Read: Yu Darvish Could be the Yankees Next Big Target

The Yankees failed on signing Cliff Lee this offseason and without much else available on the free agent market they have failed to make any major upgrades to their rotation this offseason.

Instead the Yankees will look toward upgrading via a trade during the season and if that fails they’ll be back in the free agent market next offseason. The problem is that next offseason’s free agent market isn’t exactly awe inspiring. There is basically Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, Joel Pineiro, and C.J. Wilson and none of those pitchers are clear no. 2 starters behind CC Sabathia.

Because of this, the Yankees could turn toward Japan and Yu Darvish.

I’ve taken a few looks at Darvish in the past, but nothing really was ever too in depth. Larry Koestler of the Yankeeist took a better look at the Japanese righty today in a great read.

Koestler surmises that the Yankees may take the $160 million that they were willing to invest into Lee and spend up to $130 million of it to bring Darvish to the Bronx. Then he examines some of the pluses, he’s still only 24, and minuses, he’s already thrown over 1,000 professional innings, of signing him. He also tries to gauge some of his projections to determine if a Darvish signing would be worth it.

Take a look at Koestler’s article. He admits that he has gotten a little excited about Darvish’s potential, but warns that he is an unknown quantity.

What do you think? Is this something that the Yankees should get involved in? Or are they better off targeting somebody like Jackson or Buehrle?

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27 Responses to Read: Yu Darvish Could be the Yankees Next Big Target

  1. smurfy says:

    I would tend to agree with Hardcore, that Felix would be a better target, much more proven, and there are others, Wainright, Kershaw that prospects, players and/or money could achieve. (fair thought about using a big wad of money, Hardcore, but I wonder if that is legit?)

    I am wary of the differences in the leagues and the cultures – it is widely held that NY presents a risk of pressures that challenge. What of the challenge that would face young Darvish?

    I would lean heavily on ML scouts, but a different crew than those that OKed Kei, to try to address the potential differences.

    Last, I'd say that the $160 million is not cash burning a hole in current pockets, it was scary commitment against future revenues.

  2. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    Even allowing for the fact that next season’s free agent pickings are slim, the Yanks would be crazy to sink $130 million into this guy. He’s completely unproven in MLB, let alone the AL East. $130 million??? They would have been better off offering Cliff Lee $175 million for 5 years. Another plausible alternative is to give the Mariners a $50 million booty on top of a few prospects for Felix.

  3. Yu Darvish looks like the real deal. I also did something on him, and at his age, he compares very well to and even outperforms Matsuzaka by a large margin and Dice-K was supposed to be a legit ace in the MLB

  4. Pistol Pete says:

    Irabu and Igawa. Nothing else has to be said.

  5. Everyone realizes that Felix Hernandez is not available and there is a decent chance he won't be available for a long time. This isn't a video game.

    • Franco Kotos says:

      the Mariners are looking to build around King Felix…no one's expendable but the Mariners have him locked in for several more years at a manageable salary…the Mariners would want crazy stuff for Felix like Cano and Montero…that will never happen…

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      Rob, there isn't anyone in the game of baseball that "is not available". It's just a question of what it would take to pry them lose. If the Mariners have another season in which they can't even win 70 games, they probably will seriously think about the notion of trading Felix being that he will start to make close to $20M after this season. If all that's going toward a big losing cause anyway, why not save the money and get serious building pieces for the future? I doubt Cano is someone they would want if they let Felix go, even at his very affordable ~$12-14M.

      • Franco Kotos says:

        why wouldn't the Mariners want Cano…he's young and in the prime of his career…but you may be right in terms of the Mariners probably preferring a top line pitching prospect in a deal which would probably mean Banuelos or Betances…that would be on top of Montero and possibly a guy like David Adams…we're a long way off from any of this becoming a remote possibility though…

  6. CrimDef1 says:

    I’m with Pete. Look: Dice-K was at least productive, but has not shown the durability the Red Sux hoped. Irabu and Kei Igawaa were unmitigated disasters. There are a number of good young arms in the pipeline. If we need an arm by, say, the all-star break, take the 150 and go buy Felix. Leave this long-shot alone. 1000 inningas already?

  7. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    As for Darvish, he may very well be all that but the bottom line is that Japan hasn't exported even ONE pitcher in 15+ years that can remotely be claimed as a true ace, or anything close to for that matter. Even though there have been several that have been built up as such. I'll believe it when I see it. $130 million would represent the third highest contract given to a pitcher if memory serves. There were plenty of naysayers of the Santana and Sabathia contracts. Does it really sound like a good plan to give that to a pitcher who hasn't thrown one pitch in the majors???

    As for the Yankees and this notion of a bottomless well of money, I don't really know about that. None of us probably ever will. What I do know is that their reported profits have been very minimal (decent in the past year or two but BIG losses prior to the new stadium). I believe they only have a 20% stake in YES. What no one ever mentions is that there is a $1.5 billion stadium that is well over a decade from being paid off on. I can easily see $100M going out the door for the principal on that stadium each year, which does not get reported as an expense so it makes operating profits look substantially higher than what their actual cash flow situation is.

    • smurfy says:

      Hardcore, I appreciate the line of concern in your second paragraph. I'd like to know more definition of the BIG losses prior to the new stadium. I'd kick myself if we lost the pitching Ichiro, but I don't want the Yankees to play with disaster.

      • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

        Here is link that shows the money they lost from 2004-2007. I believe they lost quite a bit in 2008 as well.

        http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/33/07mlb_New-Yor

        As for Yu, he better be a whole lot better than the pitching Ichiro for that kind of money. That should be the worst case type scenario IMO if that kind of money is being shelled out.

      • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

        Here's actually a better link:

        http://bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_wra

        You have to click year by year but you can see that they lost about $50M in 2008. Lost a little in 2009 as well (contrary to what I thought). Made a decent amount in 2010 but once again the cash flow of the principal for the stadium is not taken into account. I can only imagine that the YES network, and their share of the profits is funding all of these losses as well as the repayments on the stadium but this is not a team flush with cash no matter how you look at it. I certainly can't say for sure but it doesn't look that healthy to me.

        • Franco Kotos says:

          the Igawa acquisition was the worst…it came after Dice K signed with the Red Sox's and Cashman or maybe it was the boss, threw too much at a guy that they knew didn't come close to comparing to Dice K at the time…

        • smurfy says:

          Thanks, Hardcore. It's hard to see the full picture,since it seems the Yes revenues (tho the 2010 writeup did explain $189 mil fee and dividends) and the big catering corp revenues are not included. Never mentioned player development (minor league teams) either. I had better use my financial energy to look after my own affairs, and just hope they are wise stewards, who look to the long term.

  8. Franco Kotos says:

    this guy Yu Darvish is interesting but the price tag seems pretty high…is the $130 million considered a posting fee (i forget what they call that) and/or salary?

  9. The estimated $130 million figure includes a $50 million posting fee and an $80 million contract.

    • Franco Kotos says:

      if this kid is all he’s cracked up to be, i hope the Yankees go for it…problem is that they have too many bad memories and one is still hanging around the minors…still, from what’s been written, this kid could be the pitching version of Ichiro…

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      I understand that it includes a $50M posting fee. What difference does that make? It’s money going out the door. In fact, it’s worse because it has to be paid all up front.

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      Sorry Rob. I missed the post above yours I did not know you were responding to a question.

  10. Franco Kotos says:

    the Yankees are stuck with some big fat contracts on the books for several years…the only significant contract leaving soon is Posada…Swisher will hopefully resign a short term deal if he keeps producing…

  11. smurfy says:

    I just noticed the jackass in the picture above Yu Darvish. That's not Yu's agent, is it?

    (btw, what is Yu's windup like, before delivery? I hate Dice-K's and Ching Ming's exaggerated stretch – Is he going to do that ALL game?)

  12. Joe says:

    Haven't we learned our lesson with Japanese pitchers????