The Yu Darvish Free Agency Profile

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Name: Yu Darvish

Position: Right handed pitcher.

Vital Statistics: Age-25; Height-6’5″; Weight-185.

Agents: Arn Tellem of Wasserman Media Group and Don Nomura.

Chances of coming to North America in 2012: He might want to wait another year so the bigger money clubs like the Red Sox and Mets will definitely be involved. If I had to guess, I’d say he’s coming for 2012.

Teams that could use and pay him: Boston Red Sox; New York Yankees; Toronto Blue Jays; Baltimore Orioles; Detroit Tigers; Minnesota Twins; Kansas City Royals; Texas Rangers; Los Angeles Angels; Seattle Mariners; New York Mets; Washington Nationals; Florida Marlins; Milwaukee Brewers; St. Louis Cardinals; Chicago Cubs; San Francisco Giants; Los Angeles Dodgers.


I went into detail—with pictures, comparisons, video and projections—on Darvish here.

He has a gregarious personality; an interesting heritage and history; and massive talent that will transfer well to the North American market.

His stuff is vicious; he doesn’t appear to have had his arm abused as Daisuke Matsuzaka did as a youth; he’s fearless and unafraid to buzz hitters—this will be imperative in the big leagues.

Darvish has a wide array of pitches including two blazing, moving fastballs, a slider, an Adam Wainwright curve and a forkball.


Japanese imports are always a gamble and teams like the Yankees and Red Sox have been torched by diving too enthusiastically into the market without realizing what they were getting.

The pressure and expectations on Darvish might be muted because of the prior failures of the likes of Hideki Irabu and Matsuzaka, but he’s still going to cost at least $100 million to $120 million in posting fees and for his contract. That’s a lot of money.

The market is relatively weak this season, but pitchers like C.J. Wilson and Edwin Jackson aren’t going to cost as much as Darvish and they’re proven MLB pitchers.

Darvish is raw and wild—on and off the field—but that could be seen as both a positive or negative. I take it as a good thing. Within reason.

What he’ll want: The posting fee for Matsuzaka was $51.1 million; it’s a blind bidding process, so the teams will have to calculate how much it’ll cost to sign Darvish.

Contractually he’ll want $75 million in guaranteed money over 5-years and the team that wins the bid will have to sign him.

What he’ll get: The posting will be around $55 million; the contract 5-years, $68 million.

Teams that might give it to him: Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Dodgers, Angels, Mariners, Blue Jays, Cubs, Tigers.

If you think for one second that the Yankees aren’t interested in Darvish and aren’t preparing a massive posting bid for him, you need to stop reading this and go enjoy the work of Joel Sherman.

The Yankees aren’t interested in Darvish…just like they were only moderately interested in Mark Teixeira.

They’re going after Darvish. Hard.

Ichiro Suzuki‘s career is winding down with the Mariners and they’ll want a talented replacement for the Ichiro fanbase. They’re building their club with pitching in mind and Darvish would slide in right behind Felix Hernandez for a devastating and young 1-2 punch.

Theo Epstein was torched by the Matsuzaka signing, but the Cubs have money to spend and he might want to make a big splash upon taking over in Chicago.

Would I spend the posting money and sign Darvish if I were a GM? I’d put my job on the line to get him.

Will it be a “bad” signing for the club that does pay him? No. Darvish is the real deal and is going to be an All Star and Cy Young Award contender. He’s a megastar in waiting.


3 thoughts on “The Yu Darvish Free Agency Profile

  1. First I have to add: He is now 220lbs not 185 he has bulked up, muscle wise.
    The mistake of signing Igawa should not keep the Yankees from going after Darvish any more than Burnett should keep the Yankees from going after Felix were he a free agent. Everyone is comparing Darvish to other Japanese pitchers but I don’t think it’s fair to compare them. They are different pitchers with different stuff, different bodies, different ages and far different abilities. Darvish is 6’5 much taller than Dice-K at 6’0 and he’s also much more athletic. if you have to compare him to a Japanese player I think Yu translates more to an Ichiro type in terms of his quality as a baseball player.

    Here are some good things to consider about signing Yu Darvish:

    1. The posting fee would not count against the luxury tax. Since the Yanks are in the luxury tax it would make sense to sign Yu. As he would only count about 9-10 million a year as a number 2 where CJ would cost 15-18 mil per.

    2. Some of the posting fee will be recouped in merchandise and advertising because he is Japans best and most popular player

    3. Signing this “free agent” would not cost a draft pick, unlike C. J. Wilson.

    Also it’s not like Yanks have never had a successful Japanese player, remember World Series MVP Hideki Matsui. And by the way, Darvish has been a much better pitcher in Japan than Daisuke Matsuzaka ever was. In fact he is clearly the most impressive pitcher that will have ever come out of Japan (if he does). In Japan he has had an ERA below 2 every year and averaged almost 200 innings with 200Ks per year and a very good whip. If you were ever going to take a chance on a Japanese pitcher this would be the guy. There are no guarantees, but he’s young only 25 and the Yanks would be paying for all his prime years. If he turns out to be an ace like the scouts are predicting, I think he is a worthwhile investment. I agree with you I would also put my butt on the line to sign him.

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