Is Yu Darvish really out of the question?


Now I know very little about how finances work in baseball, especially when we're talking about international free-agents. I also get very easily excited. But I am not stupid, and from what I've read on the internet,  I see a lot more evidence that Darvish would be a reasonable and smart acquisition than:

A. Be Impossible because of the posting fee,

B. Impossible because of the Yankees, or

C. Stupid because he is Japanese.

Now I'll start with A. I assume that Darvish would command a contract of 15-20 mil a year for 5 or 6 years. This would be no problem for the Mets, as that could be entirely payed for using Beltran's money which comes off the payroll next year. The real problem, skeptics say, is the posting fee that would need to be payed to the Nippon Ham Fighters for giving him up. I've heard this number to be anywhere from 25 to 70 million dollars, so obviously nobody really knows what it would be, considering Darvish has not been posted yet. With the Mets financial troubles and debts, I've heard two things. One is that we should forget about it. 70 million is a lot of money to be payed towards one player who has never thrown a single pitch in the big leagues. The other is that like with every other hyped player in Japan, the posting fee will pay for itself with amount of media attention the player receives from not only the states, but from Japan itself. These players are considered huge celebrities in Japan similar to how actors are in the states. They are household names. Everybody wants to see how they play in the majors, and if they are successful it gives the Japanese viewers pride in their talent, which brings even more viewers. I don't know if it's true, but I've heard the Yankees, Mariners, and Red Sox have all actually GAINED money from getting Matsui, Ichiro, and Dice-K respectively, and Dice-K hasn't even been that successful. Also, I've also heard that with the attention they would get from Darvish's starts, SNY could make a significant contribution to the posting fee. I'm sure MLB would make a secret little contribution as well, since any new phenom gets a ton of attention as proved by Strasburg's first start. It would be good for the sport in general, and I'm pretty sure Bud Selig has stated that he would love to see the Mets become successful again.

So in conclusion, I've heard enough points to give me the impression that the posting fee wouldn't be too much of a problem, while all of the skeptics seem to have no real points whatsoever to the argument, other than the fact that the Mets have notoriously bad luck and that the Yankees exist. The Mets would probably have a much bigger payroll than they want, however I think with Darvish, Santana, a Reyes resigning, Wright, Bay, a closer like Heath Bell, and a FA bat like Sizemore, it would probably land at around 135 mil for 2012. Thats quite a bit more than this year, however we will undoubtedly be contending and selling tickets. Furthermore that's actually less than it was in 2009 at 143 mil.

As far as the Yankees existing, that is certainly a concern. However I don't think anyone would argue with the fact that the Mets need Darvish a lot more. This of course wouldn't stop the Yanks from bidding high, but at the same time this WOULD inspire the Mets to bid high as well. The Yankees will always be contenders and will always have money to sign big time free-agents. They will always sell tickets and they will always get media attention. I'm not sure if the Yankees would 100% want to commit all of this money towards Darvish considering it would probably just send them overboard. The competition in the AL East as far as rotations go is really not nearly as intimidating and hyped as the competition in the NL East. While the Mets are in desperate need of a hyped phenom to compete with the likes Strasburg, Halladay, Johnson, etc, the Yankees could get by easily just signing players like C.J Wilson or Mark Beurhle in the offseason. Like I am uneducated in any of this stuff I'm talking about, I am similarly uneducated in the hyped players in the AL East farm systems. However when I look at any rotation in the AL East I certainly do not get the feeling I get when I look at the Phillies' rotation, whom the Mets have to face many, many times throughout the regular season. I don't think any team in the majors are as in need of Darvish as the Mets are, and similarly I don't think many teams are as capable of signing him as the Mets are, with the various toxic contracts coming off the books in the next couple of years.

As far as anyone thinking Darvish would not perform well in the majors, all I can say is this:

While comparisons to Dice-K are certainly valid because of their Japanese-ness and their hype, the talent on display here is not really comparable. Darvish is not only younger than Dice-K was when he was acquired by Boston, but Darvish has also already put up 3 consecutive seasons where he has performed better than Dice-K ever has. Japanese hitters are not as good as MLB hitters, but at the same time all 3 of these seasons were 1 ERA seasons. The man is widely considered to be the best pitcher to ever come out of Japan as well as in the top 5 pitchers in the world. I've heard him say that he is not satisfied with his career until he has achieved a perfect season with a 0.00 ERA. If that's not confidence and a determination to improve than I don't know what is. He may not stay within a 1 ERA in any season with the Mets. However I can certainly expect him to start somewhere in the 2s or 3s with his stuff alone. Once he adjusts to the states and learns about the hitters, he would undoubtedly improve and be the cornerstone of a rotation defined by the Mets up and coming minor league talent with Mejia, Harvey, Familia, Cohoon, Holt, and Gee. Throw Neise/Pelfrey in there and voila. You've got a young, exciting, and talented bunch of pitchers to watch for several years to come.

Not to mention Darvish's walk up music could be Crank That by Soulja Boy and he would look pretty spiffy in a Mets uniform.

So I'm sure I somehow just made myself look like an idiot somewhere (or everywhere), however like I said before I'm really making this post just to get a definitive and intelligent answer to why everything I just said is untrue. Otherwise, I could see a Yu Darvish acquisition in the offseason not only possible, but fairly likely. At any rate I'm sure this could get an interesting conversation going about 2012 and if I'm proven to be delusional immediately at least I'll have learned something.

BTW upon typing "yu darvish 2011 stats" into google images I found a picture of Terry Collins. That can only mean one thing.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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