Thursday, December 15, 2011
Updated: December 16, 9:19 AM ET
Source: Cubs bid on Yu Darvish
By Bruce Levine
The Chicago Cubs are one of numerous teams to put in a bid on Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, according to a major league source.
Darvish, 25, was posted by the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters earlier this week. Bidding closed Wednesday, and the Ham Fighters have until Tuesday to accept a bid.
The posting process allows major league teams to send a blind one-time-only bid to the Ham Fighters in order to be able to negotiate the contract exclusively with Darvish. If the bid is accepted, Major League Baseball will announce the team that won the bidding rights, and that club will have 30 days to agree to a contract.
The posting fee will be paid only if an agreement is reached with Darvish's agents, Arn Tellem and Don Nomura. If the contract is not agreed upon between the player and the highest posting team, the money is returned.
The Cubs' bid may not be the highest for Darvish, according to a source.
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein had the highest posting bid in major league history for a Japanese player when he posted $51 million before being able to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Red Sox negotiated a six-year, $52 million deal with Matsuzaka on Dec. 14, 2006.
According to scouts familiar with Darvish's repertoire, the 6-5, 215-pound pitcher averages between 92-95 mph with his fastball and has an effective slider. He's been compared by some scouts in style and effectiveness to Cubs starter Matt Garza. He was 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA and a league-leading 276 strikeouts last season.
Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000. The Associated Press contributed to this report.