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
It's safe to say that Darvish will divide opinion if and when he is posted - just look to the comments on yesterday's piece, where one commenter said he would rank him no higher than 50, while another said Top 15. Part of the trepidation with Darvish is going to be his status as a Japanese pitcher. Here's an important point: Yu Darvish is not Daisuke Matsuzaka or Akinori Otsuka, anymore than Clayton Kershaw is Chris Young, even though they graduated from the same high school. The fact is that Darvish had a historic season for the Nippon-Ham Fighters in 2011, and it's not his first taste of success. If we accept that Darvish has a chance to succeed in Major League Baseball, then what can we expect? There are people out there suggesting that he could put up a 10 WAR season, based on MLE (Major League Equivalency) calculations they've done, and while I would reject those out of hand, I wouldn't be shocked to see a K/9 approaching 9 with an ERA in the low 2s and a WHIP that is above average. Of course, a lot depends on what organization he ends up with (if he does come over), but for now, 25 seems right...to me, at least.
More on Darvish, Gio Gonzalez and Matt Garza after the jump:
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.