As everyone expected, the highest posting bid for Yu Darvish will be accepted by the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters tonight around 8:00 or 9:00 PM ET, according to the Japanese pitcher’s agent Don Nomura. Shortly after that, it’s expected that the team who won the exclusive 30 day negotiation window will be announced.
Shortly after the bidding deadline, rumours began circulating that the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays had delivered the highest bids. And then, over the weekend, Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger reported that the New York Yankees didn’t believe their bid to be the highest. Franz Lidz of Sports Illustrated suggests that that winning bid will be higher than the current posting record of $51.1 million, which the Boston Red Sox paid for Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2006.
From there, it will be interesting to see the terms of the contract that’s negotiated between Darvish and the winning club. Already, there have been suggestions that the 25 year old pitcher will be looking for a five year deal worth $75 million, similar to the contract that C.J. Wilson signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim earlier this month.
As we’ve mentioned before, because of all of the mysterious elements involved in the posting system, a fertile ground for rumours and baseless speculation is created. One person speculates. A club official reads about it. And then when the club official is asked to comment, he repeats the speculation, only this time it’s published as a Major League source.