Tag:Yu Darvish
Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:48 pm
 

Checking in on past products of posting system



By Matt Snyder


With Yu Darvish having been posted and the deadline to submit bids having passed, we now wait in anxious anticipation to see which team wins the honor to negotiate with the 6-foot-5 right-hander. Due to some of the past failures within the system, there seems to be a certain amount of stigma attached to paying so much money just to negotiate with a player. Let's check out the players who signed major-league contracts after going through the posting system and see how they fared.

Before we get to the players, though, let's clarify a few things. First of all, the posting system didn't begin until December of 1998. So Hideo Nomo, for example, was never posted. Also, not every single Japanese import since 1998 went through the system, either. Players who get to free agency in Japan become international free agents -- this is the route Hideki Matsui and Kosuke Fukudome, to name two, have taken. International free agents can sign with whatever MLB team they wish and have no posting fee paid to their former teams. And some players went through the posting system and either ended up signing minor-league contracts or not signing at all.

The following eight players did go through the posting process prior to last season and end up with a major-league contract. Let's look at each, chronologically.

(player, year posted, winning team, posting fee paid -- which does not include player salary)

Ichiro Suzuki, 2000, Mariners, $13.125 million
The 10-time All-Star won the MVP his first season in America. He's led the league in hits seven times and sports a career average of .326. He's become a franchise icon and could be headed to the Hall of Fame despite not playing in America until he was 27. So, yeah, this one worked out just fine.

Kaz Ishii, 2002, Dodgers, $11.26 million
The left-handed pitcher lasted just four seasons, with control being a major problem. Ishii led the majors with 106 walks his rookie year and then offered up 101 and 98, respectively the next two seasons. He ended with a 39-34 record, 4.44 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in his MLB career.

Akinori Otsuka, 2003, Padres, $300,000
This couldn't have turned out much better for the Padres. Not only did Otsuka post a sparkling 1.75 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 87 strikeouts in 77 1/3 innings in 2004, but he was also a valuable member of the 2005 playoff NL West champs. Then, the Padres traded him to the Rangers with Adam Eaton in a move that landed both Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young (the pitcher). That's a pretty nice return for originally posting less than the current league minimum salary.

Shinji Mori, 2005, Rays, $750,000
The relief pitcher tore the labrum in his throwing shoulder and missed all of the 2006 season. He was then released by the Rays and returned to Japan, having never appeared in a major-league game.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, 2006, Red Sox, $51,111,111.11
Yes, "Dice-K" has been awful for the past three seasons and is now trying to recover from an injury. He might never be a valuable member of a rotation again, but he's still only 31 and did produce for two seasons. He finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2007, also pitching well in winning Game 3 of the World Series (which the Red Sox would sweep). Then in 2008, Dice-K went 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA and finished fourth in AL Cy Young voting. So, yeah, he's been really bad the past three years, but to call him a complete and utter bust would be a stretch. Over the duration of his deal, he's definitely been way overpaid, but was still valuable for two seasons.

Darvish Posting
Akinori Iwamura, 2006, Rays, $4.5 million
He was helpful for two seasons for the Rays, including when he was the starting second baseman on the 2008 American League champions. He hit .281 with a .354 on-base percentage during his Rays' career, but he lost his job in 2009 to Ben Zobrist and then fizzled in 2010 for both the Pirates and A's. Iwamura was released by the A's at the end of the season.

Kei Igawa, 2006, Yankees, $26,000,194
If you want to find a colossal waste of money in the posting system attached to a gigantic bust, this is the guy you're looking for. He's far more a "bust" than Dice-K. In 16 major-league appearances, Igawa went 2-4 with a 6.66 ERA (which just looks eerie, no?) and 1.76 WHIP. And get this, Igawa hadn't pitched in the majors since 2008, yet still made $4 million from the Yankees this past season as he played out the duration of his five-year contract. The left-handed pitcher appeared in four Triple-A games and 16 Double-A games. And the Yankees paid more than $45 million total for him. Wow.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2010, Twins, $5.329 million
It was a season to forget for the skinny middle infielder. Nishioka broke his leg during the first series as Nick Swisher took him out on a potential double-play turn. When Nishioka healed up and came back, he was one of the worst offensive players in the majors, hitting .226/.278/.249. He was so bad, in fact, that the Twins went out and signed Jamey Carroll to be the everyday shortstop while Alexi Casilla will play second. So the posting fee and $9.25 million contract (which is a three-year deal) is for a backup that they definitely never want stepping in the box for any important at-bats. That's money not-very-well spent.

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Posted on: December 14, 2011 5:54 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 11:56 pm
 

Yu Darvish bids in, several teams have shot

By Matt Snyder

The time in which Major League Baseball teams could place a bid for the rights to negotiate with Japanese pitching phenom Yu Darvish has come and gone. At least one team has done so, according to MLB officials. It's not just one, though. Darvish is coveted.

From here, the team that submitted the highest bid will then pay the fee to the Nippon Ham Fighters for the rights to negotiate an MLB contract with Darvish. The Fighters do have the right to reject such an offer, but it's likely to be lucrative enough that they'll take the money. They have four business days to make a decision, so 5 p.m. ET Tuesday is the deadline.

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If the Fighters do accept the offer, the MLB team with the highest bid will then attempt to sign Darvish. None of the posting bid fee goes to Darvish, so the negotiations are independent. If the team is unable to sign Darvish, they wouldn't have to pay the posting fee.

Major League Baseball won't announce the team with the winning bid until the Fighters have made their decision, but it's possible a reporter uncovers the winner in the meantime.

It's not the Red Sox (per Boston Globe), Orioles (per MASN.com), the Twins (per Star Tribune), the Rays (St. Petersburg Times), Angels (MLB.com), Mets (Journal News), Giants (San Francisco Chronicle), A's (San Francisco Chronicle) or Marlins (Miami Herald). We'll update this paragraph as more names start to be named as non-suitors.  

Teams in the bidding have guessed the Blue Jays and Rangers would be among the highest bidders (according to CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler), based upon the respective scouts having been to see Darvish pitch so many times. Also, the general manager for each club went to Japan. The Nationals and Cubs are also said to be interested. CBSSports.com' Jon Heyman says the Yankees entered a "modest" bid for Darvish and are not expected to win.

Also, sources told Knobler that the Fighters were very impressed with how high the bid was. So brace yourselves.

Darvish, a 25-year-old right-hander, has been the ace of the Ham Fighters for several years. In 164 career starts, Darvish is 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA and 0.98 WHIP with just about one strikeout per inning pitched. He's also thrown 55 complete games and 18 shutouts. In 2011, Darvish went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 276 strikeouts in 232 innings with 10 complete games and six shutouts.

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Posted on: December 9, 2011 5:40 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 6:41 pm
 

Best free agents left after winter meetings



By C. Trent Rosecrans

The winter meetings are over and some of the biggest names on the free-agent market are off the table, but that doesn't mean the hot stove has died out. So, the day after Albert Pujols and the Angels shocked the baseball world, here's a look at the top five position players and pitchers left on the market:

Postition players

Prince Fielder1. Prince Fielder -- The 27-year-old Fielder is the biggest fish left on the market, averaging more than 38 home runs in his six full seasons in the big leagues and posting a .929 career OPS. Whoever lands Fielder will get a shot to the lineup. The knock is Fielder's weight and the length of a contract.

Possible landing spots: Brewers, Blue Jays, Cubs, Mariners, Marlins

Carlos Beltran2. Carlos Beltran -- Beltran's been a bit of a forgotten name in all the winter meetings talk. Beltran will be 35 in April and just finished a seven-year deal with the Mets. After being limited by injuries in his last two seasons, Beltran had a bounce-back year, hitting .300/.385/.525 with 22 homers and 84 RBI and doing that in two home ballparks not known to be friendly to hitters, Citi Field and AT&T Park. He can still play center field, but is probably better suited on a corner.

Possible landing spots: Cardinals, Nationals, Red Sox, Tigers, Braves, Mariners, Cubs

Aramis Ramirez3. Aramis Ramirez -- Even though he has 14 years in the big leagues under his belt, Ramirez is just 33 and coming off a .306/.361/.510 season with 26 homers and 93 RBI. A two-time All-Star, he's by far the best third baseman on the market -- and it's not even close.

Possible landing spots: Brewers, Phillies, Marlins

Michael Cuddyer4. Michael Cuddyer -- Cuddyer will be 33 in March and can play both the corner outfield and infield spots, offering teams a versatile player. He hit .284/.346/.459 with 20 homers last season and hit 32 homers in 2009 before the Twins moved to spacious Target Field. The Twins have reportedly already offered him a three-year deal, as have the Rockies.

Possible landing spots: Rockies, Twins, Phillies, Giants, Red Sox

Jimmy Rollins5. Jimmy Rollins -- It seems odd to consider the 2007 MVP in anything but a Phillies uniform, but Pujols is now in California, so anything's possible. Rollins' offensive numbers have dropped off since his MVP season, but he still plays a premium position -- and one a couple of teams need to fill. A three-time Gold Glove winner, Rollins turned 33 last month. If he re-signs with the Phillies, it could be his last contract. Rollins is reportedly searching for a five-year contract, a tactic that may scare away every team other than the Phillies.

Possible landing spots: Phillies, Cardinals

Pitchers

Yu Darvish1. Yu Darvish -- The 25-year-old Japanese right-hander will reportedly be posted and has been seen as perhaps the best starter available. There's no shortage of teams that could be interested in Darvish, but the history of recent big-ticket Japanese pitchers could scare off some suitors and keep the posting fee lower than expected. Once his team in Japan, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighers, accept the posting, the winning team still has to negotiate with Darvish. The posting system, though, gives a chance for a surprise team to emerge the winner.

Possible landing spots: Rangers, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Nationals, Royals

Hiroki Kuroda2. Hiroki Kuroda -- There's no question of how Kuroda will perform in the big leagues -- he's gone 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA in four seasons with the Dodgers. Kuroda had a 13-16 record in 2011, despite putting up just a 3.07 ERA. He told the team he wouldn't give up his no-trade protection at the trade deadline, but the Dodgers have already found replacements for him in the rotation. He has one offer on the table already from the Hiroshima Carp in Japan, but would make more money in the U.S.

Possible landing spots: Cubs, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, Carp

Edwin Jackson3. Edwin Jackson -- The fact that Jackson has already played for six different teams and he's just 28 may raise some flags, but he's also had six teams want him at some point and for good reason. Although Jackson has battled inconsistency, he's still had results at times. He was 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA for the Cardinals and White Sox last season. He's not a No. 1, but he's younger than some of the other second-tier starters on the market, increasing his value.

Possible landing spots: Twins, Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Royals, Nationals, Pirates, Rockies, Orioles

Ryan Madson4. Ryan Madson -- Even though there were reports the right-hander had agreed to return to the Phillies earlier this offseason, the team turned to Jonathan Papelbon instead. The Red Sox, who along with the Reds, are still searching for a closer could end up signing Madson and seem the best fit. In his firs tseason as the Phillies' closer, Madson recorded 32 saves, going 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA, striking out 62 batters in 60 2/3 innings.

Possible landing spots: Red Sox, Reds, Phillies

Francisco Cordero5. Francisco Cordero -- Like Madson, Cordero seems to be on the outside of the closer game of musical chairs. The Red Sox and Reds are the only team left looking for a closer. The Reds were interested in bringing back Cordero with a discount after declining their $12 million option on the 36-year-old right-hander. Cordero converted 37 saves last season and 150 in four years in Cincinnati.

Possible landing spots: Red Sox, Reds, Twins

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Posted on: December 8, 2011 1:38 pm
 

How will Texas respond to Angels' challenge?



By C. Trent Rosecrans

A year ago the Rangers were crushed when Cliff Lee went to Philadelphia. This year they expected to lose C.J. Wilson, but the difference is the landing spot. Lee went to the National League, Wilson is staying in the American League West -- and joining Albert Pujols in Anaheim.

The Rangers will now step back and reassess where they stand in regards to their divisional rival.

"Our job just got more challenging," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine told CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler. "We just saw him seven games and I can't say we figured him out."

The question now is whether the Rangers try to counter with big moves of their own. It's still possible, despite the denials of team president Nolan Ryan, that the team goes after Prince Fielder. Ryan says the team is comfortable with Mitch Moreland at first base, but he said the same last year about Michael Young and third base before signing Adrian Beltre.

MLB Winter Meetings

And then there's the rotation. As it stands now, the Rangers rotation is Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Alexi Ogando, Matt Harrison and Neftali Feliz. That's not bad, but it's not the Angels' rotation.

Feliz -- like Wilson and Ogando before him -- is being moved from the bullpen to the rotation. It's worked well enough before for the Rangers, so this could work. Feliz came up in the minors as a starter, starting 27 games in 2008 and 13 in 2009, the last time he started. The Rangers also signed Joe Nathan to make sure they had an experienced closer to fill his shoes.

Another possibility is moving Scott Feldman back to the rotation. The 28-year-old right-hander started two games in 2011 and has 80 career starts under his belt. Feldman won 17 games in 2009 and is 29-28 with a 4.69 ERA in his career as a starter, striking out 4.8 batters per nine innings, down from the 5.6 strikeouts per nine as a reliever.

Texas, though, could very well go outside of their organization to bolster their staff. General manager Jon Daniels scouted Yu Darvish in person this past season and the team has had success in Japan before with Lewis. Darvish, though, must go through the posting system, which is hardly a sure thing on a blind bid for the posting fee.

Another possibility is Matt Garza. The Cubs have let it be known they are open to trading anyone -- including the 28-year-old right-hander is arbitration-eligible and will be a free agent after the 2013 season. Garza went 10-10 with a 3.32 ERA in his first year in Chicago. The Rangers are talking to the Cubs about a deal for Garza, who would help their rotation.

Roy Oswalt is also a free agent and could be a fallback option.

The Angels shocked the baseball world on Thursday, the Rangers were among them. But the Rangers are unlikely to sit still and will certainly be worth watching going forward.

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Posted on: December 8, 2011 1:30 am
Edited on: December 8, 2011 2:18 am
 

Yu Darvish to be posted Thursday

Yu Darvish

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish will be posted by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighter on Thursday, his agent, Don Nomura, tweeted in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Darvish also posted the news on his blog (in Japanese). 

If C.J. Wilson signs quickly, as expected, Darvish, 25, will be the top starter left on the market.

Last season for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, Darvish went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA, striking out 276 batters in 232 innings. In his seven-year career, he's 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA, striking out at least 200 batters in the shorter Japanese season four times and walking more than 50 just once. He hasn't posted an ERA more than 2.00 since his second year in the top level of Japanese baseball -- and he was 19 for most of that season.

Many teams will be interested in the right-hander, including the Yankees, Blue Jays, Nationals, Angels and Rangers -- the five expected to be the front-runners. The Red Sox could also be interested, especially with new manager Bobby Valentine's experience in Japan where he managed against Darvish. Rosenthal tweets that Valentine "loves" Darvish. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos traveled to Japan this season to scout Darvish in person.

The posting is just the first part of a possible move stateside. After Darvish is posted, teams will have a period to submit blind bids for the opportunity to sign him. The team with the highest bid will win the right to negotiate with Darvish and after signing him will not only have to pay Darvish, but also the posting fee, which goes only to the Fighters.

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Posted on: December 3, 2011 3:30 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 6:56 pm
 

Conflicting reports on Darvish's posting

Yu Darvish
By C. Trent Rosecrans

After some doubt, it appears Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish will likely be posted sometime after the winter meetings, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets. Rosenthal notes it's not "100 percent" sure Darvish will be posted, but still expects it to happen. However, Darvish's father tells Sponichi in Japan that he doesn't expect his son to make a decision about his status until January.

"His table time does not say anything about making a decision in December," Farsad Darvish said (via YakyuBaka.com).  "He is talking to the team and will most likely make a decision by some time in mid to late January."

Darvish's father also said his son is currently "50-50" about whether or not to come to the United States and is worried about what could happen if negotiations don't go well, like last season when the A's failed to reach an agreement with Hisashi Iwakuma after placing the winning bid. 

Darvish, 25, is considered to be one of the top two starting pitchers on the market along with C.J. Wilson.

Last season for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, Darvish went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA, struking out 276 batters in 232 innings. In his seven-year career, he's 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA, striking out at least 200 batters in the shorter Japanese season  and walking more than 50 just once. He hasn't posted an ERA more than 2.00 since his second year in the top level of Japanese baseball -- and he was 19 for most of that season.

Many teams will be interested in the right-hander, including the Yankees, Blue Jays, Nationals and Rangers expected to be the front-runners. The Red Sox could also be interested, especially with new manager Bobby Valentine's experience in Japan where he managed against Darvish. Rosenthal tweets that Valentine "loves" Darvish. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos traveled to Japan this season to scout Darvish in person.

The posting is just the first part of a possible move stateside. After he's posted, teams will have a period to submit blind bids for the opportunity to sign Darvish. The team with the highest bid will win the right to negotiate with Darvish and after signing him will not only have to pay Darvish, but also the posting fee, which goes to the Fighters.

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Posted on: November 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 2:53 pm
 

Divorce could keep Darvish from posting

By Matt Snyder

Japanese pitching phenom Yu Darvish would be a hot commodity in America if he decided to enter into Major League Baseball's posting system. Last week, Darvish's father said it was a "50-50" chance that Darvish would post. One major issue that might prevent Darvish from posting at this time is his pending divorce from actress Saeko. From USAToday.com:
Saeko, when asked about the divorce at an event promoting a book project last week, told reporters, "Well, hmm, there is still a ways to go."

Asked if she expected a resolution by the end of the year, Saeko said, "I do not know the answer to that either."
Now, if Darvish were to enter MLB via the posting system, let's say he lands a deal similar to what Daisuke Matsuzaka did. Dice-K signed for six years and $52 million. Wouldn't it remain in Saeko's best interests to prolong divorce proceedings until her hubby signed such a lucrative deal? On the flip side, wouldn't it be in Darvish's best interests to get the divorce finalized before signing such a big contract? Ah, the perils of marriage (yes, I'm married and yes, I'm saying that tongue-in-cheek).

Darvish, a 25-year-old right-hander, has been the ace of the Nippon Ham for several years. In 164 career starts, Darvish is 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA and 0.98 WHIP with just about one strikeout per inning pitched. He's also thrown 55 complete games and 18 shutouts. In 2011, Darvish went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 276 strikeouts in 232 innings with 10 complete games and six shutouts.

For those unfamiliar, since Darvish is not yet an international free agent, he'd enter MLB through the posting system. That means that teams interested in signing him submit a secret dollar figure, with the amount they'd like to pay just for the right to negotiate with him. The team with the highest bid then pays Nippon that figure. Darvish doesn't get any of that, so the team then has to agree to terms on a contract with the pitcher, independent of the posting fee.

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Posted on: November 20, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: November 20, 2011 12:06 pm
 

'50-50' chance that Yu Darvish posts

By Matt Snyder

Japanese phenom Yu Darvish will be one of the hottest free agent starting pitchers on a pretty lackluster market, if he decides that he wants to post. And according to his father, it's not a done deal he'll do so.

“Yu and I are talking about having a family meeting once the Nippon Series is over," Farsa Darvish said (NPBTracker.com). “At this point it’s about 50-50.”

Darvish, a 25-year-old right-hander, has been the ace of the Nippon Ham for several years. In 164 career starts, Darvish is 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA and 0.98 WHIP with just about one strikeout per inning pitched. He's also thrown 55 complete games and 18 shutouts. In 2011, Darvish went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 276 strikeouts in 232 innings with 10 complete games and six shutouts. Given those numbers, it's pretty obvious he's good enough to get a shot in Major League Baseball, so it's up to Darvish whether or not he takes that shot at this point in time.

Since Darvish is not yet an international free agent, he'd enter MLB via the posting system. That means interested teams submit an undisclosed dollar figure in an attempt to "win" the chance to negotiate with Darvish. Whichever team submits the highest figure pays that to Nippon and then has to agree to a contract with Darvish. In a way, it's like paying twice; once to the team and once to the player. You might remember this process from when the Red Sox paid a tick over $51 million to the Seibu Lions just for the rights to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka -- who eventually signed a six-year, $52 million contract.

Several marquee teams, like the Yankees and Rangers, are said to be interested in Darvish, should he post.

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(Stats via Japanesebaseball.com)

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