Yu Darvish Rumors

AL West Notes: Fielder, Angels, Darvish, Perez

The Athletics signed Brian Fuentes to a two-year, $10.5MM contract on this date last year. The veteran left-hander posted a 3.70 ERA with 6.5 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 36.7% ground ball rate in 58 1/3 innings for the A's and is set to earn $5MM this coming season. Here are the latest links from the AL West…

Rangers Notes: Darvish, Fielder, Hamilton

The Rangers officially got their man today, signing Yu Darvish to a six-year, $60MM contract on top of the $51.7MM posting fee they will now pay the Nippon Ham Fighters. Darvish will wear #11 with the Rangers according to Jeff Wilson of The Forth Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter), a number that NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman says will be semi-retired by Nippon Ham. Here's the latest from Texas…

  • The Rangers remain interested in Prince Fielder, but Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News says it would likely take a creative, short-term deal to make it happen.
  • “I’m intimately aware of our budget and it’s very unlikely," said GM Jon Daniels to reporters (including MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan) when asked about Fielder. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports corroborates these reports (Twitter link), saying the slugger's price must come way down.
  • Morosi adds (on Twitter) that the Rangers and Josh Hamilton shelved extension talks recently so they could focus on Darvish and their arbitration-eligible players. Hamilton doesn't want to talk about a new deal once Spring Training starts.
  • "Sometimes these negotiations can be contentious, these were not," said Daniels to reporters (including Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com) when asked about the nature of the Darvish discussions today (Twitter link).

Rangers Close To Deal With Yu Darvish

The Rangers have a 4pm central time deadline to sign Yu Darvish today.  If they fail to reach an agreement with agents Don Nomura and Arn Tellem, the $51,703,411 posting fee will not be paid to the Nippon Ham Fighters and Darvish will return to Japan for the 2012 season.  The latest:

Rangers Notes: Darvish, Fielder, Hamilton

It's been nearly a month since the Rangers won the bidding for Yu Darvish, which means the deadline for a deal is approaching. The Rangers have until 4pm CDT Wednesday to work out a deal with the Japanese right-hander. Here’s the latest from Texas…

Quick Hits: Rangers, Twins, Gio

Some odds and ends as Sunday night winds down …

  • The Rangers can afford to sign both Yu Darvish and Prince Fielder, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN.
  • The Twins had interest in signing relievers Dan Wheeler and Todd Coffey before inking Joel Zumaya, tweets Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio. Mackey adds he'd be surprised if the Twins closed the door entirely on signing either righty.
  • Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said in a statement that the two club options included in Gio Gonzalez's extension were key to getting the deal done, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
  • The Rockies were not interested in signing Bartolo Colon, now of the A's, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
  • The Red Sox officially announced the signings of right-handers Aaron Cook and Justin Germano to minor league contracts, tweets Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.

Contract Length Biggest Hold Up In Darvish Talks

The Rangers and Yu Darvish have until this coming Tuesday to reach an agreement on a contract, and Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the biggest sticking point in negotiations is contract length. The team wants a six-year deal, but the right-hander wants five years so he can become a free agent sooner.

Texas is offering Darvish a contract similar to the one Daisuke Matsuzaka signed with the Red Sox five years ago, meaning six years and $52MM. The 25-year-old right-hander will still be young enough to land one more big contract after a potential deal with the Rangers expires, but a shorter deal will allow him to hit the open market sooner. Passan says the likelihood of a total breakdown in talks is minimal since the relationship between the two sides is "strong and respectful."

Quick Hits: Jurrjens, Ankiel, Mets, Darvish, Yankees

Thursday night linkage..

  • Mark Bowman of MLB.com believes that both Martin Prado and Jair Jurrjens will be with the Braves at the start of the season.
  • The Nationals are still talking with Rick Ankiel, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.  If he returns, it would be in a platoon/fourth outfielder role, with a chance to earn more playing time.
  • As a fan, losing shortsop Jose Reyes to the Marlins was difficult for Mets owner Fred Wilpon, writes Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal.
  • Rangers president Nolan Ryan told reporters that he expects the club to sign Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish by the 3pm Wednesday deadline, writes Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram.  Ryan also believes that the negotiations will go down to the wire.
  • Both Ryan Ludwick and Rick Ankiel remain possibilities for the Reds, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  GM Walt Jocketty is familiar with both outfielders from his time in St. Louis.
  • A person familiar with the Yankees' thinking told Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger that "January brings shifts" and it's possible that the club will add to their payroll in order to satisfy their pitching need.  The Bombers are still in contact with Hiroki Kuroda and Roy Oswalt and are considering Edwin Jackson.
  • From a negotiation standpoint, it doesn't make sense for Yoenis Cespedes to play in the Dominican Winter League, opines Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
  • Right-hander Brian Gordon, whose rights were sold by the Yankees to the SK Wyverns of the Korean Professional League over the summer, will remain with in the KBL after signing with the Samsung Lions, tweets Ken Davidoff of Newsday.

Quick Hits: Cespedes, Young, Selig, Darvish

Spring Training begins next month, but more than 100 players remain unsigned. Here's an update on the top ten available free agents and here are this afternoon's links…

  • Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will play in the Dominican Winter League, Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com reports. Cespedes will initially DH for the Aguilas Cibaenas, which will enable teams to get in-game looks at him before he becomes a free agent.
  • Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com checks in with Dmitri Young, the 38-year-old two-time All-Star who is attempting a comeback after losing 70 pounds.
  • Commissioner Bud Selig says he will “of course" commit to developing a succession plan before his new contract expires, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times tweets. Selig's extension runs through the 2014 season.
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com outlines some reasons that Selig has been good for baseball. John Moores of the Padres was the lone owner not to vote in favor of the commissioner's extension, Heyman tweets.
  • The Rangers are increasingly optimistic about their chances of reaching a deal with Yu Darvish by next week's deadline, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports.
  • Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com breaks down the Mets' projected 2012 payroll and arrives at a $90MM total — $50MM less than the club’s Opening Day payroll in 2011.

Prince Fielder Rumors: Wednesday

Prince Fielder remains available, but as MLB.com's Tom Singer shows, most elite free agents sign considerably earlier on in the offseason. In fact, there's a chance Fielder will sign the latest megadeal in baseball history. Here are the latest rumors on Fielder, as we await concrete news of his next destination…

  • The Nationals are “patiently and aggressively” pursuing Fielder, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports. Nationals principal owners Ted and Mark Lerner met with agent Scott Boras at the owners’ meetings this evening, according to Kilgore. Boras touched base with other owners, including Jeffrey Loria of the Marlins.
  • MLB.com’s Bill Ladson hears that there’s a 99% chance that the Nationals will not sign Fielder. 
  • Someone with knowledge of the Rangers’ finances doubts they’d invest in Yu Darvish and Fielder, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Morosi notes that the Nationals are viewed as the favorites for Fielder.
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com suggests Fielder may not sign until the Rangers finish negotiating with Darvish next week (Twitter link). Heyman notes that the Rangers are a “team of interest” when it comes to Fielder.

Rangers Offering “Dice-K Money” To Darvish

The Rangers are offering "Dice-K money" to Yu Darvish, sources tell Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, and there's no evidence a deal is close.  Daisuke Matsuzaka received a six-year, $52MM deal from the Red Sox about five years ago.  Heyman says it's not clear whether the Rangers' offer to Darvish is for five or six years.  The deadline to work out a deal is January 18th at 4pm central time.  The Rangers won the exclusive right to negotiate with Darvish for $51,703,411, which would be returned to them from the Nippon Ham Fighters if they fail to reach an agreement with Darvish.

In October, I polled five agents and one team executive and most predicted a five or six-year deal in the $72-75MM range for Darvish.