The Canadian Press
SAN DIEGO — Yu Darvish found out things move fast when San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller is wheeling and dealing.The right-hander didn’t think he’d be traded away by the Chicago Cubs but was caught up in Preller’s vortex. Within the span of about 24 hours this week, the Padres obtained left-hander Blake Snell in a big deal with Tampa Bay, finalized a $28 million, four-year deal with South Korean slugger Kim Ha-seong, a deal that could be worth $34 million over five seasons if a a mutual option is excised and contains $1 million annually in performance bonuses. San Diego then obtained Darvish in another blockbuster deal.Darvish found out about it on social media.“When I woke up that morning I saw the Snell trade go down and I thought nothing’s going to happen,” Darvish said through an interpreter during a videoconference Thursday. “I wasn’t expecting the Padres to make another move but I was receiving phone calls within the hour and I found out on Twitter, yeah.“I wasn’t expecting to be traded and obviously this happened in one single day so I was pretty shocked. Not in a bad way,” Darvish said.After running out of starting pitching during their first post-season appearance in 14 seasons, the Padres added two aces in moves that solidify them as one of baseball’s best teams and should make for an interesting NL West race against the eight-time defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers.The 34-year-old Darvish was 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA in 12 starts for Chicago during the pandemic-shortened season and finished second in the NL Cy Young Award race. He has three years and $59 million left on the $126 million, six-year deal he signed with the Cubs before the 2018 season.Chicago will send San Diego $3 million in $500,000 installments on the first day of each month from April through September in 2021, offsetting a portion of Darvish’s $22 million salary. He is owed $19 million in 2022 and $18 million in 2023.During his time in Texas’ front office, Preller scouted Darvish before the Rangers acquired the Japanese right-hander in 2012.The Padres also got catcher Victor Caratini as part of the trade for right-hander Zach Davies and four young minor leaguers. The switch-hitting Caratini caught Darvish in Chicago and batted .241 with 16 RBIs last season.The Padres made the playoffs this year for the first time since 2006, but injuries left their rotation in shambles when the post-season started.Mike Clevinger, obtained in a blockbuster deal with Cleveland at the trade deadline, and Dinelson Lamet were forced out of their final regular-season starts by elbow injuries. Clevinger missed the wild card round against St. Louis and started Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the Dodgers, but was forced out in the second inning. He had Tommy John surgery in mid-November and will miss the 2021 season. Lamet missed the post-season entirely but has avoided surgery.The Cubs also made the playoffs but were swept in the wild-card round by the Marlins. Darvish started and lost Game 2.“Obviously with what’s happening with the coronavirus and the money that the Cubs have, I wasn’t really thinking about being traded and also they are a winning team, so I felt we would be able to compete,” Darvish said.The Padres had the NL’s second-best record in 2020.“I think this is one of the best teams in baseball right now,” Darvish said. “Actually, I wanted to throw against the Padres last season just to see how good I was. I always want to be fighting against the best teams. I’m very happy to be joining a team as strong as the Padres.”Snell, the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner, helped the Rays reach the World Series. He went 4-1 with a 3.24 ERA in 11 starts, and then went 2-2 with a 3.03 ERA in six post-season starts. He was memorably pulled from Game 6 of the World Series after 73 pitches, and the Rays went on to lose the game and the Series to the Dodgers.Darvish and Snell join a rotation that will include Lamet and Chris Paddack, with a number of young pitchers, including top prospect MacKenzie Gore, competing for the fifth spot.“I just want to study a lot from the guys in this rotation,” Darvish said. “There’s a lot of great pitchers and myself, I want to be able to watch their bullpens, watch their numbers throughout the season, and hopefully that can help me grow into a better pitcher.”He’ll be backed by an exciting offence that plays with flair, led by Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado.Darvish said he’s had his kids watch highlights of the Padres’ lineup on YouTube.“They’re a very strong team and I’m really excited to watch batting practice,” he said.Kim gets a $4 million signing bonus, payable in $1 million installments on March 15, 2021, and each Jan. 15 from 2022 though 2024, and salaries of $4 million in 2021, $5 million in 2022, $6 million in 2023 and $7 million in 2024. The deal includes an $8 million mutual option for 2024 with a $2 million buyout.He would earn $100,000 a season for 400 plate appearances, $200,000 apiece for 450 and 500, and $250,000 each for 550 and 600. Bonuses would be payable on Jan. 15 following the season in which they are earned.Kim would get a one-time $1 million assignment bonus if traded, payable by the receiving team, and his team will provide an interpreter and English lessons for Kim and his family. He will receive eight round-trip business class plane tickets each season and the team shall reimburse or pay for visa fees. Kim cannot be sent to the minor leagues without his consent during the 2023, 2024 and 2025 seasons, and he will become a free agent when the contract ends.___Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/berniewilsonBernie Wilson, The Associated Press
Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries
Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.
Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver
EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.
Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.
Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.
South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.
Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.
($1 = 1,117.7000 won)
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum
The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.
Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.
Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.
The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.
The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.
Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.
In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.
Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.
Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.
In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.
Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.
The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.
($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)