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.
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.