At last night's WBC Ring Ceremony, Yu Darvish was asked if he saw himself in the Majors 4 years from now. To which Darvish replied, with a smirk on his face:
Well... Haven't you guys asked the question enough times?
Well... Aren't you guys tired of asking that question?
Depending on how you want to read into his phrase, you can easily adapt what he's saying to be for, or against, going to the Majors. And therein lies the beauty (and frustrations) of the Japanese language.
It is interesting, though, that he didn't just put his foot down again and say that he wasn't interested. It might be that he's just tired of answering the same question over and over again, but one would have to think that at some point, he'll end up changing his mind. After all, he is still only 23.
In any case, I think there's a more pressing matter than Darvish going to the Majors, and that's when he'll end up earning more than the Fighters can afford to pay him. He made 270M yen this past season and his contract for next season, based on past progressions, will likely put him at least in the 330M yen range (or about US$3.7M).
The highest paid player on the Fighters' roster this past season was Atsunori Inaba at 300M yen. This past season, there were a total 14 players that had salaries at or above 300M yen. 5 of them were foreigners. And only Kyuji Fujikawa (29) and Hisashi Iwakuma (28) were under 30.
And of the 14 players at or above 300M yen, 5 were from the Yomiuri Giants (the Tigers, Hawks, and Buffaloes each had 2 players).
Darvish could easily be priced out the Fighters' range within the next few years. After that, there aren't too many teams that will be able to compete, asides from perhaps the Giants and Tigers. And that may ultimately end up dictating when Darvish seriously considers the possibility of heading off to the Majors.
|2005||15M yen, 100M yen bonus, 50M in incentives|
|2007||72M yen plus incentives|
|2008||200M yen plus incentives|
|2009||270M yen plus incentives|