My personal rule when it comes to posting for Japanese baseball players is to never believe the first twenty rumours that you come across. The entire process is so completely shrouded in mystery that mere suggestions quickly get out of control and like a culminating snowball rolling down a ski hill end up being a bonafide avalanche of a rumour.

Fortunately for us, MLB Trade Rumors has collected a heavy snowfall of these not to be believed rumours for our gossiping pleasure.

Boiled down, we get these teams out of the running for Darvish:

  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • Florida Marlins
  • Los Angeles Angels
  • Minnesota Twins
  • New York Mets
  • Oakland Athletics
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Tampa BayRays

And we get these teams rumoured to have posted a bid:

  • Chicago Cubs
  • New York Yankees
  • Texas Rangers
  • Toronto Blue Jays

So, now we can get to the good ones. The latest from Evan “Michael Young Is The MVP” Grant suggests that the Toronto Blue Jays are the front runners (in as much as a blind auction can have a front runner), having put in a rather large bid.

The “buzz” is that Toronto had whopper of offer on Darvish. Many reasons for Jays to bid more than $50mm.

A Whopper! While it’s no Baconator or In & Out Double Double, it’s larger than a Quarter Pounder of an offer. So, until we hear of a bigger burger, we can run with that.

Truth be told, we don’t know yet who will win the Darvish bidding process, and until it’s announced, we’re likely to hear an entire drive thru menu’s worth of rumours. So, take each with a grain of salt and enjoy them for what they are, but maybe hold off on the Darvish jersey purchase for now.

Which reminds me, in all of the Darvish rumour mongering, is anyone else getting sick and tired of the sudden experts on Japanese culture? I’ve been rolling my eyes over the last month because of North American reporters making large assumptions based on their limited understanding of what things like “honour” actual mean in Japan.

So, to refute these supposed idiots, we got a Japanese friend of the blog to spend last evening reading through online reports from Japan, and sure enough they proved me to be the moron.

It turns out that Darvish is known in Japan for his conservative traditions and humility. He has a reputation for being something of a Roy Halladay-type in his homeland. This is apparently rare among other half-Japanese celebrity personalities, and he’s deeply respected for his “strict habits.”

There were plenty of rumours about his posting in the online Japanese reports, including one I hadn’t heard about his desire to play on the West Coast for the moderate temperatures and its relative proximity to home. This relates to another rumour that the Hokkaido Fighters would turn down a bid if it’s from a team for which Darvish didn’t want to play.

We got a bit of an editorial on this, suggesting that this is exactly what a Japanese team would say publicly, while privately, they’d happily accept a high bid no matter where it comes from, which goes along with what Jeff Passan and Danny Knobler suggested.

For all of the baseball rumours, there was also quite a lot of whispering having to do with Darvish’s impending divorce with the lovely Saeko. As we’ve learned from recent reports in North America, they haven’t divorced yet, but they are currently separated.

The Japanese celebrity gossip rags claim that they have had a ton of marital problems, with conflicts occurring because Darvish is such a strict conservative guy and Saeko works in the entertainment industry, where conservatism isn’t necessarily practiced. My favourite report mentioned that Saeko was such a terrible cook that Darvish stopped coming home for dinner.

At the moment, Darvish wants the divorce to proceed, but she’s refusing to sign the divorce papers, possibly in expectation of his MLB contract signing. There was also some mention of their oldest son needing major surgery because of a serious, undisclosed condition.

Well, at least there’ll be no issues caused by overwhelming media coverage in North America.

Comments (30)

  1. “This relates to another rumour that the Hokkaido Fighters would turn down a bid if it’s from a team for which Darvish didn’t want to play.”

    Something doesn’t make sense here… I thought MLB only gives the club the dollar value of the highest bid, then the club says yay or nay, and only then are they advised of who the team is (and then negotiations with the player begin).

    • Technically correct. But with Matsuzaka, the fact that the Red Sox had won was splashed all over the Japanese media immediately following the closure of bidding. Many may have assumed that the same thing would happen this time around.

  2. according to game theory in a first price sealed bid auction, the nash equilibrium will occur when each player bids the “next player down”‘s value.

    In other words: if you value the object the most you will win. Of course, this is with a whole bunch of simplifying assumptions (chiefly, knowing the valuations of the other bidders).
    Thus, it is (in theory) possible to determine the front runner of a first price sealed bid auction, as it typically is the person who values what’s be auctioned the most (this part is pretty intuitive).

    While teams don’t advertise their values of Darvish, one can assume that they generally have their pulse on what the other 29 owners/teams approximately value to be worth.

    Not even really sure what I’m getting at, still recovering from exam rape at U of T, most likely just rambling.

    • Game Theory is not really my area, I’m more of an empirical guy, but i do not think a sealed bid auction with no asymmetric info is the appropriate way to model this. As you mentioned, teams do not know other teams’ valuation of the negotiation rights. I would think that they have very little info on this. As I recall in this type of auction the optimal strategy is to bid your own valuation, no?

      But of course the process is not a one shot game. We have a sealed bid auction, then Hokkaido can either accept or reject the bid. Then there is a final stage of the game where the winning club negotiates with Darvish. Darvish ultimately has the final choice in the game.

      Game theory can probably inform us of the sub-game perfect equilibrium, but it would probably take Martin Osborne to tell us what the optimal strategies are.

      • I think the bigger problem with the simple model is that this is not a bid to purchase an asset – it is a bid to purchase an option. The difference is that the above model excludes strategies where you bid high not to get the player but to keep him out of the league for a year,

    • Thuglyfe Bluntslayer 420 and JRock discussing Game Theory in reference to MLB posting strategies… and they say weed makes you stupid! ;-)

      Btw, I totally feel your exam pain, just be glad you never had to write one in the old Varisty Stadium!

  3. Ahhhh exams …. so much learning, so little real value.

  4. The only thing that compares to an In N Out Double Double Animal Style is the report that the Jays won the rights to bid on Yu. Until then, it’s all Big Macs.

  5. Dustin and Drew, for the general good, please consider taking the various puns on Yu out back and shooting them. Like, right now.

  6. Conservative like Halladay?

    Yeah, we all remember those Roy Halladay nude photo shoots.

    • Ha. I thought the exact same thing when I read that.

      • Really? Because when I read it, my though was “oh my god! I might never be able to get a boner again after having that image put in my head!”


  7. It’s the Yu’lltide Season!

  8. Can we sign both Yu and Gio Gonzalez so I can’t go to the park and chant “Yu Gi Oh! Yu Gi Oh!” and really confuse a lot of people?

  9. Future Confusing Moments: Yu Darvish vs. Kevin Youkilis.

  10. isn’t this in a sense human trafficing?

    where’s liam neeson when you need him?

  11. You guys chill he’s just a good O’L boy. Watch the bounce back!

  12. That youkilis comment made me wonder….are we to expect long chants of “YUUUUUUUU!” whenever Darvish (for whatever team he plays for) does something?

    I don’t know if they do that in Japan. I wonder if he knows what he’s getting into and how he feels about it.

    Personally, I’d rather just be cheered normally.

    • Don’t complain… personally, I have not had to develop a preference for cheering styles…

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