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232.0 IP, 18-6, 1.44 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 276 K, 35 BB
Although he is not technically a free agent Yu Darvish will be posted this offseason and will attract many suitors, including the New York Yankees.
Yu Darvish is a 25-year-old Japanese pitching phenom. Most people try to compare Darvish to other Japanese pitchers, such as Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kei Igawa, but these comparisons just are not fair because he is a better and more complete pitcher than both of them.
Average of last five seasons in Japan:
Darvish: 205 IP, 17-5, 1.71 ERA, 219 Ks
Matsuzaka: 163 IP, 13-7, 2.62 ERA, 169 Ks
Igawa: 200 IP, 15-9, 3.13 ERA, 190 Ks
Darvish pitched the most innings, had the best record, by far the best ERA and the most strikeouts even though he was the youngest of the three. Darvish also has seven-plus pitches and tops out on the radar gun at 100 mph.
One of the best reasons the Yankees should go after Darvish over somebody like CJ Wilson is that Darvish would not cost the Yankees a draft pick and his posting fee would not count against the luxury tax.
The Japanese baseball may be smaller, which allows for higher velocity, but it also has less prominent seams, which creates less movement on off-speed pitches. The switch to the majors way be a difficult one but I think Darvish has the chance to become the first very successful Japanese pitcher in the majors.
Chance of Coming to NY: 30 percent