MILWAUKEE -- The Kei Igawa fiasco will not make the Yankees gun-shy about pursuing Japanese star pitcher Yu Darvish, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said Wednesday.
"Every person is different. Every player is different," Steinbrenner said, upon arriving at Major League Baseball's owners meetings. "We're going to look at every single one. We're going to look at every single option, and we're going to analyze it. It'll be a go or no-go.
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"But we look at each person as an individual, each player. That's not going to affect it. At least not for me."
Darvish, a righthander for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, is expected to be posted in the next month. He is highly regarded and is expected to be pursued by Texas, Toronto and Washington, among other clubs.
Igawa cost the Yankees a $26-million posting fee and a five-year, $20-million commitment following the 2006 season. The lefthander spent most of the time in the Yankees' minor-league system, failing to become even a serviceable major-league pitcher.
Yankees scouts generally like Darvish from what they've seen of him, but there is internal skepticism concerning Steinbrenner's willingness to try another significant Japanese investment.
Steinbrenner insisted that wasn't the case, yet he conceded that assessing an international player was trickier than pursuing a major-league free agent such as Rangers lefthander C.J. Wilson.
The Yankees also have interest in Cuban centerfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who has not yet been certified as a free agent.
"Look, it's difficult when you don't have as much film on a player to watch," Steinbrenner said. "You don't have as many scouts that have laid eyes on that player before. There's no doubt it's difficult.
"But I had never heard of El Duque [Orlando Hernandez] until he came. There certainly have been players that came out of those countries who have been great. But . . . there's just less intel."
In other news:
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman met with agents Adam Katz (who represents Cespedes, Bartolo Colon and Joel Piñeiro) and Danny Lozano, with whom the primary discussions were about Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher rather than Lozano's free agents Carlos Beltran, Albert Pujols or Jimmy Rollins.
About A-Rod, coming off his worst major-league season, Steinbrenner said, "I think we all need Alex to be Alex. The fans expect it. The fans want it. Alex expects it. But he knows that. Nobody is harder on himself than him.
"He will show up in spring ready to play. He will be in shape. And he'll be doing his work. He knows he needs to do better than that."
Scott Leventhal, the agent for Eric Chavez, told Cashman that his client intended to play in 2012.
The Yankees have interest in bringing back the injury-prone third baseman.