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.
51.7 is also the number of starts Nolan Ryan has penned Yu Darvish in for 2012.
— Eric Nusbaum (@ericnus) December 20, 2011
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.