Yu Darvish could be headed to MLB this offseason

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Prepare thyself.  Another “must-see” Japanese pitching prospect could be on his way to the states as soon as this offseason.

FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal heard from a source Saturday that right-hander Yu Darvish is likely to be “posted” this winter, meaning teams in Major League Baseball will have a crack at luring him away from the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Darvish is only 24 and widely considered one of the top pitchers in Japan.  He has won two MVP awards in his first five seasons of professional baseball and became the youngest player in Japanese baseball history to be given a contract worth more than 300 million yen (about $3.5 million US) when he re-signed with Nippon last season.

He will have no trouble topping that salary if and when he signs with a team state-side.  The Yankees, according to Rosenthal, have been watching every one of his starts and other teams are sure to step forward with bids as well.  But let’s also keep in mind that pitchers of Darvish’s ilk are not guaranteed success in the big leagues.  In fact, few have found it an easy transition.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Tony La Russa part ways

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The Arizona Diamondbacks just announced that they are parting ways with Tony La Russa at the end of the month.

La Russa served as the club’s “Chief Baseball Officer” from 2015-16. For the last year he was styled “Chief Baseball Analyst.” That’s a nice way to saying that he was pushed aside when the club fired his hand-picked general manager Dave Stewart and brought in Mike Hazen to run the club a year ago. La Russa was stripped of his powers, but was told he could hang around as an advisor. Most didn’t think he’d actually take the club up on that offer, but he did. By all accounts he was a pretty unobtrusive presence around the team this year, offering counsel and insight when asked but not making things awkward the way having the old boss around might do.

I suppose that can only last so long, however. The Dbacks had considerably more success without La Russa in charge in 2017 than they had with him in charge the previous couple of years. At some point you just part ways. That point is now.