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Posting Fee: $50 Million
Contract: 5-year $70 Million
232.0 IP, 18-6, 1.44 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 276 K, 35 BB
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 are just 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 at least seven pitches (four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, slurve, changeup, curveball, splitter and cutter) and tops out on the radar gun at an incredible 100 miles per hour.
Yu Darvish's posting fee would not count against the luxury tax so he will be cheaper than his price tag appears.
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 mound in the majors is also harder and a different height than in Japan. The switch to the majors may be a difficult one, but I think Darvish has a chance to become the first very successful Japanese pitcher in the majors.