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Yu Darvish Rumors
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…
- The Rangers want Prince Fielder to go along with Yu Darvish, but are wary of saying so publicly, Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes. Though they don’t want to offer an Albert Pujols-like $240MM deal, they’d like to sign Fielder, the top free agent remaining.
- The Angels are likely to add a late-inning reliever before Opening Day, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets. Francisco Cordero and Brad Lidge are among the relievers who have been linked to the Angels this month.
- The Mariners, who signed Oliver Perez yesterday, view the lefty as a reliever, Morosi of FOX Sports tweets.
- Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times explains that before Darvish turned pro, the Angels were willing to offer a lucrative bonus to lure him to MLB. The Dodgers had been scouting Darvish since he was 15 and Tommy Lasorda was intrigued by the right-hander’s stuff.
- The A's are shopping first baseman Brandon Allen, Jerry Crasnick reported this morning.
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).
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:
- The sides are closing in on a five-year deal with a player option for a sixth year, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
- Darvish's agreement with the Rangers is expected to be for six years, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Rangers are close to a deal with Darvish, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. He elaborates that the Rangers and Darvish "are still working on details, but they are making good progress" with four hours remaining until the deadline. The deal will get done, according to Jon Heyman's sources.
- The Rangers are "cautiously optimistic that Darvish will be signed," reports Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
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…
- Rangers officials continue downplaying the chances of signing both Darvish and Prince Fielder, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- Morosi hears that extension talks with Josh Hamilton are on hold at the moment, while the club works on the Darvish deal. Hamilton will earn $13.75MM in 2012 and is set to hit free agency once the season ends.
- Heyman hears that the Rangers are likely to sign Darvish to a contract worth slightly more than the $52MM Daisuke Matsuzaka obtained from the Red Sox.
- The Rangers seem to love the idea of signing Fielder and would become the favorite to land the slugger if the Darvish deal falls through, Heyman writes.
- The Rangers have three unsigned arbitration eligible players: Mike Napoli, Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus.
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.
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."
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.
- 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 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.
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.