Yu Darvish announces that he will be posted on Thursday

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Courtesy of Google’s Japanese-to-English translation service (hey, we’re doing what we can here people) comes this announcement from the personal blog of Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish:

This time, having decided that Darvish posting system to use. The announcement will convey to everyone here, because most of the fans. The baseball team Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters I really appreciate it. However, just because it still took a posting procedure can not speak for more at this stage. I would like the conference will be all fixed.

In other words, Darvish is leaving Nippon Professional Baseball and heading to the major leagues, and will address any questions at a press conference soon. He’ll become available for posting bids on Thursday and is expected to draw offers from some of baseball’s biggest spenders.

Darvish, 25, posted a stellar 18-7 record, 1.44 ERA and 276/36 K/BB ratio across 232 innings this past season for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. He had a 1.99 career ERA in seven total NPB seasons.

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UPDATE: Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker has a far better translation of the Darvish blog post and was kind enough to let us use it. Patrick’s site does a great job of tracking NPB headlines. Check it out.

To all the fans, an announcement

At this time, Yu Darvish has decided to use the posting system.

Because I wanted to relay this to the fans first, I am announcing this here.

I greatly appreciate the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters Baseball Club.

Because we’ve only just begun the posting process, I can’t talk about the details now.

I wish to hold a press conference once everything is decided.

Yu Darvish

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.