Yu Darvish "50-50" on Joining MLB

With a current free agent market weak in the starting pitching department, many teams have turned their attention to Japanese phenom Yu Darvish and whether or not he will make the jump to the United States and Major League Baseball.  There have been conflicting reports out of Japan over the past few months, and now Darvish’s father, Farsad, says the decision to join MLB or stay in Japan is “50-50”.

Yesterday, Darvish, his manager and his father were in Fukuoka, Japan for the Nippon Series (also known as the Japan Championship Series).  While Darvish himself did not address the matter of posting, his father told reporters that he and Yu “are talking about having a family meeting once the Nippon Series is over”.  According to Darvish’s father there is about a 50% chance that Yu makes the jump to MLB.

One major hurdle that is holding Darvish back from a career in the majors is the current posting system.  In an interview with yakyubaka.com, Darvish’s father said he is not happy with how the posting system forces a player to negotiate with only one major league club.  Farsad said he “was hoping to see a rule change where the top three teams would have the chance to negotiate”.

Darvish’s father says his distaste for the current system is about more than just putting his son in a better position to negotiate a contract.  Farsad feels that a rule change should be implemented “for future players that want to go to the majors”.

Farsad believes that Yu “does want to go” to the majors, but cautions that “there are risks”.  Darvish’s father understands that “teams have bottom lines to think about, so if they bid high, the player’s salary is going to be that much lower”.   According to Farsad, this “can lead to negotiations breaking off”.

Last month it was reported that Darvish was ready to request to be posted by his Japanese club.  Darvish himself came out soon after these reports to deny that a decision had been made.

Most around the league expect Darvish to be posted this winter, as they say potential payout is just too great at this point.  Others caution that it’s not a done deal and that Darvish is a different type of player, one that may want to create a legacy for himself in Japan.

Either way, it appears that we are nearing a decision as the Nippon Series is set to conclude today.

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