MLB Free Agents 2012: Expect Yankees to Make Aggressive Run at Yu Darvish

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 23:   Relief pitcher Yu Darvish #11 of Japan throws a pitch against Korea during the finals of the 2009 World Baseball Classic on March 23, 2009 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The New York Yankees have been awfully quiet at baseball’s winter meetings and I think I know why.

As C.J. Wilson gets overpaid by the Angels and ditto for Mark Buehrle and the Marlins, the Yankees are being patient for once.

That’s because the bidding war for Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish is about to begin. Paul White of USA Today is reporting that he will be posted on Thursday, which means every team is allowed to bid for the right to sign the 25-year-old hurler. The money for the winning bid goes to his Japanese team, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham.

San Francisco Chronicle reporter Susan Slusser suggests that the winning bid will likely be in the $40 million range. Teams like the A’s (who are also interested) simply can’t drop that kind of money just to bid on a player. The Yanks are at a clear advantage (like usual).  

The Angles and Marlins are out, the Red Sox blew their big money deal on Carl Crawford, the Mets and Dodgers are in disarray, and nobody else can afford that sort of price tag.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

In 2006, former Seibu Lions pitcher Matsuzaka drew a $51.1 million posting fee from the Boston Red Sox, who proceeded to sign him to a six-year, $52 million contract, taking the total package to more than $100 million, which will roughly be the same package needed to secure Darvish.

The Yanks are not new to the overseas bidding game. They just won the negotiating rights to shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima of the Lions on Wednesday. They also have no issues throwing down that sort of money on a pitcher that can be the No. 2 starter behind CC Sabathia.

It’s their biggest need of the offseason and the lack of rumors involving them with any other player make you feel like they’ve put all their eggs in the Darvish basket.

White goes over the impressive resume that Darvish has accumulated:

He was a star of the Japan's 2009 World Baseball Classic team and has dominated Japan's Pacific League with a 1.99 earned run average since he turned pro in 2005.

Darvish was 18-6 this season with a 1.44 ERA, allowing 156 hits in 232 innings, striking out 276 and walking 36.

I’d take Darvish over Wilson or an again Buehrle.

The Yanks are approaching the hot stove season with a unique approach that may not be a huge hit with fans that don’t know anything about Darvish, but I’m pretty sure that won’t be an issue when he’s on the mound for Game 2 of the World Series.

The Yanks are being patient and strategic and the Marlins are pretending to play with Monopoly money, is this the end of the world?

Follow BigLeagueEball on Twitter