Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Yu Darvish?

According to East Windup Chronicle, the Yankees are interested in pursuing Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish. Darvish is just twenty-one years old, and he dominated Japan last year, posting a 1.82 ERA and a .83 WHIP with 210 K's in 207.2 IP. These are amazing numbers, but don't get too excited yet. Darvish cannot sign as a free agent, so his team would have to post him, which is no guarantee. Also, along with the the posting fee, Darvish says that that Dice-K's $8.6 million/yr. contract would be the floor in his contract negotiations. Besides, the price, when has a hyped Japanese pitcher ever lived up to expectations? I'm sure he could be a solid three, or even a two, but based on the performances of Hideo Nomo, Hideki Irabu and Dice-K, I doubt he will put up the numbers that will be expected of him. I couldn't find a scouting report, but from this video, he appears to throw his fastball in the upper 80's/low 90's (if my KMH to MPH conversions are correct), with a good curveball and an ok change. There may be a splitter in there too, but I'm not really sure. Sounds kind of like Kei Igawa, actually. Anyway, although he has good control, his fastball is not good enough to be a great major leaguer. He will probably be good, but not worth a posting fee expected to be more than Dice-K's $51.1 million on top of a probable $13-15 million per year.