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.
Twins’ right-hander Nick Burdi is set to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, the team announced on Friday. Burdi made 14 appearances for Double-A Chattanooga before succumbing to a torn ulnar collateral ligament and is not expected to make his major league debut until mid-2018 at the earliest. A UCL tear doesn’t always require Tommy John surgery — less severe cases can be treated with platelet-rich plasma injections, for example — but Twins’ chief baseball officer Derek Falvey told the press that surgery was unavoidable as Burdi had sustained a “full thickness tear” in his elbow.
Entering the 2016 season, Burdi was widely considered a top ten prospect in the Twins’ system. His exceptional velocity and potent fastball-slider combo made him a fearsome relief option as he came off of his first season in Double-A Chattanooga in 2015. During the 2016 season, however, the 24-year-old experienced a significant setback after a bone bruise cut his season short in late July. Prior to Friday’s diagnosis, he appeared to be staging an impressive comeback with the Chattanooga Lookouts this spring, decorating his efforts with a sparkling 0.53 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.6 SO/9 over 17 innings.
It’s a tough break for the Twins, whose farm system was ranked 21st in the league by Baseball America. “Obviously he’s proven when he’s healthy he’s an absolute premium prospect, and the Twins are treating him that way,” Burdi’s agent, Matt Sosnick, told Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press. “We just want to make sure everything we do ultimately leads to the goal of getting him back on the field as quickly as he can.”
Things have gone from bad to worse for Red Sox’ outfielder Brock Holt, who was shut down “for the foreseeable future” on Friday after meeting with head trauma specialist Michael Collins. The Red Sox placed Holt on the 10-day disabled list in April after he began experiencing vertigo, the latest in a series of head injuries he’s sustained since last spring.
According to the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato, the outfielder was initially advised to attempt playing through his symptoms, but it quickly became apparent that the strategy wasn’t going to work. Now, the plan is to shut him down from any game activity in the hopes that he’ll be able to recover from all lingering symptoms before returning to the roster. Club manager John Farrell told reporters that the 28-year-old is still cleared to take batting practice and work on his defense, but won’t continue his rehab starts in Triple-A Pawtucket for the time being.
Holt had been making regular appearances for the Pawtucket Red Sox and was batting .209/.292/.372 with two home runs through 14 games this spring. This season marks his fifth run within the Red Sox’ organization. He experienced a bit of a slump at the plate in 2016 and slashed .255/.322/.383 after breaking out during his first All-Star year in 2015.
Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe suggests that the team’s concern for Holt extends past his setbacks at the plate. It’s still a long road to a full recovery, and while Farrell told reporters he believes the outfielder is on track to make a return sometime in 2017, he’ll need to make sure that Holt is both physically and mentally prepared to do so.