The Texas Rangers win the exclusive bidding rights to Yu Darvish, posting a reported bid of $51.7 million dollars, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.

There you have it. Ron Washington is now in charge of Yu Darvish’s big league career. The two-time defending American League champions replace C.J. Wilson with Yu Darvish in their rotation for 2012. That ain’t not bad.

The Rangers now have 30 days to negotiate a contract with the Japanese phenom. Reports (this means guesses!) suggest it might take a deal similar to the one the Rangers were not interested in making Wilson. Clearly they had bigger fish to fry.

The Rangers get what they feel is a significant rotation upgrade and Yu Darvish gets to join a very good team with very high expectations. The Rangers aren’t really in a position to wait for Darvish to acclimatize himself to North American life.

The $51.7 million dollar bid, also confirmed by the sources of Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, is the highest ever posting bid in MLB history, edging the winning bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2006. That is an insane amount of money. That posting fee represents more than the 2011 payrolls of five Major League Baseball teams. This from a team that was, as recently as 2010, sold in a bankruptcy auction and owned by the league. That is some sweet, sweet accounting my friends.

Both the Rangers and their division rivals from Los Angeles spent wildly this off-season, bringing two of the biggest names in the baseball world now calling the AL West home. Two teams flush with cash after significant TV rights deals set an arms race into motion.

These western powerhouses and the two traditional Northeastern baseball forces now compete in the same rarefied payroll air for 3.5 playoff spots. At best, one of them is playing a single playoff game and then going home. That’s tough.

Doubly tough on the Toronto Blue Jays, a team that submitted a bid for Darvish that ultimately didn’t get it done. The Jays head back to the drawing board, looking for National League sheep to shear in the never-ending search for young talent with upside. Do the Jays continue the search for a legit Major League ace? Do they dive into the free agent market with both feet?

A lot of teams might get reckless with the holes already burned clear through their pockets. That hardly seems Alex Anthopoulos’s style, though. AA and the Jays know they must upgrade their rotation with a legitimate number one. Does that include Matt Garza or Gio Gonzalez? Does the so-called Silent Assassin target a pitcher like Felix Hernandez? There is much work to do for a team like the Jays to compete with these captains of industry, not to mention the lean and mean Rays.

Fans of the Blue Jays, so accustomed to disappointment, again shrug their shoulders and patiently await the next let down. Or a tiny victory. Maybe just a glimmer of hope. Whichever comes first.

Comments (54)

  1. Where’s Kevin Gray at? IS KEVIN GRAY OKAY?

  2. Even though I’ve been a bit skeptical about the Jays spending the money for the posting fee, I’m somewhat disappointed at them not getting Darvish. Part of that is the strong season he had this year relative to his injury plagued 2010, and part of that is the rising price tag on young pitchers. That said Darvish appears to want $75m/5 years, and where DiceK was eager to come to North America, Darvish seems to be willing to go back to the NPB if he doesn’t get his money. He is a good pitcher, but won’t immediately be top-20 and likely will have some struggles in his first season (especially in that ballpark).

    Hopefully the Jays (if they are going to still add a pitcher) don’t go for Gio, instead make a play for Garza. He’s the only rumored name on the market worth paying a high price for.

  3. Three thoughts on the most enlightening night for my perspective of the Jays

    1. Its pathetic that the Jays, who clearly knew they had fallen short, let this hysteria spread. Actually, its Pathetic with a capital P.

    2. Given that the Rangers bid was so close to Dice K’s, there’s little doubt that someone as ‘smart’ as AA didn’t know that the Jays’ bid wasn’t high enough. The only thing better than spending money for this ownership is offering to spend money that they know will never come through. Just wait in two months for “the Jays offer to Fielder was only slightly behind Washington’s.”

    3. Any chance we could avoid the sanctimonious article (tomorrow? day after? next month?) sure to be posted here about how Matt Garza is a better option than Yu because of WAR/$ or something? It doesn’t matter what a good deal I got on my 2004 Corolla. I’m still gonna lose in a race against my neighbors $50,000 BMW.

    • The Jays didn’t know they were going to fall short. They really, really didn’t.

      • I agree, they didn’t know they weren’t going to get him. But, everyone predicted the bid around just over $50 million. If you really wanted him bid $55 million, its only $1 million more per season over a 5 year deal.

        As I posted below I’m still really conflicted about this, but if the Jays bid was something like $48 million then why not push it the amount extra you were willing to give Johnny Mac to play back up SS last year over any random minor leaguer.

        And I love Johnny Mac, I’m just trying to understand.

        • Most rumors beforehand were that the market had cooled after past failures.

          $50 million is a lot of money. That crazy Toronto fans want them to piss away. Insane.

    • Why is it pathetic that the Jays “let the hysteria spread”? “No comment” has been club policy on acquisitions for a while. We moved Wells, and got Lawrie, Rasmus, and Santos out of said policy. I’d say that’s a net plus.

      Sure, it would have been fun. But not getting Darvish doesn’t change the Jays plan. Get talent, make the move when the time is right. AA’s earned our trust so far. Let’s stick with the plan.

      • First off, we didn’t make those deals BECAUSE of that policy. Just because a policy exists doesn’t mean you don’t change it because its about to turn into a PR clusterfuck (like when another team is poaching your manager, for instance).

        Secondly, the ‘plan’ when AA took over was to gut the team (check), build a strong system and gather young players (check) then make the right moves to compete in 2012 (…). I’d understand if the right pieces weren’t there, or if the playoff picture was bleak. But there’s a potential number one starter and a potential MVP hitter on a market which doesn’t include the Yankees or Red Sox! And there’s an extra playoff spot!!

        In the past two months, opportunity put on her best outfit and showed up at our doorstep. When she knocked, AA said ‘we do not comment on player acquisitions’ and slammed the door on her face.

        • I’m disappointed as anyone that we didn’t get Darvish, but our GM’s done the right things so far.

          Still lots of time and players to move before the opening pitch. I understand frustration, but the offseason’s far from over, no?

        • Sorry. But this is nowhere close to a PR clusterfuck. Especially if they made a big bid.

          • Just been hearing such stupidity these past few hours that I get frustrated. It’s the cynical way you made this comment that got me.

            All I’m saying what if AA bid 50 million dollars and was barely edged out in this case? We honestly don’t know. Not to mention I don’t get why a high payroll is needed to field a competitive team, I believe if someone like Lawrie was demanding a large contract extension the Jays would be able to meet that demand, they have resources someone like the Rays don’t, and that’s being able to retain their pkay

        • How did AA “gut” the team? Oh you mean shedding the payroll from the Wells contract? Trading Halladay for 3 impact talents when he was gonna walk anyway?

          When the hell did AA say he was planning to compete in 2012? NEVER yet some idiots keep saying that he’s set out a precise timeline. Gimme a break.

          Get a damn clue before you start posting some mindless crap.

          • Hey Adam, thanks for your thoughts.

            I actually agree with the rebuild strategy and think AA’s done a great job with steps one and two. Unfortunately I think its clear that the money just isn’t there for step three, which is disappointing for those of us who actually took the $150 million canarde seriously.

            Of course, your careful and well reasoned rebuttal has also given me pause.

          • And yes, getting rid of the five most prominent players on a team is called ‘gutting.’ I can see from your frequent use of question marks that you had trouble with that. Its nothing that not being an asshole won’t fix.

          • I’m with Ray. Easy to talk about money you would or could spend when you know you’ll never actually spend it.

    • Garza is a better option than Darvish, depending on the prospect cost (and D’Arnaud is the only prospect I think the Jays shouldn’t trade). However, Gio or Danks or (shudder) Jurrjens is not.

      And the Jays a) had no knowledge either way that they were the highest or 2nd highest business until an hour ago, and b) it would have been irresponsible for AA to make any public statements until the process was complete. You might have noticed that there was no official denial from some of the other teams that came up short, even if they had clearly realized that either the Rangers or Blue Jays had trumped their bids (you might have noticed on twitter the Cub fans that were still keeping the faith).

      Finally, people are assuming that the Jays will just turn the $125m for Darvish and turn it around to spend on Fielder. While the Jays probably have an offer out there, I don’t believe they intend to move heaven and earth for him and the failed Darvish bid isn’t likely to increase their Fielder offer in any appreciable way.

      • The mindset that inspired this comment is exactly the reason the Jays haven’t made the playoffs in 17 years. I’m sure Lind and EE are great value at DH/1B. But so is paying me and my buddy a hundred bucks for the season. You’re not making the playoffs with either option.

    • What would you say if the Jays’ bid was $51.1 million?

    • A caller on the Fan made the same point. I’m not sure the Jays can rely on this “no comment” policy when it’s obvious a letdown like this will impact fans’ perception of the team. You aren’t the yankees, you’re trying to build a fanbase here. You have to manage fan expectations or you’ll build resentment.

      • After another year of the AA no comment policy, fans should be well trained enough to not get out it control over every little rumor. I think we should just realise this is the policy, that it helps the club in more ways than it hurts it and stop expecting anything different.

        • You can’t count on people in Toronto to be sensible. Especially when big news is breaking and some of the Leaf fans come knocking.

  4. So conflicted. I think at first I’d convinced myself that Yu was too expensive, so I didn’t want to sign him. Then the Jays did nothing and I read the “He’s no Dice-K” reports and the “Jays come out with a monster bid” reports and I was coming around to the idea. Hey, its not my money, and may be this guy is the real deal.

    We didn’t know anything about Yu, but if he works out he could be the difference in making a playoff for the first time since ’93.

    Rationally I know it makes sense, $20 million/yr for a pitcher who hasn’t faced big league hitters is a huge gamble. Irrationally now that they didn’t spend it on him I’m already pondering how much Fielder will take, regardless of if its a good signing.

    And this one of many reasons is why AA is a GM and I am not.

  5. Where does this leave the Blue Jays?

    On the outside looking in (again) when a top of the line talent is purchased by another team. I am not going to pass judgement on AA until the offseason is over, but a couple words of wisdom.

    I agree that a winner is not built through free agency alone, but it needs to make up a portion of talent infusion. We may not be one player away from World Series contention, but what happens when we are and the NYY and BOS are after that same one player we are. They will always outspend and have more appeal. Plain english: Both of these offseason spending machines are sitting out. TAKE ADVANTAGE!! Because when you want the toy next year or the year after, the rich kids will be back in town.

    P.S. Please don’t think you can make this up to the fans by trade away key pieces of our talent base for overhyped pitching *cough* Gio Gonzalez *cough*. Paul Beeston wants to see fans in the seats before they spend? I say I want to see you show this fanbase some financial comittment to winning before I give you any more of my money.

    Sound angry? I am! What a waste of my time and energy this past week!

  6. Huge let-down tonight…

  7. I’m really disappointed but only because I’m a huge fan of mildly clever puns.

  8. I’m not actually not that unhappy with Darvish not signing here. You really don’t know how he’s going to handle pitching to MLB players. I would rather spent that money of fielder, but only for 4 or 5 years. Plus Darvish gotta face Pujols now

  9. What would the Rays do if they had an extra $50 million in a bank account? They would carefully save it, and use it to maximum effect. Cain, Greinke and others are available next year. It could be a good idea to give Lawrie the type of cash that Matt Moore just got for an extension.

    Spending cash like it’s burning a hole in our pocket is stupid.

    • The trouble is, next year is starting to get too late to make proper use of Bautista. He’s just being wasted without building a solid team around him. The team is pretty good right now, but it’s not GREAT. And that’s what the team needs to be to compete with the Yankees, Sox and Rays.

    • This. A thousand times, this.

  10. I’m not disappointed in the Darvish thing so much as I am in the general optics of it all. In life there are winners and there are losers. So far the Jays haven’t been winners for 18 years. I do believe in AA’s plan, but this off-season hasn’t been reassuring so far.

    • It would be refreshing for him to cop to the size of his bid, but ultimately counterproductive.

      • That’s true, he doesn’t need to tell the world how much money he has immediately available. At least now when Scott Borat is out there. But AA might have been smart to at least say “we put in a substantial bid, but we don’t know what the other teams bid, so you’ll find out when we find out.”

      • Could still be a lie so waht’s the point he could tell us he bid 40 million maybe he didnt bid at all.
        Eighth wonder of the world, did the Blue jays even bid at all?

      • I’m sticking with my belief that the Jays bid was in the range of $36 to $42 million, That is the amount when combined with his salary demands (I believe the Jays would have offered him a 6 year $60 million deal) that would make the overall money spent in line with fair market value for a #2 starting pitcher ($16 to $17 million a year over 6 years)

  11. I’m with you.

    I do not want marginal upgrades via the likes of Danks, Gio, Niese, etc.

    If AA is going to deplete the system (deplete being a strong word) of prospect depth, then make it count. If he has to give up Hutchison, Marisnick, and Woj for a Gio (barf), then I’d just as soon you replace Woj with d’Arnaud and replace Gio with Felix (using your example).

    It’s go time.

  12. It’s interesting how Nolan wasn’t willing to spend on Lee, but is willing to spend 110-130 mill on Darvish who hasn’t pitched in North America yet! I guess losing twice in the WS makes you want you do crazy things!!

    Hindsight is 20/20 and time will only tell darvish turns into C.C Sabatthia or into Mike Hampton.

    With all the rumors that have been following with the Jays the past two years I.E- Grienke, Uggla, Manny Rameriez lol and now Garza, Darvish, and Gio ( god please do not sell the system for him!). The only one potential trade tha did not happen and I truly disagree with AA’s logic was the Uggla trade.

    Lets remember that AA is still one of the best GMs in the league, and will continue to be one, even if Darvish turns into Pedro Martinez.

    • The TV deal wasn’t a done deal back then though…Cash be flowin’ now.

    • I like AA and everything but we need to cut it out with the “one of the best GM’s in the league” or silent ninja business. The guy’s a major league GM. His job isn’t to build a great farm system or to make a lot of trades that look good in the future. His job is to put together competitive ball clubs. I’m fine with saying that some of the moves he’s made look to put the Jays on the right track but he’s going to have to have some significant success with the actual team he runs before we start lauding his tenure.

      • The guy’s a major league GM. His job isn’t to build a great farm system or to make a lot of trades that look good in the future. His job is to put together competitive ball clubs.

        Funny, I thought building a sustainable farm system and making astute trades go hand in hand with putting together competitive ballclubs.

  13. Guys, blame Beltran.

  14. I just hope that this doesn’t lead to a reactionary deal to placate the rabid fan base looking for proverbial “blood” because the Jays didn’t win an f’ing blind auction.

    Remember people – AA didn’t know the number he had to beat, so I’m sure he and his team came up with an internal valuation after serious due diligence and put in their best offer and not a cent more. That’s exactly how AA has operated in the past — the man takes calculated risks, makes big plays, but he NEVER overpays (again based on his own estimation of a player’s worth, which is founded on serious research).

    It’s likely the Jays put in a sizable bid and thought they had a decent shot at winning, which is why they didn’t temper people’s expectations (remember, even with the “team policy” in place they managed to put out info regarding their reluctance to offer Fielder a long term deal).

    Face it — we just got out bid. Yu may out-perform or under-perform his contract value in the long run, but based on the high degree of uncertainty I don’t think any rational person can blame AA for not beating the Ranger’s bid.

    There will be other opportunities — AA has proven he can exploit them when they arise. Have patience — let’s not blow our prospects on a middling starting pitcher. Having one of the deepest systems going into a new restricted draft structure is a competitive advantage we should be able to leverage. Better deals likely await closer to the trade deadline when teams realize they aren’t playoff bound and are willing to sell proven talent for prospects.

    Everyone thinks they are contenders at the moment — obviously many will be wrong.

  15. I don’t really have a problem with the Jays not getting Darvish. But I do have a problem with AA’s policy of never saying anything. It allows for fans to have expectations that are unrealistic. No matter which FA that is available, Jays are always in on them. Fielder, the Jays are after him, Beltran, oh the Jays are after him. How about CJ, you guessed it, the Jays are in on him. What it does when the Jays don’t get any of these FA’s, is add another layer to the disappointment . With attendance being what it is, the Jays can not afford to start losing fans, because of the perceived idea that the club is not doing anything. There has to be a way for AA to handle all this better than what we have seen in the past weeks.

    • In the end, it is not the GM’s responsibility to stop fans from being shit chucking apes.

    • Was it that long ago people were blasting JP Ricciardi for talking too much?

      I say bring on robot GMs.

  16. You know, the big posting talk might all have been a smokescreen in an attempt to win what turned out to be the Reds-Padre deal, which, as with all rumored deals, the Jays were supposedly in on until the end. AA is smart, let’s all agree to that much, and the Jays have multiple needs so why be all-in on this opportunity?. He’ll regroup and make a move that improves the team.

    As for the Rangers, I’m not sure why they didn’t spend the money on Wilson, who we know is a legit top-end starter. Darvish might be a world-beater, he might be a diva, based on what we’ve heard so far. And it might cost another 75 million to find out.

    I’ll bet the Jays bid was not that close to winning, but as others have suggested, Anthopolous has no upside in revealing the actual number. How would that help him when MLBTR already called it “aggressive” and “sky-high”?

  17. Even though there’s nothing that Rogers could have done about any of this (it’s a blind bid and they clearly weren’t sure whether they had won or lost), Jays fans are pretty much losing their shit over this. Just listen to the radio callers last night or check any of the Jays blogs/message boards. Some are even calling for AA to be fired. The incredible anger directed towards the Jays and Rogers is unlike anything I’ve ever seen as a fan of this team. It certainly didn’t help that all this rumor/hype bullshit was built up over the last week and brought in all the casuals either.

    This is very bad for the organization’s PR. The failure to get Darvish is just another excuse for the casual fans to stay away from the ballpark. They’ll see it as more of the same lack of commitment to winning from the owners (whether that’s the real truth or not).

    With hope, the immense backlash will cause Rogers to finally spend its money elsewhere to appease the fans. But Rogers has never done a damn thing to appease the fans (outside of a couple of moves that Godfrey orchestrated years ago) and I don’t expect they’ll start now.

    • I just hope they don’t spend money for the sake of spending money. The Jays don’t need another Frank Thomas.

  18. Never mind I’ll find someone like Yu. I wish nothing but the best for Yu….*begins sobbing uncontrollably*

  19. wow if we got felix, i’d totally forget about this whole yu darvish situation. but its not happening so yeah, don’t bring it up, jays fans don’t need anymore teasing.

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