After months of speculation, Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish made a statement Thursday that he intends to pitch in MLB next season.
Considered the best pitcher in the Japanese professional leagues, Darvish wrote on his blog that he will use the posting system that allows teams the right to bid on his services. Once the bidding process is complete, the winning team then can negotiate a contract with the 25-year old right hander.
Last year the 6’5″ hurler posted an18-6 record with a 1.44 earned run average and 276 strikeouts for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of the Pacific League.
The most recent big names to come from Japan using the posting system are Daisuke Matsuzaka and Ichiro Suzuki. Looking at their experiences, its clear that there isn’t a guarantee of success for even the best Japanese players. While Ichiro has had a Hall of Fame caliber career to this point, Matsuzaka is widely considered a bust to this point in his career after the Boston Red Sox spent over $100 million combined between posting fees and the 6-year contract they gave him
The Rangers, who have scouted Darvish in the past, are said to be heavy in the mix, along with the Blue Jays and Yankees, who are said to be reserved at the moment due to their recent failed experiment with Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa.