So here we sit, with bated breath, waiting to see which team is going to win the rights to negotiate with Japanese pitching star Yu Darvish.
For the past three or four days the list of teams have slowly whittled down to today’s list, which is the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays.
Heading into the weekend, the Jays were the clear cut favourite. Today, some people are leaning towards the Rangers.
As I mentioned before, I am hesitant to spend big dollars on a guy who has never thrown a pitch in MLB. We all know the story of Dice-K. We also know that Japanese starters throw way more innings than North American ones, facing batters who have 1/4th the talent.
On the other hand, Darvish is known as a super star in Japan and would most likely generate an Ichiro-like following for the Jays. For those who don’t live in Toronto, there is a very large Asian population in that area. So much like Albert Pujols was signed to drive Miami’s Latin-American market, Darvish could potentially do the same for Toronto. The Jays ad reps could then also market to Japanese businesses, knowing that games would be broadcast in Japan, opening up waves upon waves of marketing options.
For what it’s worth, former MLB’er Aaron Guile, now playing in Japan, compared Darvish to Pedro Martinez.
That is of course, getting ahead of ourselves. We’ll find out either tonight or by 5 p.m. tomorrow at the latest which team submitted the winning bid. They then have to get Darvish to agree to a major league contract.
And on the slugger side of things, it appears as though the Jays are still interested in Prince Fielder. Getting both would certainly make a statement, though that’s unlikely. I can’t help but wonder if perhaps Fielder has been told he’ll have to wait to see how this Darvish deal turns out before he hears back from either the Jays or Rangers.