December 20, 2011

Who cares about Yu-know-who

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

I feel kind of bad for Yu Darvish. After about a week of being led to the believe that the Blue Jays would surely have the winning bid for the Japanese ace, it turns out that Texas had them trumped. So, poor Darvish now has the entire Blue Jays’ fan base rooting for him to fail. Well, at least I am.

Isn’t it the only way to justify our feelings of regret about losing out on him? If he turns out to be a bust, then we can all say: “It’s great that we didn’t waste our money on that guy.” If he turns out to be the real deal, a perennial all-star like Ichiro, then we’ll all be moaning: “He could have been the one to put us over the top!”

So, if you don’t want those feelings of regret and ‘oh, what could have been,’ the only thing you really can do is cheer against the Darvish and the Rangers if/when he signs on.

Also, let’s remember that Darvish is hardly a sure thing, especially considering the money that’s being thrown around.

Consider the most recent Japanese pitcher to come through the posting process: Daisuke Matsuzaka. After the Red Sox poured more than $100 million into him between the posting bid and his six-year contract, Dice-K has failed to live up to expectations. Sure, there have been flashes of brilliance, but hardly $100-million worth. And now Darvish will be feeling even more pressure.

And also, nobody should blame Rogers for not coming up with a bigger bid. Anteing up more than $50 million just to negotiate with a player is pretty loony. Now the Rangers still have to sign him to a deal in the $12-million per season range. That’s quite a bit for a guy that hasn’t thrown a pitch in Major League Baseball.

Realistically, the Jays are still more than one player away from the World Series. There are still some holes in the lineup and in the pitching staff, but at least now we know that the ownership is willing to throw some weight around for players that they think that can make a difference.

The Jays may have lost out this time, but down the road, Toronto’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in the open market.

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