SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, during a news conference on Tuesday, was asked about the new posting system between Major League Baseball and Japan in light of the seven-year, $155 million contract pitcher Masahiro Tanaka received from the Yankees.
"I don't know all the details of the new posting system, but I think the Yankees gave him a little bit too much," Darvish said with a smile and a laugh through interpreter Kenji Nimura.
Darvish was trying to make a joke when he said it. He even released a statement through the club later Tuesday afternoon to reinforce that.
Said Darvish: "I am sorry if anyone took my comment seriously about Masahiro Tanaka at the press conference today. I assumed by the reaction in the room that everyone knew I was joking."
But there's no doubt the new posting system has had a dramatic impact on the top players coming from Japan to the United States. The Rangers paid a $51.7 million posting fee to Darvish, and then having exclusive negotiating rights, signed him to a six-year, $56 million contract.
The Yankees only had to pay a $20 million capped posting fee. But they had to bid against other teams, and that's why Tanaka received almost $100 million more than Darvish.
Darvish said his success along with Hiroki Kuroda of the Yankees and Hisashi Iwakuma of the Mariners helped Tanaka in the way that clubs scouted and evaluated him.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.