After securing exclusive negotiating rights for Yu Darvish with a record $51,703,411 posting fee last month, the Rangers signed the 25-year-old right-hander to a six-year contract this week which guarantees him $56 million.
While everyone appears to be pleased with the outcome, Yu’s father, Farsad Darvish, told Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com following the press conference last night that he’s against the current posting system.
“It was a long process, even the posting,” Farsad said. “I’m really against posting. You literally put people in auctions. He’s got no choice and it’s a 30-day deadline. It’s a lot of pressure on the representatives and the team. It’s up and down. I’m just happy this day has come. It’s nice to be here.”
And why wouldn’t he say that? Just think of the contract Darvish would have signed if he was on the open market this winter? He was only allowed to talk to one team, which gives him little-to-no leverage in negotiations, and the posting fee undoubtedly had an impact on how much the Rangers were willing to pay him.
Darvish wasn’t set to become an unrestricted free agent until after the 2014 season, so this is mostly a fantasy. But many are unsatisfied with how the current posting system works. Some have proposed changes that would allow the top three bidders to negotiate with a player or possibly tie part of the posting fee into the player’s contract. This is all speculation for now and it doesn’t sound like change is necessarily around the corner, but MLB officials plan to discuss ways to improve the current system as part of ongoing meetings of the new International Talent Committee.
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.