MLB Rumors: Yu Darvish and the Six Teams Vying For His Services This Winter
Yahoo Sports and ESPN are reporting that there are six teams that are taking looks at Japanese star Yu Darvish. It is not a 100% decision by Darvish to make the move to the United States, but the teams are already lining up.
The system used to sign him would be very much like the Daisuke Matsuzaka system where there is a bidding war. It takes up quite a bit of money as learned by the Red Sox, but it could all payoff.
Dice-K was a lot of hype due to the World Baseball Classic, but Darvish has proven himself a bit more. He is flexible and can be adjusted to become a reliever or starter in the Major Leagues.
Here are the six teams and why they may want Yu Darvish on their pitching staff...
6. Baltimore Orioles
Unfortunately, Baltimore will probably not get Yu Darvish since there is a bidding war involved. Negotiating a contract with Darvish will not be easy considering they will have to convince him to join a team that has finished last for a few years now.
It is sad because Yu Darvish could the ace of the Orioles right upon arrival.
5. Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers love their pitching and especially since Nolan Ryan has a say in the front office. They know their pitching as they have been able to reel in pitchers like CJ Wilson, Cliff Lee, Mark Prior, Rich Harden, etc. and attempted to turn their careers around.
Yu Darvish would not be the first Japanese National team player to go to the Rangers as they had Akinori Otsuka. Darvish is much younger than when Otsuka joined the Rangers. He is also more dominant and could be a special force for them out of the bullpen.
With the Rangers, he may be used more as a reliever, but could be converted into a starter at any point. He can easily make the conversion.
3 & 4: New York Mets and Atlanta Braves
The New York Mets are in a rebuilding stage. Some fans have started to acknowledge the rebuilding stage, they are just waiting for the front office to admit that they are in that state. Yu Darvish would be a new face in the Major Leagues and would fit in the Mets rotation as a starter.
Johan Santana and Yu Darvish could serve as a dominant 1-2 combination in the National League East. The Phillies have Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt, which would be the top competition in the league for the Mets rotation.
The Mets could also use him as a closer or prep him to be one. The team may not be too pleased with the investment made on Francisco Rodriguez and thus may want to add Darvish as their closer in the future. He did close the last game of the World Baseball Classic.
Darvish and the Mets would be a good match. He can easily be seen sporting the orange and blue Mets colors.
The Braves may need Darvish for the same exact reasons as the Mets. They are in need of a closer after this season.
2. Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays may need Darvish for their rotation to put them over the top in the American League East. The Boston Red Sox are close behind them too, but it could be the Red Sox rotation keeping them alive. The Rays rotation is very young and could need another young arm in it.
The only difference is that this young gun has experience. Darvish would fit in well in Tampa Bay in between Matt Garza and James Shields.
Yu Darvish may be too young to be considered an ace from the start in the American League East, but giving him some time with the Rays and he could take the helm in St. Petersburg.
1. The New York Yankees
Any surprise that the Yankees are in on the Yu Darvish sweepstakes? The Yankees have been in on the Japanese pitcher from the start of the 2009 World Baseball Classic or even the 2008 Olympics. The Yankees have the money and the space for him on the team.
AJ Burnett has not been performing at such a high level and could be dealt in the winter or worked closely with. The Yankees may not ask Javier Vasquez to return next year due to his "dead arm." The Yankees could sign Yu Darvish to join the middle of the rotation.
A projected rotation with Yu Darvish could look like this:
1- CC Sabathia
2- Phil Hughes
3- Yu Darvish
4- AJ Burnett
5- Andy Pettitte
The Yankees have the money so anything could be possible as they make a bid for him. Right out of the gates they have to be considered the favorites to land Darvish in pinstripes.