Over at River Ave Blues, Moshe Mandel thinks that despite the risks taking a risk on Yu Darvish is the right play for the Yanks.
[Photo Credit: Japanese Baseball Players]
I think he's exactly right. The Yanks won't be able to drop big dollars in the draft (though in the last couple of years, they haven't). The Yanks won't be able to drop big dollars in the international draft-age kids market (where they've spent major dough). If they are going to use YankeeBucks to their advantage, they might as well throw it at Darvish and Yoennis Cespedes. There certainly aren't any MLB free agents worth it.
Yeah, and I wonder if and when a Japanese pitcher will come to the States and be a star here, too. I suppose Nomo was a star but he wasn't great, though certainly not bad either.
 That's my question. Dice-K did have a great year one year, but for a $100 million I wouldn't call him a success. Nomo was a decent #2 or 3, for a while.
Don't Japanese starters pitch once a week? That might be the issue, that they aren't built up enough to go every 5 days. Certainly position players are able to transition over, so I think it's just in how the pitchers are used. Take a flyer on him if the price is right.
If it was my money I'd go with Wilson for 5 years. I see him as the safer bet, the one more likely to make a positive difference for the Yankees in the next 2 seasons. I also place a lot of value in his lefthandedness.
If they go with Darvish I won't complain but I'll be very nervous, and sort of anticipating regret.
3) the price won't be right for any of these guys. I think it should come down to who can best help the Yankees short term?
I would like to see the Yankees resign FA Chien-Ming Wang. He was about average in a small sample this year for the Nationals and would be a favorite as a 5th starter.
I also wouldn't mind spending the Darvish money on a pu-pu platter of Livan Hernandez, Bruce Chen, and Joel Piniero (and similar characters) and revisit the strategy that yielded some quality starts from Colon and Garcia, with Millwood, Silva and Prior not really paying off, but not costing much either.
 If you can get those guys to agree to such an offer in the first place. I'd think you'd have to wait until their offers dry up or cut in line with an offer over their market value that could likely negate the cost-effectiveness. I don't see Livan translating well to the AL East in the long run of a season (Boston would have jumped all over that if anyone thought so). Bruce Chen is what he is and being a Yankee won't change that. I would take a flyer on Joel Piniero, but not anticipate him as much as the Yanks did with Freddy and Colon last season (expecting one to shake out as the obvious fifth starter). And I'd love to have Wang back in the fold, but I would likely stash him in AAA to reboot him and call him up mid-season, something he'd either not be willing to do or you'd have to overpay him to do. Collecting potential 5th starters doesn't seem like a very effective way of building an effective rotation, even if you expect the offense to carry you throughout the season.
 Good points.
If Cashman is running the show I don't think the Yankees go after Darvish. I think he waits on a young pitcher to develop into a frontline starter, hopes some old cheap retreads help him get by, and puts some money in the budget for a trade. The same $50M spent on the above strategy through draft picks and patience looks like it yields better results than fishing in the Japanese transfer market. Of course if Yu Darvish is the next John Smoltz my strategy can get you fired as GM.
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