Dec 212011

Its all about Yu...The Rangers made the bold move.

They went out and got the rights to negotiate with the guy they wanted.  Was this the plan all along?  Was this part of the reason why we didn’t really compete for signing C.J. Wilson, or why we didn’t make a stronger push for Mark Buerhle?  Jon Daniels will never answer that question, nor should he, but it’s what I’m going to believe.

The Bid

$51.7 million.  The amount is fully refundable if a deal can’t be worked out in the next 30 days, which is standard for most Christmas shopping.  While I’m dropping $17.49 on a Harry Potter body pillow for Jasen, Nolan and team ownership dropped a little more on the exclusive rights to negotiate a contract with Yu.

The consensus was that Toronto had the highest bid, but that was based on posturing and not fact.  Daniels played this game perfectly, never tipping his hand one way or the other.  Remember, it’s a blind bid, so each organization had no idea what the competition was.  Sorry Canada.

Its all about Yu...While this was being dubbed as a “record posting”, and it was, it was only slightly above the $51.1 million posted by Boston in November 2006 for the rights to negotiate with Dice-K.  If you assume a 2.25% annual inflation rate (average of annual inflation rates since 2006) over that period, Dice-K’s inflation adjusted posting would be around $57.1 million.  Was the Dice-K posting absurd?  While his inaugural season with the BoSox was good (not great), the general consensus is that he has not lived up to the hype, nor the financial outlay Boston made in order to get him.  So, lesson learned and it helps in understanding why the winning bid for Darvish was not closer to the inflation adjusted Dice-K bid or higher.

There is a lot of debate over how this money counts toward the Rangers bottom-line, and in effect, their ability to pursue other free agents (Prince!).  From a fan’s standpoint, it’s all monopoly money anyways.  In the end, this is money that, assuming a contract is agreed upon and therefore the posting money is gone, is being spent this year,  that could have been used on other players.  That being said, you do not consider this towards next year’s payroll.  It is truly a one-time fee that, in my mind, you recoup through increased revenues from all the Rangers Darvish jerseys that are sold in Japan in the coming year.  It’s simply the price of doing business.

The Contract

It’s been rumored that Yu’s agents are looking for a contact in excess of what C.J. Wilson just received from the Angels ($77.5M/5 Years = avg. $15.5M/year).  That seems a little steep for a player that hasn’t pitched the in the majors yet.  In 2007, Dice-K got a $52M/6 year contact ($8.7M/year), with a $2m signing bonus and a no-trade clause.  Darvish has more hoopla surrounding him and seems to have more upside than what Dice-K had, so I think somewhere between what Dice-K got in 2007 and what C.J. got earlier this month is a nice range.

We’ve heard guesses of everywhere from $55M/5 to $90M/6.  Again, somewhere in the middle seems fair.

Baseball do says $77.5M/6 years.

The Player

Per Wiki, Yu is also known by the Persian name Farid, meaning “glorious”.  You don’t really need to know anything more than that, but just in case your interested…

Yu is a 6’5″, 220 lb 25 year old (will turn 26 in August) right-hander that features up to 7 pitches, with his primary pitches being his four-seam fastball and his slurve, which if you have viewed the “Career Highlights”  YouTube video below, is the pitch that buckles knees with a wicked break.

He’s the best in Japan, and it was time for his transition, which is seems to be excited about.  Stats from his time with the Ham Fighters below:

Its all about Yu...

Its all about Yu...

What’s interesting to note is the league ERA compared to what Darvish accomplished, especially over the last 5 seasons.  He was clearly performing at a much higher level than his counterparts.

Last thing that I think we’d be remiss to not bring up.  Yu is currently going through a divorce from his current wife, Saeko (pictured left).

Saeko is an actress and model.

They were married in 2007, in what Japanese tabloids reported as a good old-fashioned shot-gun wedding.

While we here at Baseball Do don’t believe this will impact his performance whatsoever, we needed a reason to include the picture.

The Future

This was a bold move.  Assuming an agreement is reached with Darvish, it’s a move, that at this point, will be the largest label on Jon Daniel’s tenure as Ranger’s GM whether you like it or not.  For it to be deemed a successful move, Darvish will have to exceed what Dice-K has done in his career (especially since he will probably be more heavily compensated), and will have to become a true ace for the Rangers.  If he does not, the further he is away from these marks will determine what impact it will have on the legacy of JD & company.

Only time will tell.

Just know this…Baseball Do is behind Yu.  <–sorry, but you knew I was going to go there at some point, right?

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