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A Look At The Numbers: Yu Darvish vs. Masahiro Tanaka

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It's eery how similar they are statistically.

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If you go by the numbers alone - you would say that Tanaka would command almost an identical buyout and contract. However, as we know, often for doing the 'exact same thing' a player now gets more than the guy who sets the precedent as the first player has to absorb the 'risk' perceptions to his contract. Darvish got 6yr/$60M, $52M to get exclusive negotiating rights.

And I also have the league averages calculated out to compare. MLB scores a bit more runs, hits more homeruns, etc.

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Statistics were taken from Baseball-Reference. I did the calculations per 9 innings.
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  1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
    The teams all have more money and this FA class is not that strong.

    I say Tanaka gets a Darvish salary, with Darvish money for the post as well.
  2. Willihammer's Avatar
    What's maybe most impressive is that Tanaka maintained a miniscule HR rate this season in spite of the livelier balls.
  3. Siehbiscuit's Avatar
    I see these two as the Japanese version of Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux.

    One thing that stands out to me is that Darvish appears to be improving in most areas, save for the hiccup in his age 22 season (injury and missed about 5 starts). Tanaka has seen a pretty substantial decline in SO/9 and seems to have peaked in his age 22 season and is less of a Darvish/Really HIGH SO guy and more of the Johnson-type. Tanaka still can strike out plenty of guys, but he will do it differently, a la Maddux. His walk rate is incredible as are most of his secondary #'s. If I am going to invest ~$100M in a guy I want to see gas, with results.

    If I were the Twins FO, the declining K rate would concern me. Then I would laugh at myself for being a complete toolbox and go blow all of Pohlad's $$$, cuz our current rotation is a clown show.
  4. Willihammer's Avatar
    I think you are splitting hairs a little to say Tanaka's k-rate has declined.
    Year K% BB% HR/BIP
    2007 24.5% 8.5% 3.2%
    2008 21.9% 7.4% 1.8%
    2009 22.2% 5.6% 2.4%
    2010 18.5% 5.0% 1.9%
    2011 27.8% 3.1% 1.3%
    2012 24.3% 2.7% 0.8%
    2013 22.1% 3.9% 1.2%
    7 Seasons 23.3% 5.2% 1.8%

    By comparison, Darvish:

    Year K% BB% HR/BIP
    2005 12.7% 11.7% 2.3%
    2006 18.3% 10.2% 2.7%
    2007 26.6% 6.2% 1.7%
    2008 27.2% 5.8% 2.2%
    2009 23.8% 6.4% 1.9%
    2010 27.6% 5.8% 0.9%
    2011 31.2% 4.1% 0.9%
    7 sesaons 25.1% 6.7% 1.7%

    Then again, here are Colby Lewis's 2 seasons in Japan

    Year K% BB% HR/BIP
    2008 26.1% 3.8% 2.5%
    2009 26.0% 2.7% 2.6%
    2 seasons 26.0% 3.2% 2.6%
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