It was announced just a little while ago that the Rangers have won the biddling on Yu Darvish with a record $51.7 million bid. The Rangers have 30 days to sign Darvish to a major league contract, or lose his right, whereby they will get the $51.7 million back from the Nippon Ham Fighters.
Yahoo's MLB writer Jeff Passan broke the story here. A few weeks ago, Fake Teams writer Robert Bishop ranked Darvish as his 25th ranked starting pitcher in 2012, and I imagine if he knew he was going to sign with the Rangers, he may have ranked him a bit higher.
Here is Robert's analysis of Darvish in his Top 25 Starting Pitcher profile:
25. Yu Darvish - Nippon-Ham Fighters/Free Agent
After losing C.J. Wilson to their division rival Angels, it does not surprise me to see the Rangers win the bidding on Darvish, as they had to win the bidding or end up trading some of their top prospects for A's starter Gio Gonzalez. They have also been linked to Cubs starter Matt Garza, so I imagine this news will end any speculation that the Rangers are still in the market for a starting pitcher.
What this does mean is that the Blue Jays, with their stocked farm system, may now turn their attention to Gio Gonzalez or Matt Garza. It was reported earlier this evening that the Nationals may have made a 4-1 offer to the A's for Gonzalez, as they want a left-handed starter to fit in between Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann.
Billy Beane and Jed Hoyer have to be working the phones with Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopolous at this point, no? It was reported last week that the Blue Jays may have won the bidding on Darvish, but that proved to be incorrect.
Suffice to say, we will probably see a few starting pitchers traded before Santa comes this weekend.