The Yankees signed Masahiro Tanaka to a 7-year, $155 million dollar contract this offseason. It is the first contract for a foreign player under the new posting system rules, and it appears Yu Darvish is not too happy about it.
We only have one quote from Darvish about the contract, stating, “I don’t know too much about the new posting system, but I think the Yankees gave him too much.” As we all know, Tanaka hasn’t thrown a single pitch at the MLB level yet, and he just signed for $95M more than Darvish was able to under the old posting system, with a contract that is just one year longer. Is Darvish simply stating his opinion, or is there more to his statement? The Texas Rangers had to pay Darvish’s former team $51.7 million dollars after signing him.
Pitchers and catchers have reported for all 30 MLB teams. As such, we will be hearing a lot more player opinions as the weeks progress and we near the start of the 2014 season. Darvish is making $56 million over 6 years – an absolute steal for the numbers he has produced over the last two seasons. A lot of players and reporters are making note of Cashman saying Tanaka is seen as a #3 starter. If he is our third starter for all 7 years of his contract, I will agree that we overpaid for him. However, I see 2014 as his transition/break-in year into the bigs. By 2015, C.C. Sabathia may be passing the torch to Tanaka as the starter on opening day.
Darvish, among others, has done a lot to help other foreign players secure larger contracts when coming over to play here. It makes sense to feel some frustration at the sight of massive contracts just a couple years after signing your own, but Darvish should feel accomplishment for advancing his fellow countrymen. That’s a lot better than $95 million dollars, right?
Later on after the day’s workouts were completed, Darvish took to Twitter to clarify his statements from earlier in the day:
This is a tweet with an ill intention. I will never talk about Tanaka enymore.
— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) February 18, 2014
It seems to be both an odd time and an odd tone to later claim a joke about. Maybe it was lost in translation.