UPDATE: Darvish says he was just joking around about the Tanaka comments and apparently both Darvish and his interpreter were laughing as he said the quotes, although as you can see below that bit of context was oddly left out by several reporters on hand.
Yu Darvish was asked today what he thought of the Yankees signing Masahiro Tanaka out of Japan for $155 million and his answer is sure to fire up a lot of New Yorkers:
By comparison, Darvish got $56 million to sign with the Rangers two offseason ago, but Texas also had to send his old team in Japan another $51.7 million in posting fees. In two years in the majors he’s thrown 401 innings with a 3.34 ERA, including a league-leading 277 strikeouts and a 2.83 ERA in 210 innings last season.
Which is why when Darvish also said today that his success–and the success of several other prominent Japanese pitchers recently–helped get Tanaka a bigger contract he’s no doubt right.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.