If Yu Darvish plays for a Major League team in 2012, he'll be wearing a Rangers uniform. Texas won the rights to the Japanese right-hander via the posting system with a record $51.7MM bid, Yahoo's Jeff Passan reports. MLB has confirmed that the Rangers submitted the highest bid and that it was accepted.
The bid, which exceeds the $51.1MM Boston paid for the rights to speak with Daisuke Matsuzaka five years ago, provides the Rangers with a 30-day negotiating window. If the sides don't agree to a deal within the next 30 days, Darvish will stay in Japan and the Nippon Ham Fighters won't obtain any cash from the Rangers.
Darvish posted a 1.44 ERA with 10.7 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 232 innings this past season and he hasn't posted an ERA above 2.00 since 2007. MLB agents suggested to MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes that it will cost at least $100MM to lock Darvish up, including the posting fee and contract.
If Rangers GM Jon Daniels reaches a deal with Darvish, Texas' rotation will look considerably different in 2012. C.J. Wilson signed with the Angels as a free agent and Neftali Feliz will move to the rotation. Alexi Ogando, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison and Scott Feldman provide manager Ron Washington with an abundance of alternatives for the rest of the rotation.
Agent Arn Tellem issued a statement explaining that he was pleased to learn the Rangers were the high bidders, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
"The Rangers are an extraordinary franchise in an exceptional city with equally exceptional fans," Tellem said. '"Yu is honored to be prized so highly and recognized as a once-in-a-generation pitcher. We look forward to getting negotiations underway."
The Rangers are on the clock and now have until January 18th to reach a deal with Darvish. The Blue Jays, Yankees and Cubs also placed bids on Darvish before last week's deadline. Conversely, the Giants, Athletics, Marlins, Mets, Rays, Angels, Twins, Red Sox and Orioles did not bid, according to recent reports. The Blue Jays had been favored to win the bidding for Darvish ever since the process wrapped up.