darvish getty japan

Yu Darvish says he hasn’t decided on move to MLB


Most signs point to Japanese ace Yu Darvish making the jump from Nippon Professional Baseball to Major League Baseball at some point this winter.

But to hear the right-hander tell it, on a personal blog no less, he has not completely made up his mind.

And probably won’t for a couple more weeks.

From Patrick Newman of the invaluable NPB Tracker comes this translation of a Darvish-penned blog post, dated October 19, 2011:

Articles saying “Confirmed: Darvish to the Majors!” have been appearing since yesterday.

As I mentioned on Twitter

Nothing is decided!!

I haven’t decided anything for myself so nothing can be confirmed.(^_^;)

It was an article from the Kyodo News, but what did they base their writing on?

You can say this is freedom of press, but with freedom comes responsibility.

I want a press that takes responsibility.

Every year, when I haven’t decided anything, they write “Majors this, Majors that”, but then when I don’t go they just make up excuses.

How did they write lies and escape responsibility?

Well, after the entire schedule is over, I will carefully think it over!

As soon as I decide I will let everyone know(^^)v

In other words, there will be no concrete decision until after the NPB schedule has concluded (at the end of this month). And even then, the 25-year-old emoticon aficionado still has some pros and cons to weigh.

We’d guess that Darvish will eventually chase the big bucks that will be available to him on this year’s shallow major-league free agent pitching market. The Blue Jays, Rangers, Yankees and others have already done quite a bit of advanced scouting and are surely preparing bids. But there are no definites yet.

Darvish, a 6-foot-5 starter from Osaka, entered the 2011 season with a 1.81 career ERA and 9.2 career K/9 in Japan’s top league. He’s been just as good this year, even improving that already-lofty strikeout rate.

Giants interested in John Lackey

John Lackey
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
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Ben Cafardo of the Boston Globe speculated on Sunday that there might be a connection between the Giants and veteran free agent right-hander John Lackey, and now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that San Francisco is indeed in pursuit.

Rosenthal says the Giants, “like most clubs seeking pitching, [are] examining [a] wide range of options” in this starter-heavy free agent market. Lackey would make a ton of sense for any contender on something like a two-year deal. His free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t be much of a deterrent.

The 37-year-old right-hander registered a career-best 2.77 ERA across 218 innings (33 starts) this past season for the National League Central-champion Cardinals and he was St. Louis’ most reliable starter during the playoffs.

It’s well known that he wants to remain in the National League.

Angels sign catcher Geovany Soto to one-year contract

Geovany Soto
AP Photo/Alex Gallardo
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As first reported by beat writer Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels have signed free agent catcher Geovany Soto to a one-year major league contract. MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez says the deal is worth $2.8 million guaranteed.

Soto will offer some veteran presence at catcher for the Halos alongside 25-year-old Carlos Perez, who hit .250/.299/.346 as a rookie in 2015.

Soto slashed .219/.301/.406 with nine homers in 78 games this summer for the White Sox.

The 32-year-old backstop is a .246/.331/.434 career hitter at the major league level.

White Sox acquire right-hander Tommy Kahnle from Rockies

Tommy Kahnle
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According to the official Twitter account of the Chicago White Sox, the club acquired right-hander Tommy Kahnle from the Rockies on Tuesday evening in exchange for minor league pitcher Yency Almonte.

Kahnle was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week in a flurry of moves made in preparation of next month’s Rule 5 Draft. The 26-year-old former fifth-round pick posted an ugly 4.86 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, and 39/28 K/BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings this past season for Colorado and he wasn’t much better at Triple-A Albuquerque.

Almonte, 21, had a 3.41 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 110/38 K/BB ratio in 137 1/3 innings this past season between Low-A Kannapolis and High-A Winston-Salem.

It’s a straight one-for-one deal of two non-prospects, and the timing of it — in the evening, with Thanksgiving approaching — has our Craig Calcaterra wondering whether an executive was just trying to get out of some family responsibilities …

Mark McGwire to become the Padres bench coach

Los Angeles Dodgers batting coach Mark McGwire roams the field during practice for the National League baseball championship series Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in St. Louis. The Dodgers are scheduled to play the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLCS on Friday in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The other day Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the Padres were in discussions with former Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire about their bench coach job. Today Jon Heyman reports that the deal is done and will soon be announced.

McGwire has been the hitting coach for Los Angeles for the past three seasons. When his contract was not renewed following the end of 2015 he was rumored to be up for the Diamondbacks’ hitting coach job. He likely view staying in Southern California to be a plus, as he makes his home in Irvine, which is around 90 miles from Petco Park. That’s a long commute, but Mac can afford the gas, I guess.