It’s been long suspected that Japan’s best pitcher — Yu Darvish — would be posted by his NPB team this winter, thereby allowing Major League teams to bid on him. Kyodo News in Japan has now confirmed through several sources that, yes, Darvish will formally ask for this after the postseason.
There will obviously be a lot of interest in Darvish, with the Blue Jays, Rangers and Yankees all having been reported to be considering a run at him, and no doubt many other teams will join in the fray. How could they not when he has posted a 18-6 record in 28 starts with an ERA of 1.44 while striking out 276 batters in 232 innings? Yes, there have been many busts among Japanese pitchers coming stateside, but Darvish seems like a cut above.
Meanwhile, Joel Sherman reports that people inside the Yankees organization or kinda bad-mouthing C.J. Wilson. between that and the Darvish news, Wilson’s agent is probably gettin’ really mad today.
The World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.
However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”
Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.
Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.
Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.
No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.