Tag: New York Yankees
The New York Yankees have signed Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year deal worth US$11M (around 850M yen).
Nikkan Sports first reported on the possibility of Kuroda signing with the Yankees a few days ago.
According to Nikkan Sports, the New York Yankees announced they were giving up on Hiroyuki Nakajima about three hours after he arrived in New York (he arrived at JFK Airport at around 9:32am and the announcement was made at around 12:26pm). The New York Times notes that the Yankees did not know about his trip. Newsday mentions that Nakajima was looking for a three-year deal. And Sponichi reports that Nakajima was apparently fine with both the money and his role as back-up; the problem was that Nakajima wanted to become an FA after the year while the Yanks wanted to hold onto his rights for the next six years.
Nakajima could begin salary negotiations for the 2012 season with the Seibu Lions as early as next week.
The New York Yankees have failed to reach an agreement with Hiroyuki Nakajima. Via MLB.com's Bryan Hoch:
"We unfortunately could not come to an agreement with Hiroyuki," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement. "We wish him the best of luck during the upcoming 2012 season."
Nakajima is quoted as saying:
It is unfortunate we could not agree to a deal. I want to thank the Seibu Lions for posting me and the New York Yankees for placing a bid on me.
For one thing, the 29-year-old is the captain and everyday shortstop for the Seibu Lions. The best the Yankees could offer him is a bench role, using him as a sub SS-3B-2B, and the paycheck for that job is nowhere near what Nakajima is looking for.
For another, Nakajima will be a free-agent after next season and will be free to negotiate with any MLB team without having to deal with the restrictions of the Japanes posting system.
Sponichi mentions that Greg Genske apparently did a good job of selling Hiroyuki Nakajima to the New York Yankees. They also figure he might get a two-year deal worth a total US$4M.
Sponichi notes that the press release announcing that the Yankees won negotiating rights to Nakajima actually also mentioned Iwakuma's name by accident. The press release has since been updated, but it apparently read: "The Yankees now have a period of 30 consecutive days to sign Iwakuma to a Major or Minor League professional contract."
Ken Rosenthal tweets that the New York Yankees have won the rights to Hiroyuki Nakajima:
Source: #Yankees win rights to Nakajima. Now must negotiate contract. #MLB
Thanks to Carter for the heads up.
UPDATE @ 3:12pm - The Yankees have until 1/6/2011 to work out a deal with Nakajima.
Nakajima's comment on the Yankees: "They are a team with tradition/history and I am grateful for their bid. Even though I will leave everything up to my agent, I am looking forward to hearing what they think of me."
Brian Cashman sees Nakajima as a back-up infielder (SS, 2B, and 3B). Joe Girardi told reporters that Nakajima will be "asked to do a number of things" and that there was enough room on the roster for two utilities infielders (Eduardo Nunez and Nakajima).
Sponichi notes a Baltimore Sun article that says Baltimore Orioles' development director John Stockstill is in Japan to check on a number of players, including Yu Darvish. Sponichi also mentions that a number of other clubs, like the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, and Boston Red Sox are expected to catch Darvish's last start of the regular season (currently set for the 18th against the Seibu Lions).
Sponichi goes on to provide the following list of 5 clubs interested in Darvish along with possible reasons why:
- New York Yankees - could lose C.C. Sabathia; looking for a number of starting arms
- Boston Red Sox - Daisuke Matsuzaka coming back from TJ surgery; John Lackey's elbow problems; urgent need to find arms for the starting rotation
- Toronto Blue Jays - increase in payroll
- Baltimore Orioles - Jeremy Guthrie's bad year; looking for quality arm
- Texas Rangers - GM checked out Darvish in June; could lose CJ Wilson to FA
[Via Nikkan Sports] MLB.com's Toronto Blue Jays beat reporter Gregor Chisholm answers questions from fans. One of them is about Yu Darvish:
Darvish is the only big name free agent I could see the Blue Jays taking a run at this offseason. The 25-year-old appears ready to make the jump overseas after beginning his career pitching for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.
Manager John Farrell has experience working with Japanese pitchers after his four seasons as a pitching coach in Boston, which included time with Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima. That would provide insight on how to ease Darvish's transition to North America and Farrell even took Japanese-language courses while in Boston.
Farrell's previous experience is a nice luxury to have but this move will come down to money. Teams will be required to post secret bids to Darvish's team in Japan and the highest figure will net exclusive negotiating rights. Matsuzaka's total cost to Boston -- posting fee and big league contract -- exceeded $100 million and it's likely that Japan's latest prospect would net something similar in return.
It's a risky proposition for any team because it's impossible to really know how Darvish will deal with the transition to the Majors. The one thing we know is that Darvish's arm has a lot less mileage than Matsuzaka's had when he came over in 2007, which should bode well for his long-term health. Darvish also throws his fastball more frequently and commands it a lot better than Matsuzaka ever did.
UPDATE @ 3:01pm - [Via Sports Hochi] The New York Post's George A. King III includes the following snip about Darvish in a recent article on rotation issues for the New York Yankees:
Expect the Yankees to have a serious interest in Rangers ace C.J. Wilson, who will be a free agent, and to monitor the cost of importing Yu Darvish from Japan.
Nikkan Sports is reporting that the New York Yankees may focus solely on Yu Darvish and forget about other potential Japanese free agent options, like Hisashi Iwakuma and Tsuyoshi Wada. The article mentions a number of unnamed industry personnel as their sources. They also mention that the Yankees checked on all three pitchers this season before narrowing things down (in the end, they liked Darvish's physical strength, skill, and age).
The New York Post's George A. King III provides an update on the Yanks and Yu Darvish. A snip:
The Yankees sent scout Rick Williams to Japan to watch pitching sensation Yu Darvish recently after Billy Eppler, the team's head of pro scouting, saw the 25-year-old right-hander hurl for the Nippon Ham Fighters.
The Yankees are like a lot of other clubs who believe the 6-foot-5, 185-pound right-hander is young enough to have room for improvement.
How much they are willing to invest is the question, even in a free agent pitching market that will be very thin.
After the Kei Igawa fiasco/bust that cost them $46 million ($26 million posting fee), the Yankees might be gun-shy about going hard after Darvish although Darvish's ceiling appears to be a lot higher than Igawa's.
Source: Nikkan Sports