Rumors have been swirling around the Yu Darvish posting process since bidding ended last week. We’ve had words such as “lukewarm” or “modest” or even numbers in the $40 and $50 million range used to describe team’s bids for Darvish. Yesterday, Franz Lidz of SI.com reported that the winning bid for Darvish is not only high, but it’s the highest in the history of the posting system. Lidz says that, according to Japanese league officials, Darvish’s bid exceeds the $51.1 million the Red Sox dished out to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2006.
We heard reports earlier this week claiming that bids had come in for Darvish in the $40-50 million range. The Rangers were one of the clubs who were confirmed to submit a bid along with the Cubs, Yankees and Blue Jays. Texas’s offer was said to be in the $40 million range, while Toronto’s bid was described as a “whopper”.
While Lidz still isn’t hearing who won officially won the bidding, he hears from Japanese league officials the bid for Darvish came in at a higher amount than the one reported in the U.S. and Japan.
Not only that, but the bid exceeds the record posting fee of $51.1 million the Red Sox sent the Seibu Lions in order to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka. After winning negotiating rights, Boston and Dice-K came to a six-year, $52 million contract agreement.
Considered by most to be a superior talent to Dice-K, Darvish is reportedly commanding a deal in the five-year, $75 million range. This would stick whoever won the Darvish bidding with a final tab of roughly $125 million.
The Texas Rangers, one of the early favorites to bring in Darvish, have already said they were unwilling to go over the $100 million threshold. Of course, that could all change very quickly.
At the moment, the Blue Jays are considered the frontrunners in the Darvish sweepstakes. Jim Bowden of MLB Network has flat out said Toronto has “won the bidding” for Darvish, while George A. King III of the New York Post names the Blue Jays as the favorites.
Now, Major League Baseball and its fans are waiting until Tuesday evening. This is when the Nippon Ham Fighters have to decide whether or not they are willing to accept or reject the highest bid received for Darvish. Nippon has already indicated that they were willing to accept whatever offer was put forth, and it seems to be a foregone conclusion that they will considering how excited they’ve been regarding the offers.
Once Nippon accepts the offer, the winning team will have 30 days to work out a contract with Darvish. If sides are unable to reach an agreement, Darvish will return to Japan and would be eligible to hit the market as an unrestricted international free agent next offseason.
You can check out all of the available free agents by position below.