hughes
        Burnett

        along with:

        Noesi
        Phelps
        Warren
        Betances
        Banuelos

        If they sign Darvish, I don’t see a place for Danks.

        • T.O. Chris

          Hughes would be the first to go to the pen should a rotation spot fall to an acquisition. I’ve read the Yankees see Garcia as both a starter and a possible long man, so he may go to the pen as well. Which would mean Noesi, Phelps, Warren, Betancs, and Banuelos are your Scranton starting 5.

          • Plank

            Then the bullpen would be:

            Rivera
            Robertson
            Chamberlain
            Soriano
            Garcia
            Hughes
            Logan

            Also, what would happen to DJ Mitchell? He becomes a reliever? What happens to Cory Wade? He goes to AAA? Kontos seems ready, too.

            It just seems that there will be a huge logjam if they add 2 more pitchers.

            • T.O. Chris

              Chamberlain isn’t coming back until after the All-Star break at the earliest.

              Dj Mitchell is no more than a reliever anyway, no scouts I’ve ever read project him as more than that. He simply doesn’t have the stuff to play long term in the rotation.

              Wade is arb eligible and probably cam still be sent down. Plus he was OK but nothing to lose sleep over if you can’t bring him back.

              I’m not saying it will happen, but it’s no where as big a deal as you are making it.

        • RetroRob

          Keep in mind if the Yankees acquire Danks they’re going to have to give up something, and that means other pitchers.

          If they acquire Darvish and Danks, then they may actually move Burnett, eating a chunk of his contract. He would not longer have a rotation spot.

          Let’s hope the Yankees have this problem.

          • Plank

            Burnett might not have a rotation spot now. If they acquire Darvish and Danks, he definitely won’t have a rotation spot.

            I see what you are saying, I just think at some point adding more starters who aren’t an absolute slam dunk (like Darvish) leads to hurt development and missed opportunities for guys like Noesi and Betances.

            Noesi was the swingman last year and performed well. The next move is to get him started as a starter in the majors. Instead he will be stuck in AAA as the 8th starter. Ditto to varying degrees for Warren, Banuelos, and Phelps.

            Danks isn’t the pitcher to mess with so many player’s developments for.

  • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

    as well as entirely destroy their ability to target top international free agents.

    This is an overstatement. The Yanks should be able to acquire credits from other teams through the cap and trade system, and the rest of the details of the Int’l draft have yet to be worked out. We really don’t know enough yet to say that the Yanks won’t be able to sign 1 big prospect a year internationally.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

      Another thing, its misleading. The new CBA sould limit their ability to sign 16 year old IFAs in July, but the Chapman’s and Cespedes of the world are regular FAs and will still be going to the highest bidder. That should be clarified.

      • http://yankeeanalysts.com Moshe Mandel

        It is misleading if you stop reading right there, I agree. But I (or Mike, I guess) clearly spell out the exception you describe in detail later in the piece.

    • Rich in NJ

      To acquire the credits, most teams will probably want top prospects, iow, more developed versions of the very young international free agents, so the benefit of such a trade would likely be outweighed by the cost.

      • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

        Top Prospects? What possible basis would you have to make such a statement? The value of these credit is likely to be a few hundred thousand dollars per club, and many teams aren’t active internationally, so they won’t ever use them. And we still don’t know if its cash or talent, the details haven’t been worked out yet.

        • Rich in NJ

          The basis is that most teams likely didn’t back Selig in his attempt to rein in the Yankees’ competitive advantage only to allow the Yankee to inexpensively be able to reassert that advantage.

          • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

            The teams most affected by the draft cap are small market clubs. They’re the ones who have spent the most in recent years, that’s why they were crying about it.

            • Rich in NJ

              Yes, but we’re discussing IFA signings, right?

              • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

                16 year olds, not the Cespedes and Chapman type. Both are IFAs, but one is subject to the draft and the other isn’t.

                That’s why I said above that the two types really need to be clearly delineated. Mo did later in the piece, but that one line I cited I thought was misleading.

    • http://yankeeanalysts.com Moshe Mandel

      From what I’ve heard, big market teams will likely have about 1.8-2.5 million to spend on IFA’s. It’s something, but it hinders them greatly on the market relative to teams that will have 4 or 5 million to spend.

      As for trading credits, it sounds nice, but I’m not sure it’ll work out the way you think. What are the Yankees trading for these credits? You’d think that these credits would be treated like they were prospects, being that they can be converted into prospects. How frequently do the Yankees make trades for prospects?

  • Rich in NJ

    Yeah, the Yankees need to exploit any opening they can, and the provisions of the CBA now make deals that would have the Yankees trade a bunch of their top mL talent for a veteran really ill-advised because it will be very hard to replace them.

    • viridiana

      Exactly– current Yankee prospects have become far more valuable with the new CBA. With eight of the top 20 prospects in the NYPL and Gulf league Yanks may be able to keep pipeline of youg talent flowing for some time.
      But this is the climax of Selig’s career: he has finally managed to create a new set of rules expressly tailored to handcuff the Yankees.Yes, the deal will also control team costs but there is reason to believe there is a personal vendetta here beyond all that. Bud has wanted to “control” the Yankees for decades and has said as much in priivate conversations going back many years. If Latino governments, agents and young players don’t bring this to court, i would think Yankees might be able to contest this agreement with a pretty strong legal case. With revenue sharing, luxury taxres, drafts that are skew3ed to favor small market teams, the Yankees have been produndly and intentionally disavantaged — and no attention, by the way, has been paid to the simple fact that their costs in New York (and those of other big market teams) are higher than those in the samll markets he has persistently advantaged– not to mention that there was a profound conflict of interest all those years he still had a stake in the Brewers..

      • JohnnyC

        Vendetta or not, Selig is acting on behalf of the owners’ interests…it’s 29 to 1 as far that is concerned. What I find puzzling is why Steinbrenner did not legally challenge any of these blatantly obvious measures in the courts (where he stood a decent chance of winning). If you add up all the revenue sharing and luxury tax payments the Yankees have ponied up in the last 15 years, it would amount to pretty nearly the estimated worth of the franchise itself. That is not cost control and competitive balance: that’s straight extortion. With the benefit of hindsight, wouldn’t an admittedly long and expensive court battle have been worth it?

        • JAG

          What you are both forgetting is that MLB, as an organization as a whole, is the proud owner of a Congressionally-approved anti-trust exemption. A long, drawn-out, inevitably-publicized court battle will likely cause all of that to come into question, endangering over a century of operations. MLB franchises have not had to worry about rival leagues for a hundred years. You think the talent pool is diluted now? Imagine with a rival league with major teams in Boston, New York, Brooklyn, etc. MLB owners would (or should) fear that far more than luxury taxes or draft caps.

  • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

    Cespedes is something of a wild card whose price seems to be rocketing out of control, and I simply do not know enough about him to advocate that the Yankees throw a ton of cash at him. Yu Darvish, however, is an exciting 25 year old Japanese pitching prospect who is likely to be posted this offseason. Unlike Cespedes, Darvish fits an obvious need for the Yankees, as they have a hole near the front of their rotation that Darvish should be able to fill even if he is only 75% as good as he was in Japan. Furthermore, while his total cost will be prohibitive (likely in excess of 100 million dollars), a large chunk of that money (the posting fee) will not be counted against the luxury tax. That makes Darvish a cheaper long-term option than a guy like CJ Wilson.

    We don’t know enough about Cespedes, but we do know enough about Yu Darvish? Both have played at what would be minor league level of competition to this point, how can we say one is a safer bet than the other without some in depth, detailed scouting reports?

    As to the point about money, I think its logically inconsistent to compare Darvish to proven MLB veterans for the reason above. He’s too speculative. Nobody in their right mind would give a college pitcher 100M whether it counted against the cap or not.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com Eric

      I think both are certainly risks, but Darvish is more of a known quantity to us as fans, whereas Cespedes seemingly came out of nowhere (although he has been considered a good prospect since the WBC). Nice article, I was actually thinking about writing something similar. This is really the only remaining avenue (other than major league free agents) where the Yankees can assert their advantage in financial resources.

    • T.O. Chris

      The one who really should be signed no matter what is Jorge Soler. He shouldn’t cost nearly as much as Cespedes and because he’s 19 he isn’t going to be demanding major league playing time right away.

      We can sign Darvish and Cespedes if it makes sense to the FO, but Soler should be a guarantee with our money and lack of OF minor league depth. Unless he just absolutely wants to go somewhere else.

      • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

        I think you’re absolutely right about Soler. They shouldn’t go nuts over him, but they should definitely be aggressive in bringing him into the system.

        • T.O. Chris

          I would be surprised if he even went to 6 years being 19, he should come in well below 30 million.

      • UYF1950

        Agree about Soler. His age and the fact he shouldn’t require the really big dollars make him a necessary target for the the Yankees.

    • http://yankeeanalysts.com Moshe Mandel

      I said I don ‘t know enough about Cespedes, so I can’t advocate signing him. Darvish has been on the radar for 4 years. I’ve read numerous detailed scouting report5s, watched him pitch a dozen times, and spoken at length to someone who scouted him for years. I feel comfortable having an opinion on him. As for Cespedes, I saw one scouting video that was most notable for him roasting a pig in it.

      • JAG

        Agreed, scouting information about Darvish has been available for pretty much his entire career. Given that Cespedes played mostly in Cuba, much of his history is unknown. His age hasn’t even been confirmed yet (although admittedly it probably will be soon).

        While neither one is the sure thing that Sabathia or the like were, Darvish is far less unknown than Cespedes.

    • Urban

      They know far more about Darvish than Cespedes.

      • Ted Nelson

        You can easily get into Cuba and he’s played internationally. I would hope that the Yankees know a lot about Cespedes.

    • Ted Nelson

      Darvish is 25 not a college kid. That you wouldn’t give 100 mill doesn’t mean that it won’t work out or isn’t worth the risk.

    • thenamestsam

      The right college kid definitely might get 100 million. Strasburg gotmwhat, 30? And only one team was allowed to bid on him. Open that up to all the teams and I think bidding on him definitely could have gotten close to that level.

  • bankers hours

    Sign Darvish, a no brainer, he seems better than the other Japanese pitchers. He’s younger, taller, and has less wear and tear than Matzusaka. Trade for Danks or get Buehrlue (preferably) in free agency and the rotation is set without gutting the farm, dump AJ pay whatever of his bloated salary to rid the team of his presence. The rotation would be CC, Danks/Buehrlue, Darvish, Nova, and Garcia. Hughes is the odd man out and could be used in a package with Swisher to upgrade the outfield and get someone who might actually be productive in the post season.

  • Yazman

    Agreed. With Darvish and Garcia, the off season would be a success.

    Add some OF/IF bench, and bring up the kids to fill out remaining pitching.

    CC
    Yu
    Ivan
    Freddie
    AJ/Phil

    Noesi/Warren/Phelps/Banuelos/Betances

    • T.O. Chris

      Let’s all hope that Banuelos and Betances stay in Scranton until September. Neither is ready for the big leagues and both need as close to a full season of triple A ball as humanly possible.

      • Yazman

        Agreed — though some late season/post-season relief heroics (especially Banuelos) could be exciting.

      • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

        I hope their individual readiness decides when they get called up, be it this year or next. If one or both blows away AAA this year, go for it. If not, let them take their time. I don’t want the needs of the MLB club to be the overriding factor.

        • T.O. Chris

          I tend to stay away from saying if one blows away triple A, just because numbers don’t always equate to being ready. Which is what I think people will assume if I put it that way. If Banuelos has a low ERA and high strikeout rate at the break, but he’s still walking close to 5 per 9 I don’t think he should be called up. He needs to get his control down, and show consistency in controlling the strikezone first. Something up to this point he simply hasn’t done since A ball.

      • UYF1950

        If Cashman is to be believed. And I think he is. He has said several times that both Banuelos and Betances will be in Triple A most of the 2012 season if not all of it and probably only be Sept. call ups. Which I think most Yankees fans would agree is the wise thing to do.

        The Yankees have some very capable arms in Triple A that are more ready if need be to join the club if necessary.

        • T.O. Chris

          It’s certainly the right call if it goes down that way, but I don’t know if most Yankee fans agree. I’ve read way too many articles and posts calling for Banuelos in the starting 5 from the start to believe that. Illogical usually out number straight thinking.

          They’ve made enough mistakes with Joba and Hughes they must have learned quite a bit by trial and error.

          • UYF1950

            I won’t argue with that.

          • The Big City of Dreams

            Hopefully the have learned from their mistakes but when it comes to the Yankees you never know.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      A success? That can easily be an epic failure if Darvish can’t handle MLB pitching. Then we have CC, Nova and a bunch of back rotation starters.

  • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

    I take Cash at his word on Darvish. They’re interested, but up to a point. Spending 100M on a Japanese (minor league) pitcher makes little sense whether it counts against the cap or not. At a certain price point, it becomes too risky.

    I love Darvish at 50M (total cost). I can live with him uneasily at 75M. I’ll let someone else give him 100M.

    • gouchonyy

      Other teams will look at Yu in light of the new CBA. The posting fee will probably increase. You can’t negotiate with Yu unless you win the bidding. I expect the winning bid to be +/- $40 million. Salary would then add at least another $40 million (5*8 or 4*10). I will not fall within your 75. I think it may be worth it anyway.

      • Bryan

        It’s unlikely Darvish will get less than 6 years, because he’ll want to be eligible for free agency after his first MLB contract.

        Plus he’s earning around 6 – 7m in Japan right now, so a payrise of up to 3m might be in order.

        I don’t agree that more teams will be truly interested in Darvish, since it’s only the Yankees that’s really affected by the new CBA. They’re the only team that’s consistently exceed the luxury tax threshold, and spend big on the draft and IFA. The Red Sox, Phillies aren’t looking for a pitcher and the Mets are likely rebuilding.

        It’ll be the Rangers, Blue Jays and Yanks as the main players for Darvish.

        • Ted Nelson

          Every team will be impacted by the CBA… it radically alters how all teams will acquire amateurs.
          How much that has to do with the number f bidders for Darvish… I’m not sure.

        • T.O. Chris

          The Red Sox are clearly looking for pitching since they won’t have Daisuke or Lackey next year, and all signs point to them not re-singing Wakefield. The leaves Beckett, Lester, and Buchholz as the only standing men in the rotation.

          • Ted Nelson

            That they’re looking for two starting pitchers doesn’t mean they want to pay one of them as much as Yu will get, or that they want that guy to be Yu.

            I certainly think they could be bidders, but let’s not act like we know the intentions of their front office before they’ve announced them. The three guys they do have in their rotation are front-end guys, so they might settle for some lower cost options depending on their budget.

            They also will likely have Dice-K next season. Just not to start the season.

    • Ted Nelson

      Have you extensively scouted him?

  • Bronx Byte

    How extensively was Darvish scouted by the Yankees ? Obviously they’ve taken into account that the ball is different and so are the training methods and more time between starts.

    • T.O. Chris

      I’ve read about Yankee scouts watching him pitch in some context for the last 3 years at least.

  • Mike Myers

    I think Darvish might come cheaper. No one wants to spend Dice-K money and a lot of the big money teams are out of the bidding.

    -Red Sox wont bid
    -Dodgers are a mess
    -Phillies are capped out
    -Mets are a mess
    -White Sox seem to be near the limit
    -Angels have other needs
    -Cubs might be in rebuild mode

    Am I wrong?

    • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

      I won’t say you’re wrong, but I think you can add Toronto and Texas to your list. They’ve at least been suggested as two teams that could get really aggressive with a Darvish bid.

      • Mike Myers

        Toronto I can see. But Texas? They dont even seem to want to spend money to keep CJ. They are converting the closer to fill his spot.

        • T.O. Chris

          I’ve heard there are other reasons for converting Feliz. Plus they may not want to spend on CJ because he’s 31, but a 25 year old Darvish might make more sense to them. They’ve been heavily linked either way.

      • Rainbow Connection

        So you would add Toronto and Texas as team that probably won’t bid? That’s what his list is.

        • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

          Yea, I see what you mean. I should have worded that comment better. I meant Texas and Toronto should be added to the list of teams that you have to account for.

    • http://yankeeanalysts.com Moshe Mandel

      I think it is possible, but Texas is supposedly very interested. All it takes is one mega-bid and you lose.

    • T.O. Chris

      Why won’t the Red Sox bid? They just assume Darvish is Daisuke and won’t bid because he’s Asian? They might not go as high as they did last time but they will bid. They need pitching and he’s younger and better than Dice K.

      • Mike Myers

        I was thinking more because they have a bunch of contracts ballooning.

        they have a lot of holes to fill (thats what she said) with out dropping a ton on darvish.

        • T.O. Chris

          They need arms in the rotation. They have a budget in range with what we can do, I can’t see them not at least bidding. Maybe not 50 million again, but they should at least be competitive with the top bids.

  • T.O. Chris

    Has anyone considered Darvish won’t post? His divorce seems to be getting pretty messy, and his family isn’t that thrilled with the posting system in the first place.

    If it wasn’t for the divorce I would have no doubts about his posting, but she’s petitioned for the divorce proceedings to be postponed twice now trying to get his MLB salary in the settlement. It behooves him financially to make sure the divorce is final before posting. Even if that means he has to wait a year to make the move.

    • Plank

      I would wait until true free agency if I were Yu regardless of the divorce. 3 years at a NPB salary then true free agency would likely mean more money than if he posts now and get’s his “100 million dollar contract” minus the posting fee.

      Is it 3 years?

      • T.O. Chris

        I believe he could be a real free agent in 2014.

        • UYF1950

          Darvish won’t become a true FA until after the 2014 season.

          Here is an excerpt from a NY Times piece dated Nov. 9th and I quote “Darvish is 25 and will not become a free agent for the international market until after the 2014 season”. End of quote.

          • Plank

            Yeah, I would rather do 3 years in Japan at around 4MM/year or whatever his current salary is, then hit FA and sign with someone when I’m 28.

            • Ted Nelson

              That’s a big risk, waiting 3 years. Might tear up his shoulder next year, and miss his chance of being set for life at 25.

              • T.O. Chris

                He’s making 6 million per year in Japan. He’s making a good living, and it benefits him to at least wait one year now with the divorce. I wouldn’t wait the three though myself, just because I would want to compete against the best.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Is $6 equal to $50? Last time I checked it was not.

                  • T.O. Chris

                    He’ll never make 50 million a year so that isn’t a legit comparison. The best he could hope for is 10 million a year in the states right now, but if he has to give part of that to his wife every year it drops closer to his 6. If he waits 3 years and gets every team in on his bidding he could get upwards of 14-16 million per year, about 10 million per year than he is making now.

                    Don’t make it sound like it’s completely absurd. It’s unlike he waits 3 years but not impossible, and he should wait the year until his divorce is settled no matter what. Talking down to someone doesn’t make your point stronger.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      He would have $50 million guaranteed. That’s what I’m saying. He can guarantee that he would never have to work another day in his life and he and his family could enjoy a very, very, very high standard of living. $6 million doesn’t guarantee that, but $50 million does.

                      He could also wait three years only to tear his shoulder and see no money whatsoever and have no MLB teams whatsoever bidding on him. It’s a HUGE risk. That’s what I’m saying. That was my point.

                      “Don’t make it sound like it’s completely absurd. It’s unlike he waits 3 years but not impossible”

                      Who is talking down here? Certainly seems like you to me. I wrote all of three sentences.

                      I made two very simple points.
                      A. It’s a huge risk to wait three years in hopes of staying healthy and productive. It is.
                      B. Making $6 mill does not guarantee your family a very, very high standard of living for the rest of your life. $50 million does.

                      I never once said anything was absurd or impossible. Stop putting words in my mouth.

  • http://evilempireprospects.blogspot.com/ AllHailTheEmpire

    Are you operating under the assumption that CJ Wilson will sign for $100 million or more? If so, you are likely correct about him being the more expensive option. If, however, you assume he signs a $16.5 million, 5 year contract, which is what John Lackey signed, then the numbers are much closer. He is said to be asking for a John Lackey type contract. The number, with luxury tax, would be $120.45 million. Here is the calculation… (((16.5 x 40%) + 16.5) x 2 years) + (((16.5 x 50%) + 16.5) x 3 years). The CBA is 40% for the first 2 years, then increases to %50. Yu Darvish will cost us the $50 million + ((($10 million x 40%) + 10) x 2 years) + ((($10 million x 50%) + 10) x 3 years) equaling a total of $123 million. Thus, the total expense to the Yankees is higher for Darvish than for CJ Wilson, unless of course he gets a better contract than John Lackey, which is entirely possible.

    • Need Pitching

      the tax goes to 50% immediately, its the threshold that changes after 2 years, from 178 to 189

      • Plank

        Not true.

        • Need Pitching

          Are you sure?? The change summary released by baseball says nothing about the new rates being delayed.
          http://bizofbaseball.com/index.....2#comments

          • Need Pitching

            maybe lower for just 2012, not sure what they mean by transition rule

          • Plank

            Hmm. It looks like you’re right. I thought I remembered reading the 50% rate took effect when the threshold increased. I guess I was wrong.

            • Need Pitching

              I’ve seen that reported as well, seems like there’s some confusion on the issue, though the summary does indicate rates in 2012 will be subject to a transition rule, so maybe that means rates will be lower just for 2012

            • UYF1950

              I believe it goes to 42% then to 50%.

    • Plank

      You are right that it wouldn’t be a huge bargain to sign Darvish, but I think he is the better player, and you would be signing him through his peak years. Wilson is already past the typical peak.

      The posting fee may be 50MM, but that seems like the high estimate. Also, Wilson was pretty clear in wanting a 100MM contract. He may not get it, but I doubt he will sign the AJ Lackey deal either.

      I think Darvish will be cheaper and better than Wilson over the next contract, but I don’t think it’s a slam dunk no-brainer.

      • T.O. Chris

        Kind of hard to say Darvish is a better player. I can’t argue with saying his upside is higher, but I think he could also be much worse. Someone who hasn’t pitched an innings of MLB ball can’t be just given the status of better than Wilson in my opinion.

        I don’t see Wilson getting 100 million. He’s probably going to settle for a very AJ/Lackey like deal, unless a team like the Nats goes crazy again.

        • http://evilempireprospects.blogspot.com/ AllHailTheEmpire

          I agree T.O. Chris, CJ Wilson is more of a sure thing than Darvish. To be honest, I don’t know who I’d rather them sign. Darvish would be the more exciting signing, with the possibility of being the second ace we have sought for the past 2 years. CJ Wilson might be the more reasonable one though given his similar price with a higher likelihood for success, although he probably will never be an Ace. It’s a tough call, and to be honest, I see the Yankees missing out on both of these guys. I sure hope they sign one of them, and gun to my head I’d have to say I’d go with CJ on this one since there’s no significant discount in Darvish and he is completely unproven in the MLB.

          • T.O. Chris

            I don’t see CJ as an ace, but I see him as a pretty perfect fit as a number 2 starter. I think the Yankees are likely to wait until the very last minute and make a 5 or 6 year (hopefully any 6th year would be a vesting option) offer and have a take it or leave it mentality. Not unlike Teixeira only not overpaying that much. 5 years at 75-85 doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

  • J. Scott

    According to Wiki it took a $103 million dollar committment from the Red Sox to reel in Matsuzaka. A $51 million dollar posting fee and $52 million dollar contract. Why does anyone think Darvish won’t cost more and, likely, significantly more?

    • S

      Because the Red Sox outbid the next highest bid by over $10 million at least.

      • T.O. Chris

        That could easily happen again with blind bidding. I tend to bidding will be scaled back to some degree, but if some team really wants him and think the Yankees are going to bid 45+ we could easily see another 50+ million dollar bid.

      • RetroRob

        Ten million really isn’t that much. That means someone also bid over $40 million, and this was several years back. I keep seeing reports that the Darvish posting fee won’t be more than $35 million. I’m sure these reports will turn out to be very wrong. The reporters are getting the info from inside sources at teams, but these inside sources are purposely trying to talk down the posting fee so there’s will win. Yet all the teams know that, so the ones who decide they absolutly want Darvis will bid more than Dice-K’s posting fee.

  • Ted Nelson

    I don’t think the Yankees should think this way. Darvish is a HUGE outlay. I think you evaluate him on his own merit, not out of some paranoia that they win’t be able to sign players in the future.

    Very, very few IFAs get large enough bonuses that the Yankees won’t be able to sign them. Prices should come down, too. It will hurt in the aggregate, but they should still be able to have a strong LA program if they execute.

    I’d like to see the amount in the pool before deciding if the Yankees can or can’t buy out scholarships. Might just have to limit it to early in the draft

    • T.O. Chris

      More high school players will probably go to college than they did before. Especially those with the talent to play other sports like football.

      • Ted Nelson

        That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

  • Rookie

    1. What international pitcher has EVER had stats like Darvish? I think the answer is NO ONE.

    2. If ANY MLB team thinks his 1-something ERA in Japan will translate to a 2-something ERA in MLB, they’ll bid for his rights and pay him like an ace.

    3. An ace in MLB, if any two teams thought he would pitch to a 2-something ERA, would be paid $20+ million per year in free agency.

    3. Adjusted for the posting fee not being taxed and capital costs, etc., assuming a 5% cost of capital and a six-year contract, I estimate that $23 million per year is roughly equivalent to $11-12 million per year to Darvish and a posting fee of $78-85 million.

    4. As you point out, the new CBA makes international free agents over the age of 23 basically the ONLY way for teams to throw around their money without being harshly penalized for it.

    5. Therefore, for the life of me, I can’t understand how anyone thinks Darvish can be had for a $100 million or so total commitment. It seems logical to me that the total commitment is likely to be closer to $150 million.

    6. And teams bidding for the rights to Darvish have every incentive to bid high — knowing that the worst case scenario is that they can’t sign him, but that they block competing teams from being able to negotiate with him.

    The other mystery to me, though, is why Darvish wouldn’t just wait and sign as a free agent and pocket all of the money instead of half of it or less.