Major League Baseball is still waiting on star Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish, and some around the game are beginning to question whether he will even be available for the 2012 season.
The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters — Darvish’s current team — were expected to announce after the Japan World Series whether Darvish would be posted for MLB clubs. But the Japan Series ended about a week ago, and there has been no word from the club.
One source with close knowledge of Darvish’s thinking said Friday afternoon it remains “more likely than not” that the right-hander will come to the major leagues in 2012. The source added that there has been no deadline placed on the posting decision.
But consider the timeline of Daisuke Matsuzaka’s posting after the 2006 season. About six weeks passed between his posting and the signing of his contract with the Boston Red Sox. If Darvish’s process is of similar length, he won’t sign with an MLB team until the middle of January. And that’s probably the best-case scenario.
Darvish’s status could affect the plans of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, both of whom are in the market for starting pitching. The general managers of the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays scouted Darvish in person this season.
— Jon Paul Morosi