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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

NY Post: Yankees play it cool as Darvish deadline nears

No matter how strong the signals coming from The Bronx about the Yankees not being hot for Yu Darvish, others will believe it when there is proof.

“They need him and when the Yankees need something they make a play for it,’’ one team executive predicted yesterday.

Yet, voices throughout the Yankees’ organization paint a lukewarm — at best — picture of them going hard after the 25-year-old Japanese right-hander major league teams can put in a posting bid for until 5 p.m. today.

The team with the winning bid, if it’s accepted by the Nippon Ham Fighters, gets a month to exclusively negotiate with Darvish.

Estimates have the winning bid in the $30 million range and Darvish commanding a five-year deal worth $75 million. Of course, the Yankees could submit a low bid and hope they win. That way they would control the process without outside interference.

I’d be surprised if the winning bid was for $30 million.  I think some rogue team will at least approach the Matsuzaka winning bid.  I don’t think it will be the Yankees, and while I’m hoping they win the bid and sign Darvish, the truth is he’s a risk and we have no idea how good he may end up being.

--Posted at 10:29 am by SG / 125 Comments | - (0)

Comments

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I irrationally want them to get him, just because.

[1] I rationally want them to get him, just because his age, upside, and probably low AAV of his contract.

[0] What do you think the chances are that the winning team surpasses the Matsuzaka bid as a sign of respect?

I honestly can’t tell if the Yankees are playing coy or they’re just not going to bid high on Du Yarvish.  Whether what we’re hearing in the press is disinformation or not.

[3] - They don’t want you to know, so it’s working.

And agree with #1. I just want to watch him play out.  Of course I felt the same way about Matsuzaka and right now I’m very glad they lost out on him.

I don’t think the winning bid will be as high as Dice-K’s.  Bidding that year was a little crazy.  TWN bid $51 million on Dice-K and the Yankees bid $26 million for Igawa.  Both bids were controversial at the time and even more questionable in hindsight.  I think the Dice-K/Igawa experience is going to keep a lid on the bidding for Japanese players for some time to come.  I can’t see the Yankees bidding $51 million for him, and if they don’t appear to be in for that kind of money, who else is going to want to into that territory?  I think teams that are interested are going to put in bids not to necessarily win, but to MAYBE win while in any case keeping other teams honest.

If a team wins the bid and fails to sign him, are they on the hook for the bid amount?  I presume so, otherwise wouldn’t some teams just enter the contest to block a competitor from getting a player? Fill me in if I am mistaken.

[6] No, the Japanese club only receives the posting funds if the player signs with the mlb team that made the bid.  If the player does not sign, his rights revert to the posting club.

I think the 5 inches that Darvish has on Matsuzaka is going to make a difference in how his performance will translate to the MLB.

TWN trade Weiland and Lowrie to the Astroglides for Melancon.

Huh. I had been reading all over the place about what an amazing trade chip Lowrie was. That isn’t much of a haul for him.

Melancon and Aceves are going to dominate next year.

I think the 5 inches that Darvish has on Matsuzaka is going to make a difference in how his performance…

That’s what she said…

7. I suppose the Japanese club could then just do it again and repeat the excercise a month later?  I suppose that at some point if it were too late in the winter the odds would be that Darvish might just stay there due to spring training approaching?

[5] IDK, part of the problem is that every new Japanese pitcher is DIFFERENT.  THIS one is going to really be the guy who is a true #1.  And every year a few teams buy into it, and submit larger than expected bids. 

The Rangers may be a good candidate - they probably have enough money to put in a good sized bid, and obviously now have a pitching need.  Maybe they read $30M and say, “we should bid $35M, just in case”.  Maybe Toronto thinks that the next couple of years is their best chance to make a splash in the AL - Rogers has tons of money - and says, “$30M is projected, we think a few teams will bid $35M, so we’ll bid $40M”.  Maybe the Red Sox new GM is given the blessing by ownership to spend whatever it takes and wants to impress people, and bids $45M.  Maybe the M’s want to get a Japanese player to replace Ichiro over the next 10 years, and use the parent org’s $$‘s to get him.  There are actually, probably, LOTS of teams that have the $$‘s, and the need, to go out and acquire Darvish.  And all you need is one of those teams to believe that getting Yu is worth ANY price, and the number becomes ridiculouse.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Darvish’s posting fee is under $30M.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it was over $60M.  I *would* be surprised if the Yankees got him for less than $40M.

[13] A caveat in this is the team that wins the bid must bargain, “in good faith”.  E.g. say Toronto wins and offers him 7/70, but he turns it down.  Sounds like Toronto really wanted to sign him, just couldn’t come to terms.  He’s returned to Japan, and I *think* has to wait until next year to be posted (or become a true FA).

If however Boston wants to block the Yankees, and bids $60M, but offers a 2/30 contract, Selig would award them a “playing the right way” medal could declare they didn’t act in good faith, and award the winning bid to the next highest bidder (may not be Selig by himself).

My guess is the winning bid is $38 million, and he signs for 5/$60.

Just putting that out there, and if I am right I will remind you all later.

[13] If I recall, a player can be posted only once a year.

[17] If you are wrong, you are counting on us to forget.

[15]  Pretty high-risk gambit for Boston, isn’t it?  What if Yu took the 2/30?  Now TWN has paid $90 million for 2 years of Darvish.

I liked Melancon when he was with the Yankees but I think he could be masticated, digested and excreted in the AL East.

If the bid winner negotiates “in bad faith” the Japanese team has the option to withdraw the posting or award the bid to the second highest team (I think).

[21]  And we know there are elaborate and complicated protocols for this that are not easily navigable by butter-stinkers.  Who knows what may constitute bad faith in the Land of the Rising Sun?

If you are wrong, you are counting on us to forget.

Exactly.

[21] Baseball Reference says this: “If the player does not sign a contract with the MLB team by the end of the signing period, the player is returned to the NPB team and the NPB team does not receive the bid money. Negotiation rights come with an implicit obligation to bargain with the player in good faith; however, the penalty for bad faith bargaining is unclear.”

I think it is totally vague, and last year the A’s were accused of negotiating in bad faith by the media—there were claims that the A’s just bid on someone named Iwakuma to block the Rangers from getting him. They failed to sign him, but he just went back to his Japanese team, and that was that.

I think if you want to block a player from going to another team, you can probably do it and still make it look like you tried your best but couldn’t reach an agreement on value. You probably have to be kind of incompetent to get in trouble this way, I think. But if you bid some crazy amount—like $70 million—and then offer the player $5 million a year, then CLEARLY you had no intention of signing him, because the market value is obviously high or you wouldn’t have bid 70 million for him. But, for instance, the Yanks bid 2.5 for Nakajima and won, so if they offer him 2 years, 3 million, it can’t be argued that they didn’t negotiate in good faith. If he was worth more than that on the open market, then the winning posting fee should be higher, right?

[0] What do you think the chances are that the winning team surpasses the Matsuzaka bid as a sign of respect?

Maybe 10%.  This is pure conjecture on my part, but I don’t think you can bid more than you’re willing to pay him, otherwise he’ll be tough to sign.  Why should his old team make more money than him off his ability? 

So if you bid $40M, you have to be willing to sign him for $40M+.  I think it’s tough to foresee any teams willing to go over $100M in total outlay for Darvish.  I think you’ll see something like a $40M winning bid and a 5 year, $50M contract.

[9] - This just seems like a horrible horrible trade for the Sox.  What is the logic behind that one?

[24] Yeah, you are probably right.

[25] The Red Sox are creating a bullpen out of spurned Yankee relievers.

Well the bidding is over.  Hopefully in the next 24 hours we’ll know.

If Darvish replaces Burnett, according to SG’s projections that makes the Yankees 1-2 wins better, right (or am I making numbers up)?

[29]  That’s what SG does.

[31] Well, yeah but he has fancy buzz words and “simulations” to back up his insane ramblings. I have nothing.

Olney says the Yanks posted a bid.  According to roidoworld, so did the Epstein Chubs.  Angels, TWN, Gloryholes, Twinks, Rays did not.

Now this, from mlbtr:

“The Nippon Ham Fighters were very excited by how large the high bid was according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Still no word on the the money, though.”

Rangers and Jays made bids, per roidowoild.

Per Hoch: “Cashman, via text, on if he offered a bid for Yu Darvish: “Wouldn’t say.” So… there’s that.”

[33] This makes me think that the Yankees did not win. :(

Who are the Gloryholes? And do I want to know?

Gloryholes = Orioles.

Similar reaction to 33.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports (on Twitter) that the Fighters plan to accept the posting bid no matter how large it is.

[37] That’s what I thought, but no one is really sure how your mind works. It’s a scary, scary place.

RAB:

Via Buster Olney, the Yankees did in fact place a bid for Darvish. No word on the size of the bid, but David Waldstein hears it was “not huge.”. Jack Curry says they discussed the right-hander at the meeting today, then decided to make a bid within the last two hours before the deadline.

:-(

[39] Mel Hall himself aint sure though he gots lot of time to think about it these days.

I think it’s going to be the Cubs.

I’m hoping Kuroda is plan B.

[42] I’m betting on the Jays.

I’m really ok with not getting him. I know what SG’s numbers say but I’d still be surprised if he pans out.

[45] even taking SG’s number with a grain of salt, he looks to be a good to solid player, and he certainly seems to have the tools to be very good.

I will be disappointed, but not heartbroken when the Yankees do not win the bidding.

I will be pissed if the Rangers get him, if only because this article is so f’ing annoying:

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/19252/yu-darvish-why-hell-end-up-with-texas

If the Yanks don’t make an all-out effort to get Darvish, that will tell me that this is not the same team as when George was alive. In George’s day, one could pretty much assume that the Yanks would get the best players out there.  But a failure to go after Darvish will tell me that the Yanks are now just another team.

In George’s day, one could pretty much assume that the Yanks would get the best players out there.

As someone whose formative Yankee-fan years were roughly 1982-90, I disagree with this statement.

Edit: Ricky Henderson does not outweigh all mediocrities.

In George’s day, one could pretty much assume that the Yanks would get the best players out there.

Didn’t they lose the bidding on Matsuzaka and Irabu when George was alive?

In George’s day, one could pretty much assume that the Yanks would get the best players out there.

Dave Collins, Omar Moreno, Steve Kemp, Wayne Tolleson, Joe Niekro, Joe Cowley… should I go on?  Because I haven’t mentioned Eddie Lee Whitson yet.  And that’s just the early ‘80s.

[48-51] Point is, nostalgia for “George’s day” requires some real blinders.

George shoulda never traded Buhner

George had triumphs and also many…other things.  Kind of like Stalin.  I mean on the one hand, perhaps the Jewish doctors were a problem that needed to be taken care of.  On the other hand, maybe the kuloks were the backbone of the rural economy and the purge was a mistake.  In conclusion, Russia invented baseball, and there were many successes as well as failures.

President Andrew Johnson and Tommy Lee Jones—separated at birth?

Where’s Dan Topping and Geoge Weiss when we really need em’?

[55} I like Quaddafi and Charles Bronson.

[56] Cutting Mickey Mantle’s salary because he didn’t win the triple crown.

[54] impeccable logic

The thing that really confuses me about the Melancon trade is that the Red Sox gave up a couple of decent players for him after completely kicking his ass when they played him this year. It is so weird to me to give up a couple of decent players for a guy that you, yourself, beat the heck out of. What is the point?

[60[  Kicking his ass?  He gave up one run in one IP.

Oops, sorry, it was Tampa Bay that kicked his ass. Right before he then faced Boston and then lost against them, too. I just remember him getting his ass kicked by AL East teams.

I’m taking the Nationals for 62M.

[63] I would be pretty shocked if it were that high, but the Nats getting him would be pretty damn interesting.

Strasburg may be the best pitcher in baseball, with Darvish and Zimmermann backing him up that’s a hell of a rotation.

[46] The problem with SG’s numbers is there is so little sample to draw from.  It’s possible he’s underestimating Darvish’s talent…or severely over-estimating.  Also, I read somewhere - I think FanGraphs - they’re talking about the SS Yankees won the posting on.  They mentioned that in 2011 Japan leagues tried out a new baseball that was more pitcher-friendly.  IDK if that’s been correctly accounted for in Yu’s numbers.

Long story short, seems the Yankee scouts who have watched him pitch, seem to think of him like they thought of Wilson.  Nice pitcher with some upside, but probably more like a #3 than a #1/#2.  They could be wrong.  Could be wrong on Wilson too.  But even moreso than Wilson, we’re just throwing darts at a wall.  It really (really) sounds like Hamels will be available next year.  If they can only afford one more big-name pitcher in the next 3-5 years, I’d rather they save the money for Hamels.

Re: the Boss…as noted, Steinbrenner did not always get the best player (good example - Greg Maddox).  Steinbrenner just spent ridiculous amounts of money to get players he wanted.  He wasn’t always successful, but since he did it so often, it seemed that way.  The Yankees now are most certainly *not* “just another team”.  They’re a team with the most money (though the gap isn’t as great as the MSM would like us to believe), and (finally) one of the best front-offices in baseball.  If Levine can be silenced (that appendix seems to be acting up…), there’s a good chance Cashman can build a new young-core in the next several years…

[64] As I don’t see the Yankees winning the bidding, I’d be quite happy with Yu in Washington.

If the Mariners get Yu, I wonder if that leads to a possible trade of Felix to the Yankees for Montero and the Bs.  Seems like that would leave both teams pretty well off.

[65] A lot of good points. I’m probably the biggest booster for Hamels, but it’s important to realize that Hamels is going to get a HUGE contract, like CC huge.

Still, I can’t wait until Hamels is a Yankee.

Early rumor is the Blue Jays won the bidding with a bit over $50M…

http://twitter.com/#!/Evan_P_Grant/status/147338112371138560

The AL East is tough enuf, let Yu go elsewhere.

If it’s true, I just don’t get that type of money.  I guess the question is, what would you pay for a 25 year old #1 pitching prospect (assuming it was a normal one and not Strasburg)?  I’m not sure I play around $100M total for him.  How may players have the Yankees gotten in the last $100M in international signings?

[72] How much would Strasburg get on the open market? Certainly not 100MM.

[69] Truly.  Which is why I don’t think they can afford Hamels *and* Darvish.  Not if they’re serious about getting to $189M in 2014 and having more than minor-leaguers everywhere else on the roster anyway.

[73] Given his injury history?  Or the start before he was injured?  I think there is a difference, but…I’d suppose he’d get a little less than double what Matt Moore got.  Maybe something like 7/70, if options/bonuses were reached.

I’m resigned to the fact that we’re not the high bidder.  Still, the winter isn’t over and I’m hard-pressed to believe that the new austerity regime, assuming it exists, precludes the Yankees from doing anything meaningful to upgrade the team.

[75] Strasburg’s numbers (in SSS of course) are incredible. In some ways they are even better than Darvish’s numbers. But, I’m not sure he would get a 100MM dollar contract now or before his injury.

[76] Sure, I just wouldn’t expect any more moves.  At least nothing major; e.g. they’ll probably resign Andruw, maybe sign some more players to MiL contracts to provide some competition/depth in ST.

Cashman seems to have a pretty good idea of how much he’s willing to spend - players and dollars - to improve the team.  He also seems to believe they’re in a position where overpaying isn’t a good idea.  So just b/c he’s willing to pay $15M a year for a pitcher, doesn’t mean he’ll give that amount to the best pitcher available (Edwin Jackson right now?), if that pitcher only gives $10M in value.  The only major moves I can possibly see at this point are a trade for Danks, or Koruda.  Koruda would require only a year guaranteed probably, and Danks the price has to come WAY down.

[77]  Yes, exactly.  The SSS means teams could figure him out.  At least enough that he’s just a “normal” #1 pitcher.  Add in injury concerns from a young pitcher who has no history of back-to-back 180+IP seasons - moreso now of course - and teams would be hard pressed to commit those kinds of $$‘s.  So if you aren’t willing to give Strasburg - upside is Seaver-like career - that $$‘s, why would you give Darvish?

I think Moore gives a good baseline.  #1 pitching prospect going into this year (right?), had a solid debut season, and for some nice round numbers is 8/40.  How much better of a prospect is Darvish?

Moore was under team control and not subject to a bidding war.  You are guessing a bidding war would double that? 

It looks like the Jays beat the Matsuzaka bid so they are paying close to that just to talk to the man.  It just seems like stupid money.

[80] “It looks like the Jays beat the Matsuzaka bid so they are paying close to that just to talk to the man.  It just seems like stupid money.”

I agree.  To sign Darvish looks like a $100m+ investment if the posting fee rumors are true.  That’s too much risk and uncertainty for that price imo.

[81] Maybe more, in addition to the posting rumors, it’s been reported that Darvish has som leverage as he is making plenty of money in Japan and would be willing to stay there. We could see this deal ending up being considerably more than 100MM.

I wonder if the Yankees intended to make a serious bid on Du Yarvish.  If the answer is no, should they not have tried to sign Kuroda by now?

[82] - He only made about $6M last year.

Assuming the total cost of Darvish is $100m, posting fee + five-year deal, how many WAR would he have to put up to make that deal sensible for the club that signs him?

[85] Do you just look at it as a 20MM/year contract? In that case he’d have to be a 4-5 WAR player each year to be worth it assuming 1 win is worth somewhere between 4 and 5 million. Basically, he needs to be an ace. If you look at it more like a 10-15 AAV contract then the expectations are much lower/more reasonable: 2-4 WAR (depending on how highly you value a win).

[86] Why wouldn’t one take the posting fee into account in determining his cost and AAV?

while we’re speaking about Darvish, does anyone know why the NPB uses a different ball than the MLB? Seems kind of ridiculous to me.

MLBTR:

•The Yankees seem to like Hiroki Kuroda more than the other free agent pitchers, according to Heyman.

[88] leftover sushi

[86] - Actually since a huge chunk of money was paid up front, the PV of the contract is a lot higher than that of a standard $100/5.

[87,92] Then he needs to pitch like an ace over the length of the contract, and a Cy Young caliber season or two in there wouldn’t hurt.

Is Darvish capable of that? I think there’s a chance that he is, but it’s not a huge probability.

Small island of rationality inside the mind of Mel Hall:

“CAIRO says we’re a 94-win team just standing pat.  Add Andruw and we’re maybe 95 wins.  Granted CAIRO’s proprietary algorithm contains a pro-Yankees bias. Still even if we do little or nothing we will most likely contend next year.”

Overwhelming irrational majority of Mel Hall’s six remaining brain cells:

“I’m bored.  I want toys.  I want Darvish!  I want Centipede!”

[94] If it makes you feel any better, I think the failure to get Darvish makes the acquisition of CENTIPEDE! more likely.

[95] Thank you for trying to make me feel better, snuggles.  Life in this prison cell can be very lonely.

[96] You should find and watch the “film” Centipede!

It’s an amazingly awful movie.

[80] Yes, it’s all POOMA of course.  Part of it is somewhat logical; I think Tango has shown that teams pay about twice what they will for a win on the FA market as they do for a win on their team.  IOW, teams pay something like $2.5M per win (that’s FA, arb eligeable players, “free” players, etc).  But they pay roughly $5M on the open market for a win.  So, you might expect Moore to roughly double what he got from the Rays if he were on the market.  So double, with a healthy dose of adjusting until it felt right.

[83] I guess if they put in a non-trivial bid - say $25M - they could feel there’s still a chance they end up with Darvish.  IOW similar to Nakajima.  So they would want to wait and see if they got Darvish at a relative bargain, and then aftewards go hard after Kuroda.

[94] Or you can think of how sweet it will be to sweep the Angels and their high-priced roster out of the ALCS, despite the Yankees spending almost no new money for 2-consecutive off-seasons.

I would think they’d unload one of the current trio of outfielders pretty soon though maybe not right away if they sign Centipede.

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