It Had to be Yu: Darvish to be Posted

According to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker (with a hat tip to the incomparable Drew Silva of NBC Hardball Talk for digging it up), Yu Darvish will be posted by the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters at some point either today or Friday. 

Darvish is one of the most, if not THE most, promising pitching prospect to come out of Japan.  Many have compared him to Daisuke Matsuzaka, but that’s really not fair.  While Dice-K was spectacular pitching in Japan, he never exhibited the same level of dominance Darvish has shown over the past few years.  He’s a four time All-Star who produced a disgusting 18-7 record, 1.44 ERA and 276/36 K/BB ratio across 232 innings this past season for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.

According to a scouting report written by Lincoln Hamilton of Project Prospect, Darvish is armed with an impressive six-pitch arsenal that includes a four-seamer, two-seamer, cutter, slider, change-up, and shuuto.  His fastball-type pitches have good late breaking movement that keep hitters off balance and induce weak contact.  His velocity typically stays in the 93-95 MPH range, although does touch 96-97 at times.  He has two types of sliders, one with vertical movement and the other that’s more horizontal.  Both appear to be “whiff” offerings.  His control (as evidenced by his K/BB ratio) is considered to be elite for now, but that may change upon entering the majors.  Pitching to more advanced hitters with a larger baseball could have an effect on the way he pitches.  It certainly did with Dice-K. 

It’s unclear how much Darvish would command via the posting process.  Considering his age, hype, and talent; it stands to reason the price would start around Dice-K’s $51.1M posting fee and go from there.  With free agent talent being incredibly thin this winter, it’s very possible we could see the winning bidder come in with a $75M post. 

Per MLB Trade Rumors, the Rangers and Blue Jays are reportedly interested in making bids for the 25 year old right hander.  This makes sense since the Rangers are about to lose C.J. Wilson to either then Angels or Marlins, and the Blue Jays have a TON of payroll flexibility for 2012 and beyond.  I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the titans (Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs) get involved as well; especially with an eye towards signing him to a backloaded long-term contract.  Keep in mind posting fees are not included with luxury tax calculations, so teams are spending “free money” so to speak.  At the very least, it’s something for the Red Sox to consider. 

What are your thoughts on Darvish?  Should the Red Sox make a run at the Japanese phenom, or should they stay the course and look for value in trades and via free agency.

Categories: Yu Darvish

After being slapped with a restraining order for stealing Nick Cafardo's mail, I was forced into retirement for a brief period of time. As fun as it was to lounge around the community pool and play shuffleboard with noted internet columnist, Murray Chass, I quickly felt a yearning to write again. Now in my second tenure with Fire Brand, I have set lofty goals of achieving world domination, ending the plight of the hipsters, and becoming BFFs with Mike Trout. I am fluent in two languages (Sarcasm and English, in that order); have an intimate relationship with M&Ms; firmly believe that Lucille is the best character on Arrested Development; and spend my spare time trolling select members of the Boston media. You can follow me on Twitter @Chip_Buck.

10 Responses to “It Had to be Yu: Darvish to be Posted” Subscribe

  1. vtbasser December 8, 2011 at 10:51 AM #

    Is a Shuuto like a Gyroball? I totally want Darvish. We just saved all that money on Bedard anyhow.

    • @aklaft December 8, 2011 at 11:07 AM #

      A shuuto is a real pitch unlike the gyro. It's a heavy sinker, basically

  2. magowanite December 8, 2011 at 12:03 PM #

    He is the real deal. I honestly don't care what team he pitches for, I just want to see him pitch.

    • ChipBuck December 8, 2011 at 12:46 PM #

      Same here. His career ERA in seven seasons is 1.99. Even if Japan is on par with AAA, that theoretically translates to something in the 3-3.50 range. With his K/BB skills, he should be very good; especially since he induces a fair amount of ground balls.

  3. rshepherd December 8, 2011 at 12:45 PM #

    as much as I would love it.. snowball… hell.. etc…

  4. Blinzler1 December 8, 2011 at 12:59 PM #

    Please Sox sign this guy! Being a huge Redsox and Baseball-Fan from germany with an iranian father myself, this would be the most unlikely connection of my interests, but given the quality this guy has, it should be a funny one. Please don't make me a every fifth day Yankee-Fan and let the evil empire snag him…

  5. marcos December 8, 2011 at 2:17 PM #

    the yankees are gonna get him

  6. donna December 8, 2011 at 8:18 PM #

    it would be great to have him for many reasons….like…. we NEED pitching,….Bobby V speaks Japanese…..i bet the RS make a small fortune just in collateral increase in fan base – lots of people in Japan will follow him just as they did/do Dice-K—lots to be said for making money from merch., …. and,…. most or more importantly, we cannot afford for the Yanks to get him, or, for that matter, the Blue Jays.

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