The Latest in the Darvish/MLB Saga

» 20 May 2010 » In mlb prospects, nichibei, npb »

I was going to ignore this story, but it just got interesting.

A couple of days ago, Chunichi Sports and Sponichi came out with reports saying that Yu Darvish’s father, Farzad, had been in touch with agent Arn Tellem. At the time, I dismissed these reports as a) Sponichi rattling the cage again, and b) not really news. Agents reach out to unrepresented players; I have firsthand knowledge that at least one agency talked with Yusei Kikuchi last year. So I waited for Darvish to disavow the reports, which he did via Twitter, saying “It looks something about the majors was in the news. There’s not much there.”

Chunichi Sports came back with another story, pointing out that he didn’t explicitly deny the earlier reports, which was an interesting point but I figured the story was over for this rumor cycle.

Then Chunichi’s writer bumped into Darvish at Sapporo Dome during a pre-game workout, and said, “we annoyed you a bit…”, to which Darvish replied, “that’s ok, don’t worry about it. It builds excitement.” Then a brief interview followed, which I have translated below:

Q: How do you actually feel about the Majors?

Darvish: “Regarding the Majors, I don’t know and I don’t have any comment. I’d always said I wouldn’t go to the Majors. Last year I went to the WBC (in America) and thought it was good. Matsuzaka-san, Ichiro-san, Johjima-san, and Fukudome-san graciously told me what is good, what is tough and a lot of things. But this isn’t will I go or not. I like Japanese baseball and I feel that I want to do my best in Japan.”

Q: But, don’t you have any interest in MLB?

Darvish: “I’ve always liked baseball. I look at how the MLB pitchers throw and what pitches they have, and I’d like to take in the good habits (from the Majors).”

Q: How about your relationship with Arn Tellem?

Darvish: “My father (Farzad) has known guys like Tellem-san and (Scott) Boras-san since I was in junior high school and has a good relationship with them. My father is just friends with them. I don’t know my father met [Tellem] this time. Hmm, but I usually know what’s going on. I don’t think my father met him.”

So there you have it. There are people who are convinced that Darvish will try to be posted after this season. I’m not one of them, though. There’s no public indication that he wants to move this season, and it doesn’t make sense for Nippon Ham competitively. Financially, a struggling US economy and weak dollar would likely mean fewer bidders, and a lower yen value for the resultant posting fee and contract.

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