Yu Darvish is the hottest pitcher to come from Japan since Hideo Nomo (wicked windup). But who's going to be the lucky team to land the coveted Yu? The three teams that reportedly made bids are the Blue Jays, Cubs, and of course the Yankees. The Blue Jays seem to be the favorites at this point, and frankly, I sure hope it is the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays have been quietly building a decent team, and I believe that Yu Darvish is worth the risk for them. They're in a division that includes the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, and...um...oh yeah, the Orioles. Darvish would fit perfectly in the number two spot in the rotation behind Ricky Romero. Romero had a solid season in 2011, and there isn't any sign that Romero is going to slow down in 2012. If the Blue Jays land Darvish over the Yankees, then I will say it now, the Blue Jays will have no fewer than five more wins than the Yankees in 2012. The Yankees are getting nothing but older, and they're in desperate need for rotation help. If the Yankees don't land Darvish then it might behoove them to take a shot at Edwin Jackson in free agency. They need to inject some youth into their team.
Another reason I like the Blue Jays for Darvish is because he comes with a HUGE fan base. Anytime a popular player from Japan comes to America, it automatically makes the MLB team that picks him up a popular team in Japan. The Yankees and Cubs already have too many fans. Just go to any hat shop outside of New York and Illinois and see for yourself. The Blue Jays on the other hand is the only team in MLB that's located outside of the USA. Not to mention they're in a country that's fanatic about hockey. The added fans from Japan will help the Jays financially as well as give them team some added support. It must be tough being in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox AND be located out of the country. They might as well be in the west coast.
Looking at Darvish, I see nothing but great things. A lot of people are worried about his transition to America, but I don't think there'll be a problem with that if he goes to Toronto...because it's not America. Toronto is considered to be one of the most pleasant cities to live. See, if Yu ended up in New York, that might be a little overwhelming, but Toronto has always seemed like the mature, fun friend that knows really great taste, but doesn't flaunt it around. I believe Darvish's talents will flourish in Major League Baseball, even if the ball is a little heavier and if he goes from throwing every seven days to five days. He has natural talents, and those will only get better over time and working hard. I won't doubt his work ethic because he dominated in Japan, which is considered AAAA (right between AAA and the Majors) in America. If I were to rank the top 3 pitching prospects in 2012, it would go Matt Moore, Yu Darvish, and then Stephen Strasburg. I really like Moore. I really like Darvish. Strasburg makes me nervous. I hope he has a solid season, and I'm glad he had surgery and has fully recovered, but the hype is what worries me and I hope he can focus on pitching and not pleasing the Washington fans. I hope he proves me wrong because the Nationals are one of my dark horses for next season.
My Prediction: Yu Darvish signs with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays finish second in their division behind the Rays. The Red Sox finish third and the Yankees drop to fourth. These are my predictions as of now, but if the Yankees find that rotation help and the Red Sox find an actual closer, then this might all change.
Yu Darvish will have a 15-5 (quite a few no decisions because he won't be able to pitch late into games as the season progresses) record with a 3.20 ERA. He'll be the AL ROY. And either the Jays or the Rangers will win the Wild Card. Good?
Who do you think will end up with the Yu?