Darvish, who finished second in AL Cy Young voting last season, joked with the media that the Yankees paid Tanaka too much money.
“Well, I don’t know much about the new posting system, but I think the Yankees gave him a little too much money,” he joked via the Dallas Morning News.
Darvish signed with the Texas Rangers for $60 million over six years before the 2012 season. The Rangers paid the Nippon-Ham Fighters nearly $52 million as a posting fee for the right to negotiate with him. The Yankees paid Tanaka $155 million over seven years and were able to pay him more money directly because of changes to the Japanese posting fees system.
Even though it was pretty clear that Darvish was joking, sometimes quotes get taken out of context, leaving athletes to do damage control. Darvish clarified via Twitter and then released a statement through the Rangers.
— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) February 18, 2014
Here’s the statement he released:
“I am sorry if anyone took my comment seriously about Masahiro Tanaka at the press conference today,” Darvish said in the statement. “I assumed by the reaction in the room that everyone knew I was joking.”
That sound you hear is a collective groan that something actually came of such an innocent comment.