Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun is keeping track of the latest Yu Darvish rumblings, saying that the perception is that the Jays outbid both the Rangers and Yankees for his rights, though it’s unclear what the Cubs, Giants, or Mariners may have bid. The view that the Jays have topped both the Yankees and Rangers is, he says, “shared by half a dozen front offices, but no one at 1 Blue Jays Way is talking. “

“I was told Rogers Communications said: ‘Whatever it costs, sign him,’ ” an executive told Elliott. “Only Paul Beeston and Alex Anthopoulos know the number on the bid in baseball operations,” the executive added.

It sounds precisely like what George King reported earlier in the New York Post, and while I don’t think ownership would have made a statement like that without a strong on-field case having been made for signing Darvish, it’s intriguing that Rogers may be so interested in bringing in a player like this. It makes sense. Fingers crossed. But it also makes for some great PR for an ownership group with an image problem.

So… there’s that.

Comments (24)

  1. Let Christmas come early!

  2. Not sure if anyone’s read this fangraphs article: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs… but if you haven’t and thought you liked Darvish before, you’ll be salivating after you read it.

  3. What do you mean by ” A player like this” ?

  4. There’s a Shakespeare play about the Darvish posting. Its either “Alls Well That Ends Well” or “Much Ado About Nothing” I can’t remember which.

  5. How’s his English?  Surely better than that of Colby Rasmus.

  6. From USA Today:

    “His Iranian father and Japanese mother met at
    Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., but have lived in Japan since
    before Darvish was born. He understands English well but seldom has to
    speak it.”
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports

  7. It makes me nervous that so many places are jumping on the NY Post report without any of their own sources or even anyone that they tried to cross-reference with.

  8. Yeah I would believe it more if it came from a more credible source like rosenthal. Elliot and the New york post dont cut it for me

  9. Yu, coming to a stadium near yu.

  10. The Toronto market would flourish with the acquisition of Darvish… Here’s why!

    http://goyahtzee.blogspot.com/

  11. I keep thinking back to 4 years ago when it was first reported in the same way that the Rangers had won the bid for Dice-K. I’m thinking the Cubs or Rangers or a mystery team like the Nats, Mariners or Giants are gonna end up winning this.

  12. All the fucking extra revenue talk needs to be stopped.

    Boston made no money on Dice-K and the Jays wont on Darvish.  First, TV rights are MLB owned for international markets, so no revenue there.

    The whole attendance increase is also bullshit.  Winning increases attendance, not players. If he becomes a dominate pitcher, you may get a small Halladay like attendance increase on his starts, but not a huge increase.

    And stop lumping all Asians in with Japanese.  I think I read it here yesterday, but it deserves repeating, that that is like lumping Germans with Russians or saying all Europeans are gonna care because the Jays have a Dutch guy on the team.  Chinese people can give a flying fuck about a Jap.  They definitely aren’t gonna start coming to games because of him.  And Japanese people make up 0.5% of the City population, which is under 12,000 people.  You will need all 12,000 to come out to every single start of Darvish’s to notice a real difference and notice a big increase in revenues.

    As for merchandise, again MLB takes a massive piece of the pie for international merchandise sales.  And if Dice-K didn’t create extra revenue for Boston from Japan, then you can’t assume Darvish will.  In Toronto, he will sell no more jerseys than what any superstar could (if he can become one).

    The most revenue increases will probably come from a couple Japanese ads behind homeplate when he starts.  But even then, what will that bring in?  An extra couple thousand a year?

    Darvish is no different from any other (non-Canadian superstar) player.  He will help increase revenues if he helps make this team win, but he isn’t alone gonna make this team a winner.

    Don’t get me wrong, I want Darvish as much as the next guy.  But justify it for reasons that he can become a great baseball player, because he is not gonna make this team more profitable simply because he is Japanese.

  13. There is a huge difference between Japanese and Chinese..
    To think that signing a Japanese player is going to have a profound impact on the Chinese community of Toronto is absurdly ignorant..
    Less than 1 percent of the Toronto population is of Japanese decent..
    If Yu Darvish draws fans in Toronto it won’t be because of his ethnicity, it will be because he is considered one of the top pitchers in the game.. And that effect will where off fast, in the end this team needs to compete for the playoffs to draw fans…

  14. ok if what you are saying is true about intnl tv deal’s not owned by rogers, is it not possible that rogers could now sell cell phones/plans in japan? they could then give away the game content for free as they do now in canada. So imagine if they now sold a measly 100k phone plans at 30/mo in japan, that’s 36 mil per year. keep doubling that and the numbers get enormous easily paying for whatever yu will make.

    look at all the foreign wireless companies that are trying to gain a presence in canada. does rogers have any presence in japan? this easily gives them a foothold.

  15. Darvish will make the Jays more marketable but probably not enough to cover his posting fee. If the Jays sign Darvish and make the playoffs two times in the 5 or 6 years that they sign him for then they are in pretty good position. I have no idea how much the Jays rake in everyear but a playoff run will literally double attendance in the second half of the season. Darvish is one piece in that direction, but they need one or two more.

  16. Do you really think Japan – one of the most high-tech countries in the world – would tolerate the type of bullshit that Rogers uses as its standard business model here? Doubt it. And if they cut rates to match local competitors, how are they going to make a profit?

  17. they make a profit here don’t they despite having higher rates? with darvish in fold they can charge whatever they want.

  18. There is virtually no significant ethnic Japanese minority in Toronto, or Canada for that matter. South Asian and Chinese people won’t give a damn about a Japanese ballplayer on the Jays unless they’re ALREADY Jays fans.

    If we were talking about some stud South Korean kid, then sure, there may be an ethnic base to cater to. 

  19. They make a profit because there’s a triopoly between Bell, Rogers and Telus that is desperate to buy out or crush any competition (I’m looking at you, Wind Mobile). You think that they’re going to be able to walk into a highly competitive Japanese market, slam down a Yu Darvish baseball card and get away with charging whatever they want? Really?

  20. they already have the infrastucture in place to broadcast games on phones worldwide so it will cost them little.  every additional plan they get in japan is just gravy.  if you’re a japanese who wants to watch darvish on your phone where are you going to go?

  21. I think this is well thought out Argos.  I agree that there is a lot of ‘yeah they’ll make the money back because he’s Japanese’ stuff that really does not seem thought through.

    However, Blair, Wilner and Chisholm all offered the opinion that Rogers could recoup some of this money today as well.. (I presume they’re better informed?)…  Chisholm speculated about in stadium advertising etc.

  22. Regardless of if they win or don’t win the bidding rights, one really has to appreciate the fact that supposedly literally only 2 people know what the Blue Jays actually bid (according to this report anyway)

  23. Why would Rogers go into Japan?

    When you first go, it starts off as expensive as hell to start-up and get all your systems in place.  A big move like that is too much risk, your whole company can fail if you fail in a project like that.  And I don’t think Darvish is gonna impact cell phone plans too much there, as I don’t know anyone who has a Rogers phone here because he wants to watch Jose Bautista.

    Also, Rogers would go into America if they wanted to go international.  They were actually once in America, and became the 3rd largest cell phone provider.  But they decided to sell it all off.

    I don’t think they have any ambitions for going international, and if they did, Darvish wouldn’t impact them.

  24. They have deals in place with local providers. They don’t have their own infrastructure. To fully enter a local market, you need to have your own. Otherwise you’re just leasing it from a competitor.

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