Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Yu Darvish Negotiating with Texas, Not Toronto
By Ian Hunter
Are you a little disappointed the Blue Jays lost out on the Yu Darvish Sweepstakes? You have every right to be. After all, it seemed like Toronto had a legitimate shot at Darvish and were heavily favouredfrom the onset of his posting.
My initial reaction was one of disappointment, but then it was quickly followed up by a huge sigh of relief. An elation that the Blue Jays wouldn't have to shell out $50+ million just for the negotiating rights with Yu Darvish.
It turns out losing out on Yu Darvish might actually be a blessing in disguise for the Toronto Blue Jays. Heck, we don't even know how close or even if the Blue Jays were any where within earshot of the $51.7 million the Texas Rangers put up.
We know the Blue Jays put in a bid on Darvish, but maybe it was just a feeler bid at $30 million. Maybe they went up to $40 million, or maybe they just narrowly missed at $51 million. Unless Alex Anthopoulos is willing to share, we'll never know whether Toronto had no shot whatsoever or were on the cusp.
Again, after the reality check from Bruce Arthur's Yu Darvish piece on Sunday, it all makes sense with what Alex Anthopoulos is trying to build. I don't believe he pinned all his hopes on signing Darvish, and rightfully so.
The funny thing about the whole Yu Darvish thing is it doesn't really change AA's game plan. Sure, Darvish would step in as a great top/mid-rotation starter, but the farm system is stocked with talented starting pitchers.
I'm not saying Deck McGuire, Justin Nicolino, Drew Hutchinson or even Kyle Drabek are going to turn out to be superstars. But odds are, the more high ceilings prospects the Blue Jays have, the better the odds at least one of them will turn out to be successful.
As others have indicated, it makes much more sense to add a piece like Yu Darvish when your team is close or at the onset of turning the page rather than a few years away still.
It might have taken the Blue Jays 3-4 more years for the Blue Jays to work out the kinks and put themselves in a good position to contend, and by then Darvish would be the final years of his contract. Then it's back to square one trying to find the next Yu Darvish, and now the wallet is $120 million dollars lighter.
So where do the Blue Jays go from here? I think they take the money they would've spent on Yu Darvish, deposit it back into the bank and get back to business as usual.
The Blue Jays don't need to spend that money like a hole burning in their pocket. There's no point in spending money just for the sake of spending it, that's not what successful organizations do.
Some think Toronto should allocate that Yu Darvish money towards a Prince Fielder contract. If the Blue Jays were truly serious about Fielder, I think they would have signed him already. A deal for Fielder would not necessarily hinge on one for Darvish ... it's not like there was only enough money to sign one or the other.
Yu Darvish likely would have helped the Blue Jays shortcut their plan, but it would have come with a very hefty price tag. And with a dollar amount like that attached to one player, very rarely does a player ever live up to a contract.
The Texas Rangers may have won the rights to negotiate with Yu Darvish, but that doesn't immediately make the Blue Jays chopped liver. Nothing changes the fact that Toronto is home to a fairly good, young team.
The one thing I really noticed in all this hype about Yu Darvish coming to Toronto is there is a ton of Blue Jays fans out there, a lot more than even I thought. There are a lot of passionate fans who really want to see this team return to the glory days of the 80's and 90's.
After all this, I just hope those fans are just still as excited about the 2012 Blue Jays season. Because even though Yu Darvish won't be on the roster, Jose Bautista, Brett Lawrie, Yunel Escobar and many others still will be.