Is the Price Right on Yu Darvish?

I don’t know about you, but as a kid, one of my favourite things about staying home from school was getting to watch the Price is Right. There was something special about Bob Barker and how he corralled those hysterical people on stage.

Perhaps it was because the Price is Right was the forbidden fruit of midday television to youngsters, but it was always a treat to forget school work for a day and catch the gameshow gambit with the Price is Right and Family Feud.

How on earth does any of this pertain to Yu Darvish? For entertainment’s sake, I picture the bidding process like an episode of the Price is Right; except once contestants place a bid, they have to wait four business days for the results.


The similarities between the Price is Right and the Yu Darvish bidding process are few and far between, but I’ll just stick with my game show theory for the time being. At least it helps the time pass by until the winner is revealed.

Until then, we can only speculate as to which team had the winning bid and exactly how high that dollar amount was, but you can be sure the Toronto Blue Jays at least made some sort of play for Darvish.

While I’m all for bidding on Darvish’s services, it’s a little contradictory to the comments that Paul Beeston and Alex Anthopoulos have made over the past few weeks when it comes to payroll. Beeston isn’t a fan of the posting process, and AA won’t confirm or deny anything … about anything.

I’ll agree the whole posting process is a bit contrived, but unlike MLB free agency, there are no biases or player preferences involved. It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.

It must make executives extremely anxious as they’re going in completely blind, not sure whether their bid blew the rest out of the water, was in the middle of the pack, or a completely lowball offer.

It wouldn’t shock me if the Blue Jays placed the highest bid, but I don’t think they were planning to go for broke on Yu Darvish. An offer of say $50-$60 million sounds reasonable, but anything beyond that would be in the realm of overpriced.

Something tells me a sleeping giant like the Washington Nationals offered some crazily stupid amount. Heck, if they can afford to pay Jayson Werth $126 million, they can easily afford the Darvish posting fee.

However, if the Blue Jays were in fact the ones who won the bidding on Yu Darvish, it would definitely be sending a message that they want to win sooner rather than later. I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a blockbuster signing, but it would definitely be up there.

But is Yu Darvish the kind of pitcher that could push the Blue Jays over the top? I want to say yes, but the realist in me says no. Sure, his stats look great over in Nippon Professional Baseball, but how would Darvish fare against major league hitters? I’m not so certain those numbers would translate over the American League, especially the AL East.


If the bid on Yu Darvish is “sky-high” like MLBTR is reporting, then that means either one of two things; the Blue Jays either got blown out of the water (which is fine), or they are so sold on Darvish that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get him.

After all, Alex Anthopoulos was only one of two General Managers to make the trip to Japan to scout Yu Darvish earlier this season. AA could have just as easily sent a scout to gather intel, but he went himself and I think that speaks volumes as to how serious the Blue Jays were about Yu Darvish.

The interesting thing about the whole bidding process is once we finally find out who actually won this thing, that’s when the real fun begins in contract negotiations. So whichever team wins the bidding rights, if they don’t work out a deal, then it’s null and void and Yu Darvish goes back to playing for the Nippon-Ham Fighters.

And just in case you’re wondering … yes, Plinko is hands down the best game on the Price is Right, and yes, for some reason the music from Cliff Hangers scares the crap out of me.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

7 thoughts on “Is the Price Right on Yu Darvish?

  • December 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Honestly, I would be surprised if the Jays bid as high as $50 million let alone $60 million.

    My guess, given how Anthopoulos assigns a value for each player and doesn't like to overpay, is that the Jays max bid would be around $42 million.

    The only caveat to this of course is that if Rogers wants to build a presence in the Asian market and has ideas of Darvish as the cell phone poster boy for the company.

  • December 15, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Here we go:

    According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the "buzz" is that the Blue Jays made a "whopper of an offer" for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish.

    No word on a specific number, but Grant speculates that there are "many reasons" for them to bid more than $50 million. He also believes that the Rangers submitted a bid, likely somewhere in the range of $40-50 million. The Cubs and Yankees have also reportedly placed bids on the highly-touted right-handed. We should learn the identity of the winning team within in the next few days. Assuming the bid is accepted, they will then have 30 days to work out a contract.

  • December 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    AA lost out in the Chapman sweepstakes and said it would not happen again because he did not have enough information. I think a lot of dominos are about to fall in place. Game on!

  • December 15, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Many loopholes were closed because of the new collective bargaining agreement. This is an opportunity to pick up an asset when the Yankees/Red Sox are practicing a little fiscal restraint.He would slot in the #3 spot and push others to the bullpen solving another problem.

  • December 15, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Peter, I guess it all depends on how keen the front office is on signing them. We'll find out soon enough!

    And I'd take Grant's word with a giant heaping of salt, after all he is the one who gave Michael Young a first plate vote on his MVP ballot. But if Grant is right, I'll eat my words.

    Randy, that Chapman Sweepstakes definitely could influence how high AA is willing to go on Darvish. It is "only" money after all!

    Hypothetically speaking, if the Blue Jays get Darvish, he would slot in at either #2 or #3, and Cecil would shift to the bullpen. I like Alvarez and Drabek as the #4 and #5 starters.

  • December 19, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I wrote a piece on Darvish a while back ( During his scouting visit, Anthropoulos saw Darvish at his best and it would not surprise me if he went in with a huge bid. I'm also in the camp that believes Darvish is better than those that have come before him. He's not relying on deception, he's bigger, he's younger and there isn't a chink in his armor. With a fastball that sits in the mid to upper 90's and a decent secondary arsenal, I'm not sure what ML hitters will be able to exploit from Darvish. I would love to see the Blue Jays win the bid.

  • December 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    OCP, by all accounts the Blue Jays and the Rangers were the only teams whose General Managers made the trek to Japan to see Darvish pitch live.

    If the Blue Jays are in fact the high bidders on Darvish, I think it's either because they're very anxious to sign him, or they know something that nobody else does.

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