Yu Darvish, the 24-year-old right-hander who has intrigued MLB teams for years, says he expects to play in Japan next year. He said on his personal blog that he's staying put according to Jason Coskrey of the Japan Times (via Twitter). Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker translates Darvish’s statement.
"Next year … I’ll be wearing a Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters uniform," Darvish wrote.
Earlier in the fall, some suggested that the Nippon Ham Fighters would post Darvish and make him available to MLB teams. That would likely have made Darvish one of the most highly coveted starters available, after Cliff Lee and possibly Zack Greinke. Darvish did not post an ERA above 2.00 his first four seasons in Japan and he struck out more than a batter per inning with an above-average walk rate (2.1 BB/9) during that period.