Japan’s Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters Will Post Star Pitcher

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Japan’s Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters Will Post Star Pitcher

Postby shayeyp6shx » 10 Dec 2011, 19:06

Major League Baseball notified teams at 5 p.m. on Thursday that they could submit posting bids for Darvish, a 25-year-old who some believe could be the best pitcher ever to emerge from Japan. Many baseball executives believe he could end up with the Texas Rangers. Teams now have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to submit blind bids. The highest bidder gets the right to negotiate a contract with Darvish, with that money paid in addition Moncler Bas to the posting bid. But if a contract agreement is not reached within 30 days, Darvish must go back to his Japanese club. Because of the secretive bidding process, major league teams here have been cautious about stating publicly whether they will submit bids for Darvish. The Rangers, who just lost the free-agent pitcher C. J. Wilson to the Los Angeles Angels, are expected to make a substantial bid, and the Toronto Blue Jays and perhaps the Washington Nationals could make bids as well. “I would never talk about that publicly,” Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos said. “Obviously, he is a very talented pitcher, and I think it’s good for baseball if he comes to pitch here, but I would not comment any more than that.” The Yankees, who could use a front-end pitcher for their rotation, just won the posting bid for the 29-year-old Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, but for a modest 2.5 million. No one knows what it will take to win the posting auction for Darvish, but many in baseball say it will be at least 30 million, and perhaps significantly more. Will that number scare off the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, despite their financial resources? It might. The Yankees had a disastrous experience when they signed Kei Igawa from Japan to a five-year, 20 million contract, in addition to the 26 million posting fee. Igawa spent the great portion of that contract in the minor leagues. And the Red Sox had only mixed results when they spent lavishly to sign Daisuke Matsuzaka. Boston won the posting in November 2006 with a bid of 51,111,111.11, then signed him to a five-year, 50 million contract, so the entire venture cost more than 100 million. (The Red Sox obliterated the second-place bid of the Mets, who were shocked to have lost with their 39 million bid. This time around, the strapped Mets will not be involved with Darvish.) Matsuzaka helped the Red Sox win the 2007 World Series and went 18-3 with a 2.90 earned run average in 2008, but his years in Boston since then have been marked by miscommunication, frustration and injury. Considering what occurred with Igawa and Matsuzaka, it might be too daunting for the Yankees to commit tens of millions of dollars to acquire a pitcher whose sac tod's talents are not a lock to translate to the United States. So far, the Yankees’ interest in Darvish has seemed lukewarm. On Thursday, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman talked about the crucial aspect of timing, and referred to the years when free agents like Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado wanted to go to the Yankees, but the Yankees had no need for them with Bernie Williams and Jason Giambi. In this instance, the Yankees are actually concerned about money and the financial incentives the new collective bargaining agreement will provide down the road if they can get their payroll under a 189 million threshold. A long-term contract for Darvish would not help that goal. “He’s an extremely talented player,” Cashman said. “I don’t think that’s in dispute. But in terms of how it transitions and everything like that, I wouldn’t want to speculate. But obviously, he’s got a great deal of ability.” In seven years with Hokkaido, Darvish has gone 93-38 with a career 1.99 E.R.A. This season, he went 18-6 with a 1.44 E.R.A. and 276 strikeouts. He has never had an E.R.A. tod's chaussures homme over 1.88, and has major star power and charisma in Japan, so there could be a marketing aspect to his signing as well. Although the Red Sox feel somewhat stung by the Matsuzaka experience, the addition of Bobby Valentine as manager could increase the likelihood that they will submit a meaningful bid. Valentine managed three years against Darvish in Japan, is at home with Japanese baseball and could help make the transition to the United States easier for him. The Rangers are the consensus leading candidates, especially with the loss of Wilson. Although Wilson believes Texas’ relatively low offer to him indicates a reluctance to spend, it may mean that the team, which had two Japanese pitchers on its roster last year, is more interested in signing Darvish.
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