My guess, or hope is that the truth behind these rumors is more media driven than Yankee; and here are four reasons why:
1) When an MLB team wants to acquire a Nippon Pro Baseball player before even negotiating the individual’s salary, the MLB team has to pay a posting fee just for the exclusive right to talk a deal in the first place. The posting fees are not made public so if there are multiple MLB team’s involved, nobody knows. As expected the player’s rights always go to the highest bidder. If that team fails to work out a contract with that NPB player, the posting fee is returned and so forth; the process starts again.
When the Boston Red Sox were interested in Dice-K, MLB Trade Rumors said the posting fee was $51.1 million dollars just to talk to him. The Red Sox paid Dice-K $52 million for six years, bring the total to $103 million bucks, and look how that has turned out.
Since Darvish is better than Dice-K, he will cost a small fortune, which is not worth the risk even for a rich team like the Yankees.
“Every person is different; every player is different. We’re going to look at every single one. We’re going to look at every single option, and we’re going to analyze it. It will be a go or no-go, but we look at each person as an individual.”
Well, I would find it almost impossible to discount the past, especially when two of the Yankees worst signings were Japanese pitching imports Kei Igawa and Hideki Irabu. Igawa is making $20 million and plays in Triple A Scranton-Wilkes Barre, but then add a $26 million posting fee and that makes a Igawa a $46 million dollar bust.
Igawa went 2-3 with a 6.66 ERA in his 13 starts in the Bronx. The Igawa acquisition is highly regarded as one of GM Brian Cashman’s worst deals ever.
3) Looking at the bigger picture, Japanese pitchers can’t handle the overall workload in MLB. In Japan’s NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) pitchers throw way less innings due to playing 18 fewer games in their regular season, and using a six-man pitching rotation.
4) Compared to MLB, Japan’s NPB uses smaller balls; enjoy a wider strike zone and have much softer mounds. These minor differences can throw a baseball player completely out of whack, which means a readjustment period that has no guarantee to work.
Many argue that Darvish has better numbers than past Japanese pitchers. This is true but coming to play in New York is a whole different monster. Fans are not forgiving at all, especially to the higher paid players who are expected to excel all the time; a main reason Hideki Matsui was so loved as a Yankee.
The Yankees don’t need to spend money on a pitcher with no MLB experience; and who can’t speak English. The Yankees could very-well end up with a Dice-K or Igawa situation and be hog-tied by some outlandish contract.
The Yankees seem to be a little wiser these days and for that reputation to stay that means…. no Yu Darvish, no way, no how, not ever.
- Igawa Won’t Stop Yanks From Going After Darvish (slidingintohome.blogspot.com)
- Yankees scouting Yu Darvish. Don’t do it!!! (fitzandvig.com)
- AL East Notes: Red Sox, Maddon, Darvish, Ortiz (mlbtraderumors.com)
- Morning Bits: Darvish, Chavez, Hal (yankeesfansunite.wordpress.com)
- MLB Free Agents 2012: 5 Free Agents the New York Yankees Should Target (bleacherreport.com)
- Hal Steinbrenner Says Yankees Need Only Fine-Tuning (nytimes.com)