Most of us are well aware of the hype surrounding star pitcher Yu Darvish. The hype machine has been running pretty strong this offseason, but for some fans the Yu Darvish craze dates back to 2009. It appears that the hype is about to shift into the next gear because the expectation is that Yu Darvish will be posted today. After he is posted, Major League teams will have the opportunity to place sealed bids and once that is complete Yu Darvish’s team, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, will take some time to sort through each bid and announce the one that they are accepting – presumably the highest.
I fully expect the New York Yankees to be involved and I hope they make an aggressive bid. Honestly I’m not opposed to a $60-70 million bid by the Yankees to win the rights to negotiate a contract. Yes, that is a huge sum of money just to be able to negotiate with a player, but it does not count against the Yankees’ payroll. When looking at the commitment outside of the posting fee, you’re looking at an investment that actually carries less risk than the other options on the market. The transition from Japan to America will definitely be tough for Darvish, but the Yankees wouldn’t have to forfeit any draft picks for him as they would have with C.J. Wilson (who is now off the market), nor would they have to trade prospects for him as they would with John Danks, Gio Gonzalez and any other trade target that has been tossed around the web. The only thing the Yanks would be looking at is money – much of which wouldn’t even count towards the payroll and luxury tax.
The Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals are expected to make aggressive bids as well. The Rangers figure to be especially aggressive as they just lost their ace to a division rival. The Nats apparently have a lot of money to spend and are itching to make a nice splash in 2012. Adding Darvish to the the duo of Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann would definitely be exciting. There is definitely some stiff competition for the Yankees, but there really is no excuse for them to be outbid here. Hopefully Brian Cashman and Co. get this done.