And so it ends…with a thud.
A resounding thud.
After days upon days of anticipation, of excitement, of idiots citing “industry sources” that said Toronto had won, the Texas Rangers swooped in and stole the Yu Darvish bidding rights from under our nose.
And again – Blue Jays fans are outraged. Alex Anthopoulos is terrible for not bidding higher. Paul Beeston is the worst for not pushing harder. Rogers Communications is a terrible owner for not shelling out millions of dollars more for the right talk to a Japanese pitcher. Our baseball team is doomed. Our city sucks. Life is over.
It’s enough to make a man sick. Come on people. How many MLB pitches has Yu Darvish thrown in his career? Oh, that’s right – the exact same amount as Nestor Molina, the last player Toronto got rid of to the dismay of Jays fans.
By the way, that number is zero. 0!
Don’t get me wrong. I wanted to see Yu Darvish pitch for the Blue Jays. I thought he might fit nicely behind Romero. But to me, this is not a tragedy. This is not the end of the world. In a way, I’m actually happy that the Jays didn’t win the bid. Here’s why:
$51-million for the posting fee + $75-million (or more) for the contract = $126-million.
The last time I looked, that is a lot of money.
And again, the last time I looked Mr. Darvish has never pitched in a big league game.
Essentially, the Rangers will be paying a 9-digit salary to a rookie pitcher.
As baseball fans, we’ve seen time and time again Japanese pitchers not live up to expectations in the majors. Hideki Irabu, Kei Igawa, and Kazuhisa Ishii come to mind as disappointments. Hideo Nomo had two good years to start his MLB career, then promptly fell off a cliff. Ditto for Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Sure, there is a very good chance that Darvish breaks the mold and puts up a 5+ WAR for five or six seasons. But there’s also just as likely a chance that he becomes the next Dice-K, with WARs of 3.2, 5.1, 0.3, 1.1, and -0.1 in his first five years.
As a Jays fan, I’d much rather take the $125-million that it would take to sign Yu (yes, the posting fee counts towards the contract – let’s not kid ourselves), and use it towards somebody with a track record of MLB success, not a glorified rookie.
Isn’t there a guy by the name of Prince still available?