The Rangers won the rights to Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish with a $51.7MM bid this week and though the Toronto Star reported yesterday that the Blue Jays weren't far behind, reports today indicate the Rangers outbid rival teams by a significant margin.
Jeff Blair said this morning on Sportsnet 590 the FAN that the Blue Jays "did not bid $50MM, as the Toronto Star is reporting. That's totally, absolutely false and inaccurate" (hat tip Drunk Jays Fans). Buster Olney of ESPN.com believes the Blue Jays were in, but not close and suggests “nobody, including Toronto, was within country miles” of the Rangers’ bid (Twitter links). Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com agrees that no one else was close. The Rangers easily out-bid the Blue Jays and the Yankees bid in the $15-17MM range, according to Heyman.
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. The Rangers have until January 18th to work out a deal with him. If the sides don't agree to a deal by next month's deadline, Darvish will stay in Japan and the Nippon Ham Fighters won't obtain any cash from the Rangers.