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

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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.

Jered Weaver announces his retirement

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Jered Weaver, a 12-year big league veteran and a three-time All-Star, has announced his retirement.

Weaver was struggling mightily with the Padres this year, going 0-5 in nine starts and posting a 7.44 ERA,, a 2.6 BB/9 and 4.9 K/9 ratio over 42.1 innings. He hadn’t posted a sub-4.00 ERA since 2014 and his velocity had, quite famously, sunk into the low 80s and even high 70s at times in recent seasons. A spate of physical setbacks contributed to that, with a hip inflammation ailing him this season and nerve issues in his neck and back afflicting him for the past few years.

But even if his recent seasons have been less-than-memorable, it’s worth remembering that he was, for a time, one of baseball’s best pitchers. He posted a record of 131-69 with a 3.28 ERA in his first 9 seasons, leading the American League in strikeouts in 2010 and leading the circuit in wins in 2012 and 2014. He likewise led the league in WHIP and hits allowed per nine innings in 2012.

He finishes his career with a record of 150-98, an ERA of 3.63 (ERA+ of 111) and a K/BB ratio of 1,621/551 in 2,067.1 innings. He pitched in four American League Division Series and the 2009 ALCS, posting a 2.67 ERA in seven playoff games pitched.

Happy trails, Jered. A first-ballot induction into the Hall of He Was Really Dang Good, Even if We Forgot About It For A While is in your future.

The Jose Fernandez statue may be in jeopardy

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Last November it was reported that the Marlins planned to build a memorial for Jose Fernandez, likely including a statue. The effort was said to be a pet project of the Marlins owner, Jeff Loria, who was close with Fernandez.

Today the Miami Herald reports, however, that those plans are in limbo due to the sale of the team:

The planned statue to honor Jose Fernandez, which was departing owner Jeffrey Loria’s idea, is now very much in question because it will not be erected before Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter take over, and it will ultimately be the new owners’ call. That matter has not yet been discussed, with the sale agreed to only in the past few days.

There’s nothing in the report suggesting that they’re opposed to the statue — it’s possible this was placed in the Herald by people close to the new group in order to test the waters — but there always was the sense that the idea was something of a priority for Loria personally. One wonders how much momentum it will have once he’s gone.

Then, of course, there’s the fact that Fernandez was eventually found to have been under the influence of alcohol and cocaine and was behind the wheel of the boat at the time of the accident that claimed his life and the life of two others, making any memorial to him suspect in the eyes of some people.

Thankfully we don’t spend a lot of time and energy discussing the ethics of statues in this country, so I’m sure it’ll have no bearing on the matter.