Some of this may have changed when Hiroshi Yamauchi sold his shares of the Mariners in 2004, as the team hasn’t gone to extravagant lengths to sign a Japanese player since signing Ichiro in 2001, and hasn’t signed a Japanese player at all since signing Kenji Johjima in 2006.
However, Yu Darvish is a different kind of talent, and ultimately a different kind of opportunity than signing Johjima was.
It’s not often that Major League clubs have a crack at signing top-level talent from Japan in their early-20s. Last year we saw Junichi Tazawa pitch with the Red Sox, but he was eligible for free agency after asking for, and ultimately receiving a pass from all the teams in the NPB in their ...
Read Full Article at Bleacher Report - MLB By Casey McLain