After all the waiting and twitter speculation, the Texas Rangers posted the highest bid for Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, MLB announced on Monday night after Darvish's team in Japan accepted the bid.
If the Rangers can come to an agreement with Darvish and his representatives in 30 days, the club will have a new rotation member come spring training. Should the club and Darvish not reach a deal in the allotted time, the Rangers will get the posting fee back.
Various reports before MLB’s announcement had the fee close to or possibly more than the $51.1 million the Red Sox bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka prior to the 2007 season. The club still has to pay Darvish a contract, meaning the total investment will likely top $100 million (some reports say Darvish wants a five-year, $75 million deal, which would edge the total toward $125 million).
Darvish was 18-6 with a league-best 1.44 ERA and 276 strikeouts. The 25-year-old is known to have superb command and some scouting reports say a seven-pitch repertoire, including a two-seamer added in 2010. He walked just 36 batters in 232 innings.
The 6-foot-5 right-hander pitched in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He started his professional career at age 18 and after an average rookie year, put up impressive numbers in his second season (2006), going 12-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 115 strikeouts. Darvish has been steady and has pitched plenty of innings, leading up to his opportunity to land a deal and pitch in the big leagues.
Darvish is represented by Don Nomura and Arn Tellem. Nomura tweeted earlier in the evening that he was taking a 30-day "vacation," meaning he wasn't going to be tweeting or talking much to the media during the negotiations.
Give the Rangers credit for this: They played it close to the vest. Texas downplayed their interest initially and then jumped in to land the 25-year-old pitcher. Now we'll see if the aggressive play pays off.