Nationals Baseball: Don't post Darvish

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Don't post Darvish

He could be great.  He could be good. He could disappoint even if he throws a magic gyro ball.

Whatever becomes of him, it's a gamble in the neighborhood of 5years, 100 million total. That's a gamble a team with a depth of pitching prospects and a lot of positional uncertainty* does not need to make.

*Honestly other than a healthy Zimmerman who do you 100% trust to be productive next year?   Ok, I'll give you Morse, I don't see him suddenly becoming bad. No, I won't give you Ramos. I like him too but 100% is 100%.  The other Nats at or above average at the plate last year?  Espinosa (If I'm not giving you Ramos, I'm certainly not giving you Espinosa), Nix, and Hairston.


whoa_now said...

Question for you: What price point do you think Darvish is a good deal? Aoki? Cespedes?

The posting fee should be around 30 million. I'll guess 33 million. Darvish stands to make around 6.5 next season. So I assume a deal in the 8-9 million/w incentives range for 5 years have him sign. So that is roughly a 75 million dollar contract for 5 years. Cheaper than Buerhle.

I think they should post a fee around 33 million. Once you've won posting..then everything favors a good deal for the actual contract. His Japanese club wants him to sign because of the posting fee, so they aren't going to match 8 million per year to keep him. He'll want to sign because its more money and its the MLB.

IMO I think if you win the posting for less than 33.5 million its worth a shot.

S.U. Sasskuash said...

Bryce Harper and B.J. Upton!! They count, right?

Matt said...

I sort of agree with whoa_now, in that there is probably some price at which Darvish is a good gamble. Unlike whoa_now, I'm not informed enough to have any idea of what that price might be, but there must be one. As long as the team isn't determined to get Darvish and puts in no more than a fair bid, things can only work in the Nats favor. Sure, they're unlikely to land him, but there's always the chance that they get lucky and get their man (sort of like the Yankees and Nakajima). When it comes down to it, as long as the team is knowledgeable enough to have a good guess of a fair price, why wouldn't they bid?

Harper said...

The part of me that think the chance of failure coupled with the money involved tend to say ANY large amount is too much. That's not good analysis though.

I suppose the numbers you put out are more than reasonable for a gamble. (though actually that's more than Buerhle - he signed 4 years - 58 mill, so fewer years ever so slightly less dollars. And remember that's cheaper than what Beurhle signed for - not for what the Nats were willing to pay). I'll go with the Buehrle level - the security vs the unknown.

Personally I don't see the posting fee going under 40, and the contract depends on the team. For the Nats (or any non-West Coast team) I think 8-9 mill a year isn't going to cut it. I think he'd walk. He can make up the difference between that and what he'll make in Japan the next 2 years in his FA contract easy if he wants.

Harper said...

... ..- ... : For Harrisburg and Tamps, yes.

Matt - I think there is a good chance that the Nats can only grab Darvish (as a WC fan) with a bigger contract (along with the big posting). I guess you're right - they can post their typical Nats reasonable number - hope everyone else gets cold feet, then hope they can deal out that big multi-year deal. I guess. That would be so Nats. (the first part - the second part we're still not sure about)

Donald said...

I think the risk is pretty high given the level of talent that's going to be available next year. Why spend $100+m on Darvish this year when you could spend that on a sure thing next year?

Donald said...

I guess the other factor in deciding how much to pay for Darvish is how much he'd bring in from merchandising in Japan. A west coast team might be better able to capitalize on that, but it's possible that good or bad, they'd make their money back.

Whoa_now said...

"He can make up the difference between that and what he'll make in Japan the next 2 years in his FA contract easy if he wants."

He could-but I don't think it will be easy-he'll be 2 years older-a lot can happen in two years, skill, injury, passion, age, etc. Will the large MLB contracts still be there. Its a risk, and a large one. a 5/6 year deal in the 8-10 MM yr is a big offer of security. Plus this dude wants to play in the BIGs. And if he won't sign for that. No harm. You get your 33 MM posting fee back..and no other MLB club has him either.

To be honest I don't see the need. I think the Nats order of priority needs to be:
1) Center Fielder
2) Leadoff
3) Bench
4) Pitching

So if 1 and 2 can be the same person, awesome. Bench (3) can be worked out closer to spring training. If Rizzo's plan includes Darvish, I hope he has plans ($) for a centerfielder too.

I'd rather them sign Aoki or Cespedes than Darvish.

Aoki's posting fee will be in the 10-15 million range. Cespedes stock is insane, I don't want to spend those prices. Ideally we could sign Aoki to a 3 yr deal and then sign Soler too. He could be 1)insurance in 2 yrs if Aoki blows 2)Trade chip 3) Stud.

Whoa_now said...

I see your overarching point. Its a huge risk and probably not worth the money. But i do think there is some analysis that says "merchandise + resonable projection = posting price." Offer that. If you get out bid. move on.

I don't want them to bid 50 million when the next bid is only 30.

I think a contract of 70-75 million (posting + Contract) would be worth a consideration. Figure out what you could potentially sign him for..then subtract from your total and offer the difference as the posting fee.

But if 75 million is your budget for FA this year. Then I don't want Darvish. I'd rather you spend it on Oswalt + Aoki + Soler.

Harper said...

Donald - could be anywhere from $5 mill to $15 mill per year, assuming he's a star. Don't see many Kaz Ishii jerseys in Japan I bet.

whoa - it IS a big risk but some guys are just wired that way. He's made millions so depends on what type of "security" he's looking for.

Post if you want to but don't overpay, or at least don't overpay if you aren't willing to spend money to fix the several other issues with the Nats. I'd say don't bother (Don't let people find out through back channels that the Nats were the $1 guy on Price is Right) but nothing wrong with the above.

michael K said...

I waaannnt YUuuuu!!! Dun Dun Dun
I waaannnt YU so baaad it's driving me mad!

C'mon Harper why do you gotta be such a buzzkill? Don't tell me you only like baseball for the product on the field!

Anonymous said...

Darvish would be pretty interesting, but not a key player for us. I'd rather see the Nats focus on bringing in a CF like, say, Aoki or Cespedes. Honestly though, as long as they don't bring back Alex Cora or Matt Stairs to haunt my nights and weekend afternoons, I'll be pretty happy with anything.

Or Brian Bixler. Did Bixler remind anyone else of the rookie character bringing up the rear in war movies who you know is about to be picked off by the Viet Cong? Or is it just me?

Harper said...

michael K - I love baseball for everything. Trust me - if the Nats actually bid $50 million on Yu, I'll love it either because he'll be great, or it'll provide great blog topics for the next 5 years. Like Werth's contract. Can you believe that?

Anon - Definitely. The other guys would call him "Hayseed" and he'd talk all the time about his girl back home. Then LANDMINE! -> "Stay with me Hayseed! Goddammit, stay with me!" -> 3rd to last scene is the hardass city guy that always rode Hayseed the worst showing up at his girlfriends house to give her his dog tags.