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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Yahoo: Passan: Rangers win bidding for Yu Darvish

The Texas Rangers won the rights to negotiate with star Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish by placing a record $51.7 million bid in a posting auction, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Darvish’s team in Japan, the Nippon Ham Fighters, will accept the bid, which means the Rangers have 30 days to negotiate a contract with Darvish. If they cannot work out a deal, Darvish would return to Japan for the 2012 season and the Rangers would be refunded the posting fee.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:12 AM | 82 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japan, rangers

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   1. RTSquared is not on the Rangers' DL...yet... Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:26 AM (#4019894)
I certainly hope Yu is more than 1% better than Dice-K.
   2. Spahn Insane Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:27 AM (#4019895)
Wonder if, as speculated, this makes the Rangers less likely to go hard after Fielder.
   3. Dan Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:42 AM (#4019898)
Surprised this thread hasn't had more responses.

Who's the odd man out in Texas among Holland, Harrison, Ogando, Feliz, and Colby Lewis?
   4. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:45 AM (#4019901)
Wor. The AL West is going to be beastly.
   5. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:50 AM (#4019903)
The entire AL is silly. If Fielder lands in Toronto, even more so.

I'd think the Rangers would make a trade given the depth they have in the minors at SP. I don't think they'll jerk around Felix again after saying he'll move into the rotation, and both he and Nathan will want to close anyway. I think you move Harrison.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:50 AM (#4019904)
The Rangers are one of the coolest teams right now. It would be very exciting if Darvish leads them to the Series again.
   7. Textbook Editor Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:50 AM (#4019905)
#3--Did the Rangers sign a closer (I can't recall); I would imagine Feliz just slides back into the closer role, assuming a deal gets done.

If Darvish does on-par with Dice-K (not better, not worse, but just about the same), does that basically kill any interest US clubs would have in the posting process/going out of their way to sign a Japanese pitcher to any kind of high contract? You would think it might.
   8. JJ1986 Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:51 AM (#4019906)
I'd stick Ogando in the bullpen. It can't hurt to have 6 starters around.
   9. TerpNats Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:53 AM (#4019910)
Good news on the North Side, because I don't believe the Rangers can afford both Darvish and Prince Fielder. Perhaps the Jays will now get in the Prince derby and wrest him from potential Cubdom.
Wor. The AL West is going to be beastly.
More like half-beastly, half-brutalized, with the Athletics and Mariners in the roles of the Devil Rays (pre-2008) and Orioles.
   10. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:54 AM (#4019912)
Ogando was very very good before tiring down the stretch. I think he's too valuable to move to the pen. They have Perez/Ross/Ramirez all slated to start in Double-A/Triple-A, so worst case they have talented (B or B+ grades from Sickels) guys in reserve.
   11. Xander Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:57 AM (#4019915)
This division will be God-like once the Astros join in 2013.
   12. ajnrules Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:58 AM (#4019917)
Great...knowing the Rangers' luck, Darvish will probably end up being a bust.

Did the Rangers sign a closer (I can't recall)

They signed Joe Nathan, assuming he still qualifies as one.
   13. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:58 AM (#4019918)
This division will be God-like once the Astros join in 2013.


In that they have the Alpha and the Omega of talent?
   14. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: December 20, 2011 at 06:01 AM (#4019920)
Harrison to the Padres in a deal for Alonso or Rizzo would make plenty of sense given recent rumors and Harrison being a great match for Petco.
   15. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 20, 2011 at 06:10 AM (#4019926)
In that they have the Alpha and the Omega of talent?

I am pretty sure you would have to start making up new Greek letters, just to fit the Astros in...
   16. Textbook Editor Posted: December 20, 2011 at 06:11 AM (#4019928)
I'd edit my #7, but I think it's better to leave it as a testament to how quickly one can forget things during the off-season... or, better put: "D'oh!"
   17. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 20, 2011 at 06:12 AM (#4019931)
Harrison to the Padres in a deal for Alonso or Rizzo would make plenty of sense given recent rumors and Harrison being a great match for Petco.


Heyman is reporting that the Rays are interested and dangling Wade Davis.
   18. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: December 20, 2011 at 06:15 AM (#4019935)
For Harrison? Davis would make plenty of sense in the pen if that's where the Rangers wanted to go.
   19. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 20, 2011 at 06:17 AM (#4019937)
No, for Rizzo
   20. Something Other Posted: December 20, 2011 at 06:20 AM (#4019939)
If Darvish does on-par with Dice-K (not better, not worse, but just about the same), does that basically kill any interest US clubs would have in the posting process/going out of their way to sign a Japanese pitcher to any kind of high contract? You would think it might.
I would have that little Alex would have discouraged anyone from signing anyone over 30 to 10/Quarter of a billion but that didn't slow down the Angels.

So, can we expect something in the 6/50 to 6/60 range from the Rangers for Darvish? The Rangers seem fairly sharp. I imagine they'll try to get Darvish for Matsuzaka money despite the difference in their Japanese records.
   21. Papa Squid Posted: December 20, 2011 at 06:28 AM (#4019946)
As a Jays fan who had let himself be fooled by the idea that the Jays were "back", the news tonight was heartbreaking. I'm sure Plan B is in motion... but it's profoundly disappointing nonetheless.
   22. Hugh Jorgan Posted: December 20, 2011 at 06:39 AM (#4019949)
The entire AL is silly

Well yes the entire AL is really cross about the NL taking 4 of the last 7 series...and dammit, they ain't gonna take it anymore!
   23. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 20, 2011 at 06:40 AM (#4019950)
From the coldest city in NPB to the hottest city in MLB. That should be interesting...
   24. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 20, 2011 at 06:42 AM (#4019951)
Jays must have known they weren't the high bid the way they went after Latos. They'll still be "back" if they sign Fielder, or even if they don't they're still pretty good.
   25. Papa Squid Posted: December 20, 2011 at 06:52 AM (#4019956)
The perception of the Jays in this city is of a sub-.500 team, despite they've only been that bad once in the past five years, playing in the AL East. Honestly, I think the Raptors are better perceived by the general public than the Jays and the Raptors are awful. I think they've been pretty good for a few years, but the buzz and excitement about Darvish the past few days -- I can't recall anything like it since they signed Clemens fifteen years ago. At least, that's my personal perception anyways. I knew lots of lapsed Jays fans who were very excited about the prospect of the Jays finally spending some money, and a team that seemed to be on the cusp of contending. In the AL East, pretty good just is not near good enough.
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: December 20, 2011 at 07:04 AM (#4019961)
Well yes the entire AL is really cross about the NL taking 4 of the last 7 series...and dammit, they ain't gonna take it anymore!


too bad this isn't facebook, or else I would have liked that comment.
   27. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 20, 2011 at 11:08 AM (#4019971)
Gotta admire the Rangers not sitting on their hands in their efforts to win
   28. Snowboy Posted: December 20, 2011 at 12:11 PM (#4019979)
Gotta admire the Rangers not sitting on their hands in their efforts to win

Call me when they get serious and punt RWashington
   29. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:41 PM (#4019987)
So the Rangers are swapping out Wilson for Darvish. It's an interesting risk.
   30. Erix Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:51 PM (#4019988)
For those wondering the common sentiment of Jays fans:

Shocked and depressed.
   31. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:16 PM (#4019990)
Snowladdy:

Though I don't agree that Washington is a problem I understand the sentiment given that I endured the Fred Haney Era in Milwaukee.

So maybe I am off in my assessment of Ron.
   32. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:29 PM (#4019994)
I think Shooty's point is salient. I'll be interested who has a better season in 2012 - Wilson or Darvish. I think Darvish, but I'm not all that sure.
   33. t ball Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:36 PM (#4019996)
Ogando was very very good before tiring down the stretch.


Ogando's velocity was actually up later in the year. Looking at his season graphs, BaBIP seems to be the most significant factor superficially. I don't think you can easily just say that Ogando got tired when he looked very lucky early in the season.

Wonder if, as speculated, this makes the Rangers less likely to go hard after Fielder.


I believe the Rangers when they say they think the wrist injury sapped Moreland's production. I think they give Moreland a chance to recover and hit again before making a change at 1B. They have Young and Napoli who can both play some 1B, and Moreland can also play the OF. It's a good hitting group with flexibility, so I think it makes sense for them to see what Moreland can do when healthy before exploring a change there.
   34. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:42 PM (#4019999)
Ogando's velocity was actually up later in the year. Looking at his season graphs, BaBIP seems to be the most significant factor superficially. I don't think you can easily just say that Ogando got tired when he looked very lucky early in the season.


Just because his velocity was up doesn't mean he wasn't tired. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the extra velocity came at the expense of both control and movement. A straight 99 MPH fastball down the middle is less effective than a 96 MPH fastball with movement on the corner.
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:51 PM (#4020001)
Is there a place to find contemporary numbers from the Birnbaum database? Because while Ron Washington is clearly a bad tactical manager, his teams have outperformed expectations for three years running. He might be a good manager despite the tactical issues - though obviously the Rangers need to get him a bench coach and tell him to listen to said bench coach during the postseason.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#4020004)
I think Shooty's point is salient. I'll be interested who has a better season in 2012 - Wilson or Darvish. I think Darvish, but I'm not all that sure.

I'd sure as hell rather have Wilson at 5/75 than Darvish at 6/110.
   37. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:57 PM (#4020005)
So the Rangers are swapping out Wilson for Darvish. It's an interesting risk.

Agree. Darvish is going to cost considerably more (~$25M?). Wilson is the safer bet, imo, but Darvish has considerably more upside.

I wonder if Nolan Ryan visited Japan to scout and talk to Darvish beforehand, to see how much he liked the cut of his jib.
   38. Matthew E Posted: December 20, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#4020006)
For those wondering the common sentiment of Jays fans:

Shocked and depressed.


I am neither shocked nor depressed. I'm not shocked because it was clear from the beginning that nobody really knew who was going to end up with Darvish, so I wasn't counting on him. And I'm not depressed because, well, he's a big risk. I'm disappointed that the Jays won't get the Darvish he might turn out to be, but I'm relieved they didn't break the bank for the Darvish he also might turn out to be.

The Jays are on the right track but they have work to do. That was true last week and it's true today. Stay the course. Thousand points of light.
   39. BDC Posted: December 20, 2011 at 03:20 PM (#4020010)
his teams have outperformed expectations for three years running

Seriously. This is one of those "all other Ranger managers who have won two pennants please raise your hand" moments :)

IMO Matt Harrison should be the "odd man out" of the Ranger rotation, which probably means he'd end up as the fifth starter due to unexpected attrition and weird stuff happening; but I'd move him to a long-relief/swing/in-the-wings role. Ogando, Feliz, Holland, and presumably Darvish are just too good not to try to earn their living as starters, no matter what they may feel about the role. Lewis is not as talented, but has had the stamina and the experience to be a decent 3rd or 4th starter till proven otherwise. I just don't think Harrison is as good as the other five.

EDIT: I'm clearly in the camp that thinks you're nuts to trade a starting pitcher just because you have five of them. This isn't some variety of fantasy baseball where the sixth guy doesn't count toward your team's stats; in real life one of the top five is going to have unforeseen problems.
   40. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 20, 2011 at 03:24 PM (#4020011)
Is Darvish really that much of a risk? He's just entering his prime, and his numbers in Japan were far better than Dice-K's. Of course he could get injured, but that's true of any pitcher, and I don't see a lot of evidence that Japanese pitchers get injured more frequently. I think he's likely to be an above average starter, and his upside is obviously tremendous.
   41. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 20, 2011 at 03:24 PM (#4020012)

EDIT: I'm clearly in the camp that thinks you're nuts to trade a starting pitcher just because you have five of them. This isn't some variety of fantasy baseball where the sixth guy doesn't count toward your team's stats; in real life one of the top five is going to have unforeseen problems.


I think you're nuts to release one, but if your team has a position of strength and your trade partner has the same position of weakness, you might get a better deal than if there were no market forces like that.
   42. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 20, 2011 at 03:26 PM (#4020013)
I'd grade him a higher injury risk than, for example, Wilson. The fact is that we just don't know how he will adjust to more starts/better hitters. He certainly may overcome both factors, but they're clearly factors.
   43. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 20, 2011 at 03:34 PM (#4020018)
As a Brewer fan, I am getting curious as to who Boras is taking calls from on Prince. Real calls with real discussions.

I know the big time free agents can often fall into January. Tex did. Beltran did.

Still interesting. I don't see a good mesh between where Prince WANTS to go and the teams that WANT him.

Save, of course, for Milwaukee.

But I am sure I will be educated and it will all make sense eventually
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: December 20, 2011 at 03:39 PM (#4020022)
He might be a good manager despite the tactical issues


Well, considering the other manager in this year's series wasn't exactly setting the world on fire with his in-game tactics, I'd say it's more than just possible to be a good manager while being deficient strategically. I've long believed that tactical acumen, while the most visible to us, doesn't really amount to much compared to other aspects of managing a team.
   45. bunyon Posted: December 20, 2011 at 03:40 PM (#4020023)
The entire AL is silly. If Fielder lands in Toronto, even more so.


This is the year, man! Cubs (with 82 regular season wins) win the World Series!
   46. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 03:43 PM (#4020025)

Agree. Darvish is going to cost considerably more (~$25M?). Wilson is the safer bet, imo, but Darvish has considerably more upside.


And its a great risk for the Rangers who already have five pretty good MLB starters, plus Scott Feldman, plus three great pitching prospects in AAA, and a relatively modest payroll overall. Even if Darvish flames out, it won't kill them.
   47. FrankM Posted: December 20, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#4020028)
#25 - I think you're letting your disappointment over Darvish colour your thinking. There's no way the Raptors are perceived more positively than the Blue Jays. During the NBA lockout, media coverage in Toronto relating to the Raptors was essentially nil. Even now, there's not all that much, relatively speaking.

#38 - You seem to have pulled out of your permanent pessimism and depression on the future of the Blue Jays. What happened?
   48. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 20, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#4020030)
#38 - You seem to have pulled out of your permanent pessimism and depression on the future of the Blue Jays. What happened?


Maybe it's the extra wild card.
   49. Papa Squid Posted: December 20, 2011 at 04:18 PM (#4020041)
#47 -- You're probably right, I don't follow media coverage much these days so I wouldn't know, but I do know Jays TV ratings destroy Raptors ratings. That being said, I bet if you polled the average Torontonian on the street which of the Raptors or the Jays were the better team, I think it would be pretty close, but as I said, that's just a guess. After all, the Raptors just missed the playoffs two years ago, and the Jays... well, it's been 18 years and counting. In Toronto, with its hockey mentality, playoffs is key and people are at a loss as to why they don't just expand the playoffs already to 8 teams per league...
   50. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 20, 2011 at 04:21 PM (#4020044)
Or, as hockey fans, 34 per league. Gotta get a few AAA in there as well.
   51. Nasty Nate Posted: December 20, 2011 at 04:25 PM (#4020048)
It wasn't really a choice between Darvish and Wilson for Texas, right? It seems like he wanted to play for Anaheim so the Rangers couldn't have signed him for the same money that the Angels did.
   52. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 20, 2011 at 04:27 PM (#4020051)
We'll see what Darvish gets in the end. But if he costs the team $100 million in the end, I think we can assume that Wilson would have signed for that total.

I don't think it's equal to Wilson at 5/75, but if Darvish signs what I consider a decent deal (equal to the posting amount or better), the money might completely wash.
   53. BDC Posted: December 20, 2011 at 04:28 PM (#4020052)
f your team has a position of strength and your trade partner has the same position of weakness, you might get a better deal

Fair enough. I'm just leery of arguments that start from "we've got too many of X, let's trade one of them." Now, if there's a player you're coveting and a miscellaneous pitcher might land him, that's indeed a different picture. E.g. I have to think that the Napoli trade was a matter of "Oh man oh man, Mike Napoli came on the market, do we have any spare parts the Jays might want" rather than "We've got too many relief pitchers, gotta move this clown Francisco" :)
   54. Nasty Nate Posted: December 20, 2011 at 04:39 PM (#4020059)
We'll see what Darvish gets in the end. But if he costs the team $100 million in the end, I think we can assume that Wilson would have signed for that total.


I think it's likely that he would have agreed to that, but I don't think we should assume so. But either way, my more general point was that it seems that CJ Wilson would have cost more for another team than what he did for the Angels.
   55. billyshears Posted: December 20, 2011 at 04:44 PM (#4020064)
Is Darvish really that much of a risk? He's just entering his prime, and his numbers in Japan were far better than Dice-K's. Of course he could get injured, but that's true of any pitcher, and I don't see a lot of evidence that Japanese pitchers get injured more frequently. I think he's likely to be an above average starter, and his upside is obviously tremendous.


I think it's a tremendous risk. Not only will he be making a significant jump in level of competition, but he will be making an enormous cultural transition. It's impossible to predict how somebody will react to that. Darvish might be completely unaffected and be phenomenal, but there are a lot of variables above and beyond typical performance risk for other MLB pitchers.
   56. Matthew E Posted: December 20, 2011 at 04:47 PM (#4020068)
#38 - You seem to have pulled out of your permanent pessimism and depression on the future of the Blue Jays. What happened?


Nothing's changed. The Jays are on the right track. They are doing all the right things. It won't work, or anything, but I still like to see them doing it right. It's a lot more pleasant than if they were screwing everything up. I'd rather watch a medium-good team than a medium-bad team.
   57. billyshears Posted: December 20, 2011 at 04:50 PM (#4020071)
One other point to keep in mind, the posting fee is paid in full upon Darvish signing, so you can't really just compare the aggregate expenditures for Wilson and Darvish. Because the price for Darvish is significantly front loaded, it costs more in real dollars that a contract for a similar amount of money spread out in equal installments over a 5-year term.
   58. The Good Face Posted: December 20, 2011 at 04:51 PM (#4020072)
Fair enough. I'm just leery of arguments that start from "we've got too many of X, let's trade one of them." Now, if there's a player you're coveting and a miscellaneous pitcher might land him, that's indeed a different picture. E.g. I have to think that the Napoli trade was a matter of "Oh man oh man, Mike Napoli came on the market, do we have any spare parts the Jays might want" rather than "We've got too many relief pitchers, gotta move this clown Francisco" :)


Concur. Texas was pretty lucky last year in that they had 5 starters who managed to be both healthy and effective. Seems unlikely to happen two years in a row. Somebody's probably going to get hurt, Feliz may fail to make the adjustment to starter, Lewis could continue to lose effectiveness and wind up at replacement level, Yu Darvish could somehow turn into Kei Igawa, etc. Saying "Well, we've got 6 good starters on paper, better trade one!" just seems like tempting fate to me.
   59. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 04:52 PM (#4020073)
On other point to keep in mind, the posting fee is paid in full upon Darvish signing, so you can't really just compare the aggregate expenditures for Wilson and Darvish. Because the price for Darvish is significantly front loaded, it costs more in real dollars that a contract for a similar amount of money spread out in equal installments over a 5-year term.

Although in this hyper-low interest rate environment, that effect is substantially muted.
   60. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 20, 2011 at 04:56 PM (#4020075)
I think it's a tremendous risk. Not only will he be making a significant jump in level of competition, but he will be making an enormous cultural transition. It's impossible to predict how somebody will react to that. Darvish might be completely unaffected and be phenomenal, but there are a lot of variables above and beyond typical performance risk for other MLB pitchers.

But this isn't 1995. Japanese players have been coming here for 15 years, and it's pretty clear that players who were successful in Japan are likely to be successful here. How many Japanese players have been complete flops in the US? Igawa is one, but IIRC he wasn't that good in Japan. Even Irabu was decent for a couple years.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:05 PM (#4020080)
But this isn't 1995. Japanese players have been coming here for 15 years, and it's pretty clear that players who were successful in Japan are likely to be successful here. How many Japanese players have been complete flops in the US? Igawa is one, but IIRC he wasn't that good in Japan. Even Irabu was decent for a couple years.

There's a long way between successful and worth $100M.
   62. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:15 PM (#4020087)

There's a long way between successful and worth $100M.


Sure, but that difference is probably going to be due to Darvish being good or not good, and not whether or not he can find a good soba noodle place in the Metroplex.
   63. Dale Sams Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:17 PM (#4020089)
Just pretend they're swapping Feliz for Wilson and Darvish for Harrison...not so risky now.
   64. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:20 PM (#4020092)
Nothing's changed. The Jays are on the right track. They are doing all the right things. It won't work, or anything, but I still like to see them doing it right

Haha, fun. Tis true though, so many variables even building something the right way.
   65. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:22 PM (#4020097)
There's a long way between successful and worth $100M.

True, and going strictly by value, Wilson is much more likely to be worth his deal. But I don't think there's a lot of risk performance-wise in trading Wilson for Darvish. While Darvish might not end up being worth $100M, he's probably going to product a lot of value for the Rangers (and Wilson is hardly a sure thing -- he's 30 and has only been starting for a couple years). Even Dice-K was worth ~$50M to the Red Sox.
   66. Swedish Chef Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:24 PM (#4020098)
So, can we expect something in the 6/50 to 6/60 range from the Rangers for Darvish? The Rangers seem fairly sharp. I imagine they'll try to get Darvish for Matsuzaka money despite the difference in their Japanese records.

One big problem is that Darvish makes a substantial chunk of that in Japan already, 6/50 would be a minor raise for him, if he's lukewarm about playing for the Rangers by preferring a major market or something, he would be in a pretty good negotiation position, a no would cost him little.

I say 6/75.
   67. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:27 PM (#4020100)
"Well, we've got 6 good starters on paper, better trade one!" just seems like tempting fate to me.


Fun fact: The Rays have 6 good starters. Not all All Stars, but 6 guys who any team would be happy to have in their rotation. In 2012, they will pay them combined about what the Rangers will pay Darvish, not counting the posting fee.*

Shields under contract for 7 mil
Moore under contract for 1 mil
Davis under contract for 1.5 mil
Hellickson pre arb 2, pencil him in for .5 mil
Price arb 1, pencil him in for 4 mil
Niemann arb 1, pencil him in for 2.5 mil

Total $16.5 mil

edit: * Going by AAV. A 5/75 probably won't pay out $15 mil in 2012.
   68. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:27 PM (#4020102)
That being said, I bet if you polled the average Torontonian on the street which of the Raptors or the Jays were the better team, I think it would be pretty close, but as I said, that's just a guess.

No chance.

With the Blue Jays, you have a team that close to .500, and was actually near the top for a bit of time.
The Raptors were 22-60 last year. That's horrifically bad (but good enough for 5th in the Eastern Conference).

With the Blue Jays, you have (possibly) the best player in baseball (Bautista), an amazing rookie sensation (Lawrie..who's Canadian, to boot!), and a good young pitcher (Romero). There are things to see that suggest an entertaining product.
With the Raptors, you have...Bargnani? There is absolutely ZERO star power on the roster.

The Blue Jays also get almost no competition during their season (since the Leafs/Raptors are pretty much done when they start).
The Raptors have to compete against the single most popular sports team in Canada, with almost exactly overlapping schedules (except for the lockout this year). Even worse, just as the Raptor season starts this year, they will be completely overshadowed by the World Junior hockey tournament (the biggest sports TV draw in Canada). For the first two weeks, no one will even know they are playing basketball in the city.
   69. billyshears Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:51 PM (#4020129)
But this isn't 1995. Japanese players have been coming here for 15 years, and it's pretty clear that players who were successful in Japan are likely to be successful here. How many Japanese players have been complete flops in the US? Igawa is one, but IIRC he wasn't that good in Japan. Even Irabu was decent for a couple years.


But we're still dealing with a sample size that is basically meaningless, especially when it comes to starting pitchers who face significantly bigger adjustments than position players due to the shorter rest on which they are expected to work. And the cultural transition likely affects players idiosyncratically - it's not as if every player gets 5% worse because of it. Some players might not be affected at all, while others might have great difficulty. I have little comparable experience, but I imagine it can be enormously isolating when you can mostly only speak with the vast majority of people you come across through your translator.

This isn't to say that I think Darvish will fail, but that I think that he is an especially risky investment because your are asking him to succeed in an environment that is dramatically different in all sorts of ways from the environment in which he was previously successful.
   70. billyshears Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:52 PM (#4020131)
Although in this hyper-low interest rate environment, that effect is substantially muted.


Haven't you heard? Hyper-inflation is just around the corner. Any day now . . .
   71. t ball Posted: December 20, 2011 at 05:57 PM (#4020142)
I wouldn't be at all surprised if the extra velocity came at the expense of both control and movement.


Luckily we can look this stuff up. I see nothing in Ogando's stats to indicate that he lost control or movement late in the season. His peripherals, velo charts, BaBIP, LOB etc. all paint an up and down, hard to read picture. Not at all clear he was tired late in the season.

His April BaBIP was .165, with a LOB rate of 95%. His May numbers were only slightly less lucky. He looked a lot better than he really was early in the season, of course his late season numbers look bad by comparison.
   72. TerpNats Posted: December 20, 2011 at 07:18 PM (#4020269)
Incidentally, in the AP story on Darvish that ran last night, his Japanese team was called, on second reference, the "Ham Fighters." Perhaps AP -- which you think would know better -- should stick to covering the financial woes of the York Mets and Angeles Dodgers.
   73. Nasty Nate Posted: December 20, 2011 at 07:52 PM (#4020296)
Incidentally, in the AP story on Darvish that ran last night, his Japanese team was called, on second reference, the "Ham Fighters." Perhaps AP -- which you think would know better -- should stick to covering the financial woes of the York Mets and Angeles Dodgers.


...or the Angeles Angels
   74. Eric P. Posted: December 20, 2011 at 08:30 PM (#4020363)
Richard Griffin is reporting that the Jays' bid was over $50 million. If they were really just a few hundred thousand dollars shy of the Rangers...jeez, I dunno what to say. I'd much rather believe they only bid something like $45 million.
   75. AROM Posted: December 20, 2011 at 08:48 PM (#4020383)
Incidentally, in the AP story on Darvish that ran last night, his Japanese team was called, on second reference, the "Ham Fighters."


They probably know that the team is the Fighters of Nippon Ham. But “Ham Fighters” is cool. So it’s going to stay. Just like everyone here knows what the official Angels name is, but you are still going to try and be funny by calling them whatever variation strikes your fancy.
   76. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: December 20, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#4020418)
Not only will he be making a significant jump in level of competition, but he will be making an enormous cultural transition.

Especially in Texas. I mean, Darvish in Texas? Not NY, LA, SF, Seattle, or even Toronto? I'm guessing there aren't a lot of Japanese people in Texas (hell, the people of Dallas just found out a couple of years ago that they even had a baseball team...)
   77. TerpNats Posted: December 20, 2011 at 09:31 PM (#4020433)
I'm guessing there aren't a lot of Japanese people in Texas (hell, the people of Dallas just found out a couple of years ago that they even had a baseball team...)
Well, they have to head over near Fort Worth to see them. It's not quite comparable to having the Rays in St. Petersburg, but most folks on the east side of the Metroplex don't go over to or near Cowtown unless there's a real good reason. It might be why all those museums are over there; it's the only way Fort Worth can lure people from Big D.
   78. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 09:52 PM (#4020462)
Is it possible people overstate the cultural shock thing? I mean Randy Bass was a big ol' country boy from Oklahoma that went to Japan and played for five years over there. Darvish is going to Texas, but its not like he's even spending that much time there. He'll be in Arizona for six weeks, then will spend half of his time the next six months on the road in places like Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and New York. Most of his awake time will be at the ballpark anyway. And its not like Dallas/Fort Worth is some small town with only one other Asian guy.

I'm just saying as a second generation Asian-American who has seen his entire extended family move from South Korea to freakin' Kansas, I think you'd be surprised how well a lot of people adapt. Especially people with money.
   79. BDC Posted: December 20, 2011 at 10:10 PM (#4020480)
There aren't a lot of Japanese people in Texas, true (many historical factors for that). To the extent that it matters, though, there are large Asian-American communities here, including a Vietnamese community in southeast Arlington and Grand Prairie, and a Korean community in the northwest suburbs of Dallas (Carrollton, Irving). There's an older Chinese community in/near Richardson (NW of Dallas) and all kinds of transPacific business. You can absolutely get any kind of Asian food in markets and restaurants here (though to echo AG#1F, I'm having a hard time imagining a multimillionaire ballplayer spending much time in supermarkets). Anyway, it's a pretty diverse place that would have rooted for Chan Ho Park (eg) like a major star if he'd ever been able to get anybody out ...
   80. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 20, 2011 at 10:22 PM (#4020497)
Fair enough. I'm just leery of arguments that start from "we've got too many of X, let's trade one of them."


Twins. Catcher. Wilson Ramos. Sob.
   81. a bebop a rebop Posted: December 20, 2011 at 11:36 PM (#4020585)
What happens if Darvish and the Rangers can't agree on a contract? What if the Rangers put in a very high posting bid just to screw with the rest of the league, with no intention of negotiating a reasonable contract with him?

I suppose one problem with the theory is that it's difficult to construct a motive for the Rangers. If the Angels were in on it, sure, but I gather that Toronto was the only other team reputed to be going hard for the bid.
   82. FrankM Posted: December 21, 2011 at 12:38 AM (#4020652)
I hear the Blue Jays offered $51,699,999.99.

Damn.

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