Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Thinking About Yu

I already made my case for why I think the Jays should aggressively pursue Darvish here, but with the posting amount and team likely to be announced for Darvish today, I thought I would give some final outside the box thoughts on the subject of Japanese superstar Yu Darvish. These thoughts are along the lines of my recent pondering on the extremely low, but potentially viable possibility that the team that wins the post ends up signing Darvish and then trading him away.

It may seem like an odd thought, but unlike many free agent starters Darvish would be by no means untradable because of a favourable contract and could actually become quite the hot commodity. The reasoning behind this being that because of the posting fee Darvish himself will not get paid outrageously because the team is paying Darvish as if the contract includes the posting fee, but if traded the team trading for Darvish would only have to pay for the actual contract given to Darvish not the posting fee. It's an outside the box thought, but I'll make the case for it anyways.

First off what is Yu Darvish's value? He doesn't really have any comps in terms of his stats as they are in the NPB and are much better than anything before him and there really is no comps in terms of a MLB ready Top 10 prospect being traded away for other prospects. On some level for the latter we can look towards a certain Reds first base prospect for some idea of what to expect as he has been a sought after trade commodity this offseason. The current asking price for Yonder Alonso seems to be somewhat along the lines of James Shields, but with the Rays looking at more of a Jeff Niemann or Wade Davis for Alonso. With even just one of those starters plus whatever other prospects the Reds would potentially obtain in a deal it can be considered a pretty large haul.

Then if we look at Darvish who like Yonder is somewhat of a prospect, but unlike Yonder who was only ranked at #73 on Baseball America's Top 100 list, Yu Darvish is much better. In 2007 Daisuke Matsuzaka was ranked at #1 by Baseball America in their Top 100 List and Darvish is considered almost unanimously to be a better prospect and player than Dice-K. I doubt BA will rank Darvish above the likes of Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Matt Moore, but I see no reason why he can't slot in at #4. Granted in this scenario Darvish is likely making $9 million a year and Alonso would only be making the MLB league minimum salary, so that would decrease his value a little bit, but teams pay for potential and Darvish has tons of it.

So then in a hypothetical situation where say the Pittsburgh Pirates for whatever reason win the posting fee for Darvish and then look to trade him to the Yankees. What would they get from the Yankees, Montero, Betances, Banuelos? I can't say for sure what the package would be as we don't have much of a feel for the interest of many of these teams, but the Yankees could have as much as Dellan Betances, Manny Banuelos, and Mason Williams to offer, if they believe in Darvish's talent and are in a win now situation.

The question then becomes whether taking the hit for the posting fee is worth the prospects in return. The posting fee has been projected to be anywhere from $30 million to as high as $70 million so it is tough to say. Though if the posting fee only ends up being on the low end and comes in at $30 million, would you then trade away a potential ace for a shot at a good set of prospects. With the new CBA the draft costs are already going to certainly go down, so couldn't this be a chance to exploit the system, essentially paying $30 million for a set of prospects. Because for a team like the Pirates who have spent excessively on the draft in the past few years, could this be one last chance to use the money they had set aside for the draft to acquire other prospects.

Overall I know this whole thought process does have many flaws such as the very good possibility that the posting fee could exceed $50 million, which would then essentially make this argument moot. But as I described for a team like the Pirates that always spends big on the draft this could be a chance to get around the new CBA to essentially pay for prospects. At this point it doesn't matter too much as whatever team wins the posting today will retain the sole negotiating rights to Yu Darvish with the hopes of signing him, but if this did happen and I doubt it will it would be a great way to stick it to the man, and by the man I mean Bud Selig.

But with all this said if the Blue Jays win the post and sign Darvish, I don't think I'd want them doing this as it probably wouldn't send a good message to the fans. Though enough of my opinion as a fan of the Jays or a fan of anyone else who reads this post would you or would you not be in support of what I said, why or why not?

Be sure to comment and express your opinions below

Follow me on Twitter @HouseOfTheBB

No comments:

Post a Comment