14 Dec 2011
Let’s pretend you are the richest person at a blind envelope auction. Everyone knows you are the richest, but nobody knows who is bidding or the amount that they bid. As the richest person do you…
A- Loudly tell everyone of your interest in a particular item hoping that it scares away potential bidders?
B- Pretend to have little to no interest in a particular item hoping that you can use your financial might by posting a big bid stealthily?
The Yankees have done at least the first part of B with Yu Darvish and now we will await to see if they did actually make a bid. I have no idea if they did or didn’t, but I also don’t think you should read very much into their statements that they weren’t interested. To me, that was just smart poker. We know the Yankees have gobs of money and even if it requires a Matsuzaka-like posting fee, that isn’t a big deal to them. And Matsuzaka’s performance will probably help the team that wins the posting negotiate a contract with Darvish. After all, Dice-K was supposed to be a dominant force and apart from 2008, he has been mediocre at best. He signed for six years at $52 million. If you don’t think the Yankees would be willing to add that amount to their payroll, I have a bridge to sell you here in Brooklyn.
Now, the bigger question is if Darvish is worth bidding on? That’s a tough one to answer. Sure, he is supposedly better than Dice-K, but we seem to hear that each time a Japanese pitcher is posted. I don’t think anyone knows how to answer that question, but don’t just assume the Yankees passed. We will find out soon.
UPDATE 7:50pm Two tweets to pay attention to. First, Buster Olney says the Yankees did bid. Second, Danny Knobler reports that the Fighters were excited by the amount of the winning bid. We still don’t know the winning bidder, but it is morning in Japan, so we might hear something later tonight. I will update accordingly.
UPDATE 8:02pm Jon Heyman tweets that the word is the Yankees entered only a “modest” bid for Darvish. To be honest, I don’t know if I should be happy or sad about that.
UPDATE 10:50pm Jon Heyman tweets a rumor that one bid was north of $50 millon.