It’s a funny thing. We heard a lot of rumblings on Wednesday evening that the Hokkaido Fighters would accept the highest bid for the posting of their pitcher Yu Darvish right away. Then we heard that it would happen mid-morning on Thursday. And now we’re hearing that nothing will be official until the beginning of next week. Typical.

So, please keep that in mind when I tell you that the New York Post is reporting that the Toronto Blue Jays have made the highest bid for the negotiating rights to Yu Darvish. And also keep in mind that prior to the New York Yankees winning the rights to hold talks with Hiroyuki Nakajima, most reports had him linked to the San Francisco Giants or the Boston Red Sox.

Nonetheless, George A. King reports:

Having made a posting bid above $40 million and possibly close to $50 million, the Blue Jays are the favorites to land the negotiating rights to Yu Darvish.

According to several sources with knowledge of the situation, the Blue Jays made the monster bid on orders from owner Rogers Communications.

Hmm. Maybe I’ve been somewhat naive all these years, but “on orders” from Rogers would seem to indicate a level of ownership involvement heretofore unseen.

I don’t really buy it. Because King goes on to suggest:

Add that estimated $40-50 million posting fee to the five-year, $75 million deal Darvish is supposedly going to seek and you have a $115 million to $125 million price tag for a hurler who has never thrown a pitch in the big leagues and has gotten fat against over-matched hitters in Japan who aren’t as good as those he’ll face here.

Those figures are rather difficult to swallow, especially given the amount of money that C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle signed for this off season, or how much it took to recently extend Jered Weaver. However, it should be noted that on the recent Baseball Prospectus podcast with Kevin Goldstein and Jason Parks, the latter revealed that word among scouts is that the Blue Jays evaluated Darvish more highly than other teams, seeing him as a potential ace of their staff.

Adding to this type of speculation is the Toronto Sun’s Bob Elliott and Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News, who both report of the growing consensus among executives around the league that the Blue Jays had the high bid.

As the pros say:

Sooner or later, we’ll find out if we’ll have to wait and see.

Update: ESPN’s Jim Bowden, a leader of the we’ll find out right away club, is now saying that the Jays have won the bidding as well.

Comments (43)

  1. Ricky is the ace of the Jays. I love Darvish and the idea of him coming to Toronto, but he’d be a #2.

    • What makes you say that? I like Romero as much as anyone, but he’s not an “ace.” He’s merely the best pitcher the Jays have had the last two years.

      • Darvish was great in Japan, and will be here, too.
        I just don’t think he’ll be better than Ricky. I would estimate Darvish’s ceiling as Romero’s 2011. BUT, I am not a scout, and I am just going on what I saw in the WBC.

        • Nobody other than KLaw is predicting Darvish jumps in and immediately becomes the Jay’s number 1. However, at 6’5”, age 25 and a history of sheer domination of disciplined, older hitters in Japan, you would think Darvish certainly has a higher ceiling than Romero.

        • Funny, I estimate Ricky Romero’s ceiling as Romero’s 2011 too.

      • The biggest issue with Ricky, that really worries me, is that he has a really hard time vs. AL East powerhouses.

        IMHO that in itself keeps him from being the ace

        • The biggest issue with Ricky is the biggest issue with most of the Jays pitchers: his best pitch is a change up. If you want to be an Ace and have some longevity, your best pitch can’t be a change up because it’s only effective when its speed is a lot different than your fastball. When it’s not (because you got old or lost velocity on your fastball), you’re in trouble (see Brett Cecil).

          That’s why I think Morrow and maybe Darvish have higher ceilings. Their best pitches are fastballs and sliders or cutters.

    • Ricky deserves to start as the #1 just out of respect. Yu should earn his #1 status both on the mound and in the clubhouse.

    • Frankly, I don’t care who is #1 vs #2. Darvish would give us a dramatically improved, and incredibly young rotation going forward. The fact that he’s 25 is perfect for the Jays who will be pleased as piss to have a rotation eventually filled with #1A type guys.

      90 starts out of Romero, Darvish, Morrow will have a huge impact for the Jays if the reports are true.

      With Alvarez, Drabek, Cecil, McGowan and a crew of young guys poised to break in – the Jays would notice a palpable jump in the quality of starts that they get.

      Re-distributing the 45 or so starts that went to Jo-Jo, Mills, Litsch, Davies etc would go a long way to changing the complexity of the starting rotation.

  2. I don’t know what to think of this news. I think I’d rather a 100M go to Prince…

    • $100 million to Prince isn’t realistic though. More like $180 million. That, in no way, is meant to endorse what the Blue Jays are rumoured to have done, but Darvish will be cheaper than Fielder.

      • The cost of Prince Fielder (6-7 years $150-$175 million) and Yu Darvish ($50 million bid + 5 year $75 million contrac) over an annual basis could be exactly the same $25 million a year.

        • Why would Fielder take 6-7 years for $25M annually?

          He won’t, and is going for Pujols money.

          $200M+, at least, and probably 9-10 years.

          There’s no way he leaves years or millions on the table just the for sake of it.

          • Who is going to give him that?

            He wants Pujols money, but no one is willing to give him that.

            And to date the most that has been offered is a 6 year $120 million deal (by the Brewers).

          • i’ll tell you why. Because when that deal is over, he’ll be pujols age and then he cash out and leave nothing on the table.

            Just like Pujols

        • Maybe it would be the same money but who is guaranteed to put more seats in the stands. If Roger’s is behind this clearly they see this as a marketing opportunity that only Darvish can return.

          • Agree with all the points above, just saying. I’d rather our payroll dollars go elsewhere, Prince was just the first thing on my mind. I’d be fine with more prospect investment and international investments.

    • Prince will take at least 150 million, if not more. And as good as Prince would be, the Jays biggest need is really starting pitching depth. The Jays could sign Darvish and a guy like Carlos Pena with an aggregate cost still less than what it would take to sign Prince.

  3. Nintendo owns Mariners. Nintendo has new console coming next year called Wii U or more telling… Wii “Yu”. They have been planning all along.

  4. I haven’t had a chance (or inclination) to go back over everything AA has stated but from memory it seems that he said that the Jays needed a front line starter, a closer, and a middle of the order bat. Something like that.

    He also said that he prefers the trade market (Santos), likes players only to a certain price (Darvish bid), and would use free agency to add that last piece of the puzzle (Fielder?). He said that the team had lots of prospects to use for deals (Nestor Molina).

    If the Jays end up with Darvish then all I can say is… thank you. It may not work out but it has the potential to be a Sydney Crosby/Tiger Woods kind of deal. You can argue all you want about the calibre of Japanese hitters but I have never seen Major League ace on a rehab assignment go through AA or AAA with a 0 ERA. This one is big.

    K

  5. From Griffin:

    No change in Darvish news tho Japanese source reports Japan believes Jays have won bidding

  6. Since we are on the topic of the ‘Ace’….
    Is it better to have 2 Aces on the staff (Arizona 2001) and 3 shit bags or a staff with 5 pitchers all labeled #2?

  7. That is so tacky and vulgar to title this article after meatspin.com

  8. Is no one else excited to be able to yell “YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU” around those jackass Kevin Youkilis loving Boston fans?

  9. Wow, I’m getting sushi today in honor of Yu!

  10. Not knowing the specifics of the whole bidding process and how and when it can really be revealed, he’s my theory as to why nothing has been officially announced by MLB.

    Jays won the bid. Its possible AA has been told by MLB Jays won it and AA has asked MLB and the Ham Fighters not to mention anything until the last possible minute being Tuesday.

    In the meantime AA is working on a contract proposal to Yu and hopefully have something agreed upon by Tuesday. Therefore when the announcement is made on Tuesday that Jays won bid, its also announced that Yu has siged contract.

    Considering how much AA loves keeping things close to the vest, would make sense that he’d rather it happen this way instead of it being announced Jays won and contract negotiations dragging on for as long at the full 30 days they have.

    Just a theory but thought I’d put it out there.

    • That seems pointlessly complicated to me.
      I suspect the plan was always to wait until Tuesday to give the Fighters time to inform all the right people (e.g. Yu himself, their investors, etc, etc) before officially accepting.

      I also think every single “new” piece of news we’ve heard is actually just a case of broken telephone I doubt anyone actually heard anything, they’re just re-tweeting and leaving out key words like “might” “possible” or “I think”

  11. This is aswome news. Hope more holes can be filled with big acquisition such as this. Go Blue Jays!!

  12. Whatever hundreds of million dollars they pay him, they’ll get it back within 5 yrs or less, by simply the attention and merchandising / TV rights from Japan and other countries they’ll get.

    Also just as importantly, this guy has the stuff (supposedly 6 different pitches he can hurt you with) and physical attributes to become dominant.

    This is an absolute win win proposition from business perspective and I consider this a moderate risk with huge upside/reward from baseball perspective.

  13. If the Jays get Darvish, I will be one happy man.

  14. on the whole #1/#2 question – i think Darvish will be the best starter in short order, i don’t think the jays will put the pressure on that comes from throwing him right into the “#1″ spot right away. Romero has demonstrated himself mentally capable of handling that ceremonial honor just fine and it shows him no respect to take it away, and does Darvish no good to “anoint” him.

    At some point, yes, Darvish will be the 1 and Romero the 2 – a year or two from now.

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