One of the stories in local media going into this season was whether the giant contract that the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka got would cause Rangers’ ace Yu Darvish to pitch with a chip on his shoulder. WFAA sports reporter Ted Madden discovered that it didn’t faze the 27-year old.
Darvish says he thinks the Yankees gave Tanaka too much money.
— Ted Madden (@tedmadden) February 18, 2014
It cost the Rangers a record $51,703,411 to earn the rights to simply negotiate contract terms with Darvish in the 2012 off season. Jon Daniels ended up signing the Japanese phenom to a six-year deal worth $56 million. So far, the investment seems to have been well worth it. Darvish led baseball in strikeouts in 2013 with 277 and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting.
The New York Yankees paid $20 million to the Rakutan Golden Eagles under the new posting system for Nippon Professional Baseball to be one of the teams to be able to negotiate with 25-year old Masahiro Tanaka. Brian Cashman signed Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million contract, which eclipses Darvish’s contract, but could set the tone for Yu’s extension and free agency. Tanaka hasn’t thrown a pitch in the Majors, but went 24-0 for the Golden Eagles with a 1.27 ERA last season.
Darvish also suggests that he was part of a group, including Hiroki Kuroda and Hisashi Iwakuma, that set the precedent for how Major League clubs scouted Tanaka.
EDIT at 4:00 ESTAnthony Aandro of Fox Sports Southwest tweets this out:
Rangers @faridyu tweets that he was joking at press conference with Tanaka comments.
— Anthony Andro (@aandro) February 18, 2014