A pretty fascinating look at Yu Darvish, widely heralded as the "next Dice-K" Japanese export was published today and it's definitely worth a read.
Darvish is half-Iranian, half-Japanese but is a product of the Japanese school systems and baseball systems.
“I was born and raised in Japan, so I believe myself 100 percent Japanese,” he says. “My dad is Iranian, but he’s got a lot of Japanese tastes, personality. I was surrounded by Japanese people, so I totally think I’m Japanese.”
People are already frothing over him coming Stateside. After reading this article, I am, too, so long as he doesn't become Dice-K's teammate.
Last season, most of which he pitched as a 20 year-old, he went 15-5 with a 1.82 earned-run average and 12 complete games. His fastball hits 97 mph, his slider 91, and he throws a curveball, changeup and sinker. With Darvish, it’s a matter of when he asks the Fighters to post him for auction to the highest major-league bidder.
One American League executive guessed if Darvish posted after this season the fee to negotiate a deal would cost “around $75 million.” Another suggested “it could be even higher.” If the Red Sox paid $51 million for a 26-year-old Matsuzaka, a 22-year-old Darvish could command a 50 percent premium.
Pretty lofty stuff.
As a side-note, maybe it's time to rethink the Japanese posting system as only the richest teams seem to be able to pay that sort of entry fee for the best of the best. Not that I mind much, personally, since my team spends that sorta loot eagerly. But if I were a fan of one of the 25-26 other teams who's ownership doesn't spend that much, I'd be concerned.