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.
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.
Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that third baseman Jose Ramirez is finalizing a four-year extension with the Indians. The deal is said to be worth north of $30 million, and may crest $50 million if all options are exercised. While the extension won’t take effect until the 2018 season, it guarantees Ramirez a $26 million sum with two options worth $11 and $13 million and will give the Indians control of the infielder through the 2023 season.
Ramirez, 24, is entering his fifth season in the Indians’ organization. He posted career-high numbers during his first full season in the majors, slashing .312/.363/.461 with 11 home runs, 22 stolen bases and 4.8 fWAR in 2016. He’s projected to have a strong follow-up season at the plate and will likely see some time at second base as Jason Kipnis works his way back from a shoulder injury.
Although 2016 only showcased the beginning of Ramirez’s success with the club, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman says it’s a standard move for Cleveland to “sign their stars early,” and indicates that Ramirez was rumored to want the deal. Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors adds that the extension will keep Ramirez under club control through three arbitration-eligible years and one year of potential free agency.