The Yankees sent scout Rick Williams to Japan to watch pitching sensation Yu Darvish recently after Billy Eppler, the team’s head of pro scouting, saw the 25-year-old right-hander hurl for the Nippon Ham Fighters.
Darvish, a Japanese big leaguer since 2007, is expected to be posted by the Ham Fighters after this season and draw considerable interest from multiple major league teams.
He is 16-4 with a 1.54 ERA this year and has a career record of 74-26.
It makes sense that the Yankees are scouting Darvish. He’s a very good, young pitcher and he may be the biggest name on the free agent market. Unless of course the Yankees believe C.J. Wilson can be a front of the rotation starter or maybe Edwin Jackson.
They are going to need a starter as it is very likely that one or both Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia are not back next season and bounce back seasons from A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes are far from guaranteed. They have young rookie starters available to call up like Hector Noesi or David Phelps, but the Yankees would probably prefer them to fight for the no. 5 spot instead of giving them prominent innings in the rotation.
So it makes sense that they are scouting Darvish. The question becomes, will they like him enough to make a big enough offer to land him.