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Darvish set for majors move

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© 2011 AFP

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Good news, atleast Japan still has something for exports.

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MLB owners will never learn...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

MLB owners will never learn...

how to make money.

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He might have bad arm. How many 140-150+ pitches he had in a last few years? Too many. MLB should look at him as a damaged good.

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Thought he promised to never go to the majors? Wonder what changed his mind? And gotta agree with Tatanka and sfjp330 - not sure why anyone would be interested in pitchers who have gone through the wringer that is "yakyu" as it is practiced from elementary school on up in Japan!

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Agree with comments made by sfjp30 and Godan, "wear and tear" is a major issue the way these kids pitch, but Darvish is one player whom I would love to see in the MLB. I'm glad he changed his mind.

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So the MLB scouts that I run into at every game he pitches know nothing, eh? I should be sure to tell them that the internet thinks he's washed up.

I'm a bit surprised/dubious about him skipping to the majors, actually. It looks like the only source for this is the Tokyo Chunichi Sports. I'd put more stock in it if it were coming from more sources.

Gen at YakyuBaka discusses it a bit more:

Regarding his posting situation, the paper goes on to say that he told Yuki Saito during a dinner they had earlier this year that he was planning on staying with the Fighters one more year. And according to someone close to Darvish, he also said that he was finding it hard to stay motivated.

Source: http://yakyubaka.com/2011/08/16/tokyo-chunichi-sports-yu-darvish-hires-arn-tellem-and-don-nomura/

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I've seen him pitch and he is impressive, but $80 million just for his bidding rights? Boston bought Matsuzaka for $51 million.

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$ 80m is way too much. I wonder if he ends up in Seattle...that would be a perfect fit. Arm Tellem has to be wary of the Yankees after the Igawa debacle. This guy is worth it however...let the chase begin !

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Where does it say $80M just for his bidding rights? I would take that to be $80M for rights+contract, which seems about right. He is the highest paid player in Japan so you would figure for him to move overseas he would want a premium over that.

Boston bought Matsuzaka for $51 million.

Boston bought Matsuzaka for ~$103 million ($51M transfer fee + $52M contract).

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"Arm Tellem has to be wary of the Yankees after the Igawa debacle."

chap2 : I hope you mean THE YANKEES have to be wary of Arn Tellem.

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Good on him. Should have went a few years ago - why wouldnt elite sportsmen want to test themselves against the best rivals in the best comp? Most pro athletes only have a few years at the top - may as well make some serious coin before he has to retire! He will be the highest paid Japanese sportsman of all time.

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I hope you mean THE YANKEES have to be wary of Arn Tellem.

Seriously? Have you seen the way the Yankees have treated Igawa? They gave him one shot, buried him in the minors, refuse to give him another shot. Shameful.

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IMO he is a reasonable prospect, but 15 games is about the tops of what he would win in MLB. He clearly has a live arm, but is no where near the complete pitcher/competitor a Halladay, Weaver, or Verlander is. But, maybe he could be the "Japanese" Lincecum, since he is built along the same lines.

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Wonder what changed his mind?

Possibly a divorce and shattered personal life. That often leads people to change location.

not sure why anyone would be interested in pitchers who have gone through the wringer that is "yakyu"

Japans back-to-back world championships may answer that folly.

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"Seriously? Have you seen the way the Yankees have treated Igawa? They gave him one shot, buried him in the minors, refuse to give him another shot. Shameful"

Smorkian: Igawa is 32 and out of his Yankees' contract. He currently plays for the Trenton Thunder, a AA minor league team. You have to think if he still had some value he would be playing above the double A level.

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built along the same lines

Say what? Lincecum is 5 foot 11 and only 165 pounds. Darvish is 6 foot 5 and 215 pounds, or did you think he only weighs 190 pounds like he did a few years ago? If you are refering to their pitches, Lincecum came in with a 99 mph fastball but now he usually hits only 92 mph. Darvish consistenly throws anywhere from 93 to 95 mph and can throw any pitch in the book (curve, slider, fork, screwball, etc) except for a knuckleball. Don't get me wrong, Lincecum is a Cy Young pitcher, but I don't see the resemblance at all.

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He clearly has a live arm, but is no where near the complete pitcher/competitor a Halladay, Weaver, or Verlander is.

Why do you say that? What does this mean? The dude's a gamer. He's won a title and faced (and beaten) the best in Japan. Exactly what else could he have done in Japan to be more of a 'complete pitcher' or a 'competitor'?

I think he will be fine in the US (if he goes) but I wouldn't hazard a guess if he's be a superstar or not. I personally think he's only the second best pitcher in the league - to my eyes Rakuten's Tanaka is as good if not a little better, though Darvish gets the obscene strikeout totals with his nasty stuff (10.4 K/9 this year).

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Smorkian: Igawa is 32 and out of his Yankees' contract. He currently plays for the Trenton Thunder, a AA minor league team. You have to think if he still had some value he would be playing above the double A level.

Paulinusa, he's still under contract this year. From Baseball Reference:

2012 Contract Status: Signed thru 2011, 5 yrs/$20M (07-11)

No, the Yankees decided they had enough of him after a very short trial. I don't understand it. There must be something personal between Igawa and management. Go read the NYT piece on Igawa from a few weeks back.

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Actually he is 25.

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Anyone remember Irabu? Might give some insight into why Igawa is toiling in the minors. The Yankees expect you to perform for the big bucks. If not, they have a decent minor league system and have no qualms about replacing you. Big contracts don't mean that much to them because they make gobs of cash. As it pains me to stick up for Cashman, the Steinbrenners and the evil empire, Igawa did not impress anyone during his time in the bigs. Go Dodgers and Kuroda!

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Why do you say that? What does this mean? The dude's a gamer. He's won a title and faced (and beaten) the best in Japan. Exactly what else could he have done in Japan to be more of a 'complete pitcher' or a 'competitor'

Smorkian -- In reponse to your question, I said it for just the reason you yourself state -- "faced (and beaten) the best in Japan." Comparing that to the guys I mentioned who have consistently won big games in MLB, where the talent level is head-and-shoulders above Japan, is simply ludicrous. Like comparing AAA ball to MLB. And there's no way he's gonna get physically as fired up as Weaver did a couple of weeks ago, and challenge the whole opposing team's bench. He'll be like Ichiro and Dice-K, who never really become a true part of the team/team chemistry and won't protect his teammates. Talent is one thing. Being, as you say, a "gamer" in MLB requires way more than that, and I see no evidence of this in Darvish. IMO, he's a spoiled, sheltered prima-donna and will have a hard time becoming a solid and reliable part of a winning team.

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Comparing that to the guys I mentioned who have consistently won big games in MLB, where the talent level is head-and-shoulders above Japan, is simply ludicrous.

Of course he hasn't proven himself in the MLB. That's really difficult to do when he's not there! Fine - but how can you say he WON'T be a gamer when his entire body of work in Japan says he will? And how can you say

he's a spoiled, sheltered prima-donna and will have a hard time becoming a solid and reliable part of a winning team

When it's quite clear he's the CENTERPIECE of a winning team, right now? Really, as usual, your post is ridiculous.

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No offense.

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the Cristiano Ronaldo of baseball?? maybe in terms of his "transfer" fee.. I don't get this posting system.

How many years left does this Darvish character have on his contract?

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How many years left does this Darvish character have on his contract?

Eh, it's difficult. Basically the NPB team owns him until he becomes either a domestic FA or international FA. I think domestic FA is ~7 years of service (by games played at first team).

Basically he's under contract and couldn't leave on his own to play in the US for a few more years. The posting system is the band-aid solution to that issue - the player can move on, the team gets compensated.

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When it's quite clear he's the CENTERPIECE of a winning team, right now? Really, as usual, your post is ridiculous.

Smorkian -- please. The only thing riduculous is you believing the ace of the staff on a Japanese pro team has any comparison to being in the same position on any MLB team. Darvish maybe faces one power-hitting left handed batter a night, and at most three guys who can really hurt him. The Yankees have three power hitting lefties just in the infield/catcher and the whole line-up can hit a mistake out of the park. But, please let me know how many Japanese pitchers of late have been anything but a third or fourth starter in MLB. And then tell me my saying he's no Weaver, Halladay or Verlander is ridiculous. Stop comparing apples and oranges.

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herefornowAug. 16, 2011 - 10:07PM JST. He'll be like Ichiro and Dice-K, who never really become a true part of the team/team chemistry and won't protect his teammates. Talent is one thing. Being, as you say, a "gamer" in MLB requires way more than that, and I see no evidence of this in Darvish. IMO, he's a spoiled, sheltered prima-donna and will have a hard time becoming a solid and reliable part of a winning team.

He might be, but Darvish has exceptionally good stuff and is more closer to Hideo Nomo. Nomo was not a fighter either, but fit into Dodgers team chemistry well and was a team leader in a quiet way. Darvish might fit in a similar way. If he signs for alot less money then reported, he might be worth the risk. Then MLB team might give him an opportunity to grow without immediate pressure to perform. Heck, he's only 24, but he had alot of games in which he had high pitch counts in Japan. Since Darvish is a power pitcher, he might do well in AT&T Park in San Francisco with large outfield, or San Diego's new stadium. These two parks are very hard to hit home runs. Igawa might've turn out better if he pitched in these parks. Igawa gave up alot of home runs in Japan and same happend in NY. He gets alot of balls up in the zone and this has been his problem.

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But, please let me know how many Japanese pitchers of late have been anything but a third or fourth starter in MLB.

What, from a sample size of 3 or 4? That's supposed to tell you what? Please explain how one guy's failure is supposed to predict another guy's success or failure.

And I am not sure why you keep saying 'there is no comparison'. Of course there is no comparison. He's in Japan, not the US. In Japan, he is dominant, and his crazy assortment of pitches and great power could very well translate to big success in the US. Who knows. You can't even reliably predict the success or failure of a guy switching TEAMS in MLB, how can one say anything about a guy jumping leagues?

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Have to place a kind of bidding cap on players going to the MLB. The Japanese teams are exhorting.Make it bidding rights + his salary. He ain't worth 80 mil just for bidding.

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He ain't worth 80 mil just for bidding.

As I said before, it's 80M for rights+salary.

There shouldn't be a cap anyway - if someone wants to spend $200M, let them.

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Despite the mileage on his arm, Darvish is still young, and the MLB team has time to dial it down a bit for his arm to rest-and- recover and elongate his career. MLB can get him early enough for youth resilience to be on his side.

As for Igawa, the guy didn't have the stuff to pitch past MLB sluggers, so he had to pitch with Greg Maddux-like control which he didn't have. He pitches a mistake in Japan, it's a base hit. His mistakes in MLB, homeruns and extra-base hits. At least Darvish has power to match, so that's a step in the door for his survival.

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biculturalAug. 16, 2011 - 11:32AM JST. Lincecum came in with a 99 mph fastball but now he usually hits only 92 mph. Darvish consistenly throws anywhere from 93 to 95 mph and can throw any pitch in the book (curve, slider, fork, screwball, etc) except for a knuckleball.

Lincecum never came with 99mph fastball. When he initially came up, he was around 94-96mph range. Now, he has been consistantly been around 92-94mph range. It's not all speed of the pitch. It's more about keeping the hitters off balanced by mixing pitches. Lincecum is a complete pitcher that has assortment of fastball that tails away, rises, breaks in , great forkball and change up, depending on how he holds the ball. His pitches never comes straight. If you look at Darvish, his fastball is flat at 93-95mph, but might be hittable in MLB. All teams in MLB have 2-3 guys that throw as hard as Darvish so this is nothing new. Look at Kimble of Atlanta, consistant 99mph with great movement. Best young pitcher is Kershaw who I think is way ahead of Darvish and making only $500K this year, a bargarin. Dodgers should sign him to a long term contract.

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it would be interesting, can he handle roided up major leagers?

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Ever since the drug-testing policy, MLB hitting has been down compared to pitching. It's the years of the pitcher!

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