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Darvish posted, will Nats submit bid?

Dec 8, 2011, 6:08 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Yu Darvish will pitch in the United States in 2012.

DALLAS — Until Angels owner Arte Moreno decided to steal the show at the Winter Meetings this morning — did you know the $325 million Moreno just gave to Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson is $145 million more than he paid to buy the entire franchise eight years ago?! — the big story in town figured to be Yu Darvish's decision to bring his talents to the United States.

Darvish made it official late last night, posting on his personal blog that he has decided to use the posting system in place in Japan to make himself available to major-league clubs.

So, will the Nationals submit a bid for the 25-year-old right-hander? Mike Rizzo was coy about the subject when asked this morning following the Rule 5 draft.

"We're not going to comment on if we're going to submit a bid or not," the general manager said. "Strategically, it doesn't benefit us toRead more ยป

  1. pwilly - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Will all the bidders be known or just the winning bid?

  2. blovy8 - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    They should, but I can't believe they wouldn't be outbid by another club. Those are some crazy numbers, even if it's AAA level in Japan.

  3. jcj5y - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    The posting system is an incredibly tricky game. If you really want the player, you have to submit a bid that you know is over-the-top (as the Red Sox did to get Dice-K). So in addition to your own tolerance, you have to consider other teams' tolerances. Otherwise, you're wasting your time.

  4. MGG - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    At this point I don't know if bidding on him is necessary. I think as far as pitching goes, the nationals are set, I would like to see them land him but its not necessary.Bats on the other hand ARE necessary and I want to see movement on this. I'm tired of this sit on your hands game. I want to see at least one power bat show up here, my preference is Fielder simply because he is so dynamic offensively (something I don't think the nats have ever had). But Rizzo and Davey need to do something to jump start this offense, because last year except for a few games we looked awful.

  5. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    If your going to drop 100 mill plus on a SP, I would prefer to just wait a year and sign Cole Hamels.

  6. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    I would be surprised if they bid. $100M-ish on an unproven Japanese guy? Given how spotty performance has been for those guys coming over from Japan and the at least arguably conservative tact they took on Beuhrle, I would be very surprised to see them go that big. I think that they'd trade away a beloved young player or three to get a young, more proven commodity like Gio first. But who knows.dfh21

  7. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    who's the most successful foreign-born pitcher in MLB and how good is/was he?

  8. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    This anonymous agrees with the anonymous above. Spend the 100 mil on a better known quantity.

  9. Bowdenball - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    Anonymous 1:34:1. Pedro Martinez.2. He was incredible.

  10. Wally - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    I don't think foreign born is necessarily the right comparison: maybe foreign trained? That is my biggest problem with Darvish and Cespides. I just can't see paying them like they have proven themselves at the major league level, which is what $50-100m contracts represent. I say pass on both. If the money is burning a hole in Uncle Teddy's pocket, spend it on Oswalt, Beltran, Fielder or Jackson. I think it will be better spent (maybe not well spent, but better than Darvish and Cespides). I still think Rizzo does a deal with a Boras guy. And I wouldn't rule out Fielder, despite all the intel (Mark's and others) to the contrary.Maybe I am petty, but this headline from MLB Trade Rumors helped a little."Marlins Were High Bidders For Pujols, Wilson"

  11. SCNatsFan - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    There is no reason not to bid; what they don't need to do is overbid.

  12. Bowdenball - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    SCNatsFan-I agree 100%. I assume none of us have seen Darvish pitch, and if we have we haven't seen him pitch very much, or with a scout's trained eye. I think it's good that our front office seems interested since he certainly has some talent; we just have to trust their scouting and their cost/benefit assessment.Wally:It's hard to really draw many conclusions about foreign trained players since they're a relatively recent phenomenon- you're only talking about the recent development of the game in Japan plus post-Castro Cuban players. Some disappoint, some meet expectations, and a rare few exceed them, just like with domestic players. I think if Darvish met expectations just as guys like Nomo and Livan and his half-brother did, he'd be worth what it will cost.

  13. JamesFan. - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    Rizzo, please lower expectations on this. Notice what happens with the fans when you project success and don't make it.My guess is that they will bid. So will a lot of other teams: Yanks (this is why they've been quiet), Marlins for sure. Other teams who have been quiet (Atlanta, StL, Cubs)?My guess is that it would take over $50m just for the rights to negotiate. If the Nats don't put $55m in the game, they won't be competitive, and it could go up from there. He looks great in the videos. He is not a hard thrower though (under 95). His pitches look like Tom Milone to me.

  14. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Anonymous 1:34:1. Pedro Martinez.2. He was incredible.3. And he used to play for the very franchise that calls Washington home today.

  15. MFG - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    How did pitchers like Nomo and Matsuzaka compare to Darvish statistically before coming to the United States?

  16. Water23 - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    So, what is the winning bid going to be? $40 Million? $50 Million? $60 Million? I know the word is he wants a higher posting fee than Dice-K but it may benefit him more if the posting is lower and the team uses the savings to sign him to a bigger deal.Not sure if the money is worth it but you have to kick the tires. Right?

  17. Water23 - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    MFG,Do not forget Kei Igawa. A big time bust for the Yanks.

  18. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    You guys don't remember the WBC where Darvishwas the ace of Japan not Dice k. He throws 95 with better control and mechanics than dice k with as many pitches. Pay the man the same amount as dice k, he will be worth it trust me

  19. Just sayin' - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Anonymous said…who's the most successful foreign-born pitcher in MLB and how good is/was he?December 8, 2011 1:34 PM******************************************Pedro Martinez was a great pitcher, but Ferguson Jenkins had a better career WAR (at least according to Baseball-Reference.com).

  20. Exposremains - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    From post: "A high-ranking Nationals official said the Nationals are not pursuing Fielder, and it would take a significant shift in thinking at the ownership level for them to get involved with the 27-year-old slugger". Very troubling. It shows that this ownership is committed to run this team like a small market team in a big market.Maximize profit by fielding young inexpensive team. When is the last time a team won the World Series with a low payroll. Not make the playoffs, won the World series! After watching the Expos doing that all my life because it was a small market, I was hoping for something different in a market like Wash.

  21. Sean Kelly - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    Does anyone have Stats on Darvish before this year? This might be bad common sense on my part, but didn't most hitters averages go down due to the reduced size of the ball? Would this inflate a pitchers numbers this year? Would hate to throw money at a guy because we didn't get target # one.Also pray for Va Tech today – My Hokies are on my mind

  22. Bowdenball - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    Exposremain:How does the Werth contract and the Nats' spending in the last three drafts jibe with your conclusion?Is it possible that the Nats front office simply feels that they're set at 1B for the next few years between LaRoche and Morse and that the $150 million it would cost to sign Fielder is just better spent somewhere else, like perhaps on a few of the great starting pitchers or outfield options that will be free agents next year?

  23. Wally - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    Bowdenball – I hear you, it sounds reasonable. But those guys weren't expected to be one of the top 3 pitchers in the game, which is the category that I estimate $100m for 4 years would put him in. (my thinking is that to earn that contract, Darvish has to produce 6 WAR seasons each of the 4 years, and only Halladay and Lee have done that over the last 4 years). I just don't see how someone could reasonably expect that from a guy who hasn't pitched in the majors before.Maybe he will do it, I can't say it won't happen. But from a process standpoint, it doesn't seem likely. I think it would be luck if it worked out. I'd rather give Fielder 8/$200m.

  24. Doc - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    My vote is for Canadian Fergie! Apart from his better career WAR than Pedro, he won 20 games 6 years in a row, pitching in Wrigley Field—unbelievable!!

  25. jd - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Wally,I,m with you but will that be enough? Because I wouldn't go any higher. I would actually prefer 5/$140.

  26. Bowdenball - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Wally:Do you really think it would cost that much? That's how much Dice-K went for (posting fee plus contract) and he was signed for six years. More recent posting fees have been for far less after that cautionary tale. Darvish is probably the best player of any kind to get posted since then, but I have a hard time believing he'd cost $25 million a year. Once you win the posting auction you have exclusive negotiating rights, so you only have to outbid the Japanese clubs.If anyone is curious you can read about all the players who've gone through the posting system on Wikipedia's page on the system and you can see Darvish's entire career numbers at baseball-reference.com.

  27. JaneB - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Expos… We don't need or want or NEED Fieldet? We have great depth at first. My husband was just speculating that the cards make a run at Fielder. If I were the Cards, and it's good I'm not, I make a run at Morse in a trade. We are better off not committing )100k plus for Darvish and we let Fielder go by.

  28. Wally - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Bowdenball – I was including the posting fee in the $100m. I know it isn't going to the player, but it is still the cost to the team of getting the player, so that is how I would do the math, if I was the team. But I don't have any inside knowledge, I was just basing numbers off media reports about his ego, and my general feeling that player costs go up, not down (all things being equal). So I basically just reproduced DiceK's numbers ($50m posting, $50m contract) and spread it over 4 years. I doubt that the total dollars are lower (if anything, I think that they'll be higher if the last few days are any indication), but certainly I could be wrong and maybe it gets spread over 6 years instead of 4. In that case, still assuming $100m, the expectations are lower but still high (4 straight 4 WAR seasons, is that a top 20 pitcher? JZimm put up 3.4 last year, for instance). I just don't know how I could develop reasonable expectations along those lines for a pitcher with no MLB track record.

  29. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Is baseball a recent development in Japan? I thought it had been around in that country since the 19th century. Bowdenball said… SCNatsFan- I agree 100%. I assume none of us have seen Darvish pitch, and if we have we haven't seen him pitch very much, or with a scout's trained eye. I think it's good that our front office seems interested since he certainly has some talent; we just have to trust their scouting and their cost/benefit assessment. Wally: It's hard to really draw many conclusions about foreign trained players since they're a relatively recent phenomenon- you're only talking about the recent development of the game in Japan plus post-Castro Cuban players. Some disappoint, some meet expectations, and a rare few exceed them, just like with domestic players. I think if Darvish met expectations just as guys like Nomo and Livan and his half-brother did, he'd be worth what it will cost. December 8, 2011 2:15 PM

  30. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    If so I'm petty, too, because I like. :-)Wally said… Maybe I am petty, but this headline from MLB Trade Rumors helped a little. "Marlins Were High Bidders For Pujols, Wilson" December 8, 2011 1:53 PM

  31. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Also, just saw the news, Sean. My prayers are with Va Tech.

  32. Wally - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    jd said…Wally,I,m with you but will that be enough? Because I wouldn't go any higher. I would actually prefer 5/$140.JD – I have no idea what it takes to get him, and truth be told, I am not sure that I would even go that high, actually (I meant the comment more as a statement against the Darvish money). But I like Fielder, and think that he will remain an elite hitter for 5 years or so, so if the Nats went that far, I would get on board pretty quickly. If we could entice him for 5/$140m, I would jump on it.JaneB – I agree that it isn't a 'need' signing, certainly not like CF or even an SP. But he is better than Morse or any other option we have, and like the Red Sox did last year when they acquired Gonzalez while still having a perfectly fine option in Youklis, sometimes a guy is good enough that you grab him because he is available, and work the rest out later. I am pretty sure that we would be a better team in 2012-2017 if we grab Prince and trade Laroche. We don't need to do it to be successful, but I see it as an improvement. If we signed Prince, and traded Laroche for Upton (admittedly, I don't love Upton), this is a pretty good lineup:Desi, Upton, Zimm, Fielder, Morse, Werth, Espy, Ramos, SP.Plus, only Werth is over 30, and payroll is still only around $80m (ok, I didn't actually do the math, but I think it is ballpark). I would feel good about our chances heading to Philly or Miami.

  33. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    Sonething else about Japanese pitching stats: in 2011, the started using a slightly smaller baseball, which helped pitchers considerably. Kind of like raising the mound, I expect.

  34. Bowdenball - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Wally-Why do you think the numbers will be that much higher than Dice-K's? Dice-K was $103 million total for six years. He, like Darvish, was considered to be easily the best pitcher in the Japan leagues. However, with Dice-K, the Red Sox outbid the next highest bid by at least $10 million, so the price it actually would have taken to get him was actually $10 million less than the final price.. Plus there was the added dimension that everyone knew it was a Sox-Yankees bidding war. Plus there was the fact that there obviously was no Dice-K cautionary tale prior to Dice-K. Given those factors, I don't see why you would think he would go for the same price as Dice-K for two fewer years. Obviously if even GMs don't know what it will cost, there's no way for any of us to know. . Amanda Comak's column in the Times guessed at a posting fee anywhere between $20 and $50 million. If they can get him for six years for a total figure maybe $10 million or or less than CJ Wilson's contract value, I think it's a good gamble. He's 25, Wilson is 31. It's quite possible that he might outperform Wilson for less money over the next six years. Not likely, but certainly possible.natsfan1A: Japanese players in the US are a recent phenomenon. The question was about which foreign players have had the most successful MLB careers.

  35. Diz - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    I believe it has been a break even position for the Red Sox financially with Daisuke. The amount of apparel and following that they have received from his signing here and overseas has virtually made it a zero sum game.I would bet that it would be even higher with Darvish due to his popularity in Japan.If you saw Moneyball, Darvish is Pitt and Daisuke is Jonah Hill, if you get my meaning.I'd be interested to hear from the Nats how Wang being on the roster has benefited the Nats from a financial perspective with his Taiwanese following.Diz

  36. sjm308 - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    I think this posting thing for Darvish is a bit crazy. I just heard on MLB that the Sox put in a bid of 50 million for DiceK and later found out the 2nd best bid was just 30 million. All bids are sealed and Darvish has no say, the top bid is the only team that can negotiate and he then can refuse the deal and I think the team that won the post actually gets their money back. I am glad to see Rizzo being a little more close to the vest on this one. No bold statements about what he is doing. Personally, I would but a bid in but not for the money you could use next year to sign a prime FA pitcher. Have to believe someone will go crazy, just like the Sox with DiceK, honestly hope its not us.I am also iffy on Prince, I do understand most of the pro-Fielder comments and they make sense. I just feel like LaRoche will deliver this year and the difference between one year of LaRoche with Morse following and 7 or 8 years of Fielder is not a good image to me.Hope to hear us working on filling out the bench in the very near future.Go Nats!!

  37. Wally - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    Bowdenball – good points. I was guessing that it will be at least DiceK money because (a) DiceK's numbers are now out there, and those things have a way of becoming the standard to beat, and (b) I had the impression from reports that Darvish is considered a better prospect than DiceK was at the time. Whether those things hold true, I don't pretend to know. If your suggestion is to bid according to a pre-determined total number, ok I could go along with that. My number would still be lower than yours, I think, but I wouldn't be upset at $40-50m all in. Chapman got $30m and Darvish is more advanced. Seems very unlikely that we win, but I couldn't argue against trying that.Diz – I think it is reasonable to take those kinds of things into account. I don't know anything about them, or where to try to find it and so I gave no value to it in my post above. But if it is legit, I think including it in the calculus makes sense.

  38. Bowdenball - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Wally:I don't really have any idea how good of a pitcher he is, but from what I've read and from seeing his stat lines over the last four seasons in the Japan leagues, I'd be delighted if they could get him for $50 million total for the next few seasons. Seems like he's worth taking a chance on at that price. Here's hoping.

  39. Rabbit - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    Rizzo thinks he is a "complete package". Everyone anyone wants is a "complete package". How many "complete packages" have we seen "bust"? He's just another prospect.

  40. zero sum game - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    "The amount of apparel and following that they have received from his signing here and overseas has virtually made it a zero sum game."

  41. ehay2k - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:51 AM

    Walter Johnson is the best foreign born pitcher of all time. Pretty sure he was an alien. :-) Darvish is interesting because of the WBC. He pitched against a lot of talent, and looked good doing it. The ball size was also a non-factor. Will the Nats get $20M in apparel sales? Not sure, but you can bet they tracked sales of CMW jersey sales and can extrapolate. Worst thng that can happen is they post and get out bid. Second worst is the post, get to negotiate, but no deal. Otherwise, they post and sign him. So of course, they will post. I think $45M. Would be cool if they got him.Personally, I would LOVE to replace the philthy phans with Japanese baseball fans any day. We could contract Kasten to sell tix in Japan!

  42. Anonymous - Dec 9, 2011 at 2:59 AM

    I'll admit that I'm caught up in the buzz, but everything I've heard about Darvish points to him being the best pitcher out of Japan ever, and certainly the best FA available.With the Nationals payroll being what it is, why not take a shot with Darvish?js

  43. Tcostant - Dec 9, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    I been saying this since last year, when their was talk about him posting then. I saw this guy pitch in the World Baseball Classic in 2009 in San Deigo, he was by far the best pitched there and is easy a top 20 overall pitcher the minute he steps on a big league team. Drop $60M in the posting fee if needed, it's just cash (no lost draft pick!). Just do it, it will look like a bargin by the end of 2012.

  44. Tcostant - Dec 9, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Someone asked for his stats before this year, here they are:Nippon Professional Baseball Year Age Team W L W% GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP league ERA 2005 18 Nippon Ham 5 5 .500 14 2 1 94.1 97 37 37 7 48 52 3.53 1.54 4.06 2006 19 12 5 .706 24 3 2 149.2 128 55 48 12 64 115 2.89 1.28 3.62 2007 20 15 5 .750 26 12 3 207.2 123 48 42 9 49 210 1.82 0.83 3.57 2008 21 16 4 .800 24 10 2 200.2 136 44 42 11 44 208 1.88 0.90 3.90 2009 22 15 5 .750 23 8 2 182 118 36 35 9 45 167 1.73 0.90 4.03 2010 23 12 8 .600 25 10 2 202 158 48 40 5 47 222 1.78 1.01 3.94 2011 24 18 6 .750 28 10 6 232 156 42 37 5 36 276 1.44 0.83 2.95 Career 93 38 .710 164 55 18 1268.1 916 310 281 58 333 1259 1.99 0.98

  45. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 9, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Thanks, TC. Would be helpful to know how these numbers compare to the league, for context (complete games, for example, are more common there).

  46. Tcostant - Dec 9, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    Sec 3, not sure about that, but his ERA and the league ERA is listed for each year. Here is that for the last 5 years.2011 his ERA was 1.44 league ERA was 2.952010 his ERA was 1.78 league ERA was 3.942009 his ERA was 1.73 league ERA was 4.032008 his ERA was 1.88 league ERA was 3.902007 his ERA was 1.82 league ERA was 3.57I can't stress enough, I saw this guy pitch, more than once, in the WBC live in San Diego. He is a top end starter on any staff. He's the ace on most teams…

  47. blovy8 - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    Rizzo has scounted him and said really nice things about this guy, and I think it's easy to imagine that he's got significantly better potential than Nomo or Dice-K, especially since he's still only 25. But Rizzo has already undervalued the established ML free agent pitchers available. Still, if you can believe he'll adjust to working every fifth day, against denser lineups, etc., at least he won't be relying on a gyro ball or deceptive windup. I bet he turns out to be worth more than CJ Wilson. Bid say, 30-35 mil on him, an expect to pay at least 5/50 if you want to roll those dice with more K's.

  48. blovy8 - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    One of these days, I'll learn to edit, but today is not going to be that day I guess.

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