According to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, the Texas Rangers have won the right to negotiate with Yu Darvish.
The Texas Rangers have won the posting auction of Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish with a record $51.7M bid, sources tell Yahoo! Sports.
The Texas Rangers won the rights to negotiate with star Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish by placing a record $51.7 million bid in a posting auction, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Darvish’s team in Japan, the Nippon Ham Fighters, will accept the bid, which means the Rangers have 30 days to negotiate a contract with Darvish. If they cannot work out a deal, Darvish would return to Japan for the 2012 season and the Rangers would be refunded the posting fee.
Daily Sports is simply reporting that the Fighters announced they accepted the high bid. No mention of which team.
UPDATE @ 4:43pm - Daily Sports is reporting that the Fighters finalized their decision late Monday night and sent the NPB their decision just before noon. They were also satisfied with the bid amount.
According to the following tweet by Don Nomura, the Nippon Ham Fighters will make announce that they accepted the high bid on Yu Darvish some time late Tuesday morning:
Fighters will announce tomorrow late morning, 明日日ハムは受理する、#ダルビッシュ#darvish
Norichika Aoki will have a chance to ask Takashi Saito some questions about what it is like playing for the Milwaukee Brewers this week when the two go out to eat -- they belong to the same management company and were already scheduled to meet.
Sponichi has the following comments from Yakult Swallows' managing director Junsei Atarashi:
On why they announced the name of the winning bidder:
Instead of having the information leak out to the US media, we wanted it to come out of Japan. We also wanted to let everyone know as soon as possible.
On Aoki heading to the US:
As a player representing Yakult, I would like to see him excel [in the US]. I would like to see him give back to pro yakyu if he ever decides to return to Japan.
The Brewers won the bidding. Your impressions.
I am happy that such a wonderful team placed a bid on me. They won their division and they seem like a strong team.
What about to the club that decided to post you?
I am really grateful to them.
Have you gotten closer to realizing your dreams?
I am relieved that things are beginning to take shape. But I still have not signed a contract, so while I am happy, I still do not feel at ease. My agent will be taking care of negotiations so I can focus on practicing and getting myself prepared.
What are your plans moving forward?
I have not really thought about anything, including flying out to the US. I think I will continue my practices in Tokyo for the rest of the year.
I hear [spring training] is shorter in the Majors with more exhibition games. I want to be close to being fully prepared by the start of [spring training]. ... If there are things I find useful, I plan to add them to my training.
Nikkan Sports is reporting that the Yakult Swallows announced that the Milwaukee Brewers won bidding on Norichika Aoki.
UPDATE @ 10:06am - It apparently took the Swallows about an hour to make their decision to accept the bid amount -- they received the bid amount at 7:33am and had the decision by about 8:33am. The team also wanted to announce the name of the winning team, but did not because they could not receive confirmation.
UPDATE @ 11:01am - Aoki's comment on the Brewers, via Nikkan Sports: "I am honored that such a wonderful team placed a bid on me. I will leave the negotiations up to my agent as I focus my attention on practices in preparation [for the upcoming season]."
UPDATE @ 4:19pm - It seems the Swallows were not entirely happy with the bid amount (I think they felt he was worth more than Hiroyuki Nakajima), but accepted it because they wanted to do right by Aoki.
The Yakult Swallows held a press conference in order to announce that they accepted a US$2.5M bid on Norichika Aoki earlier today.
"All I could do was wait, so I feel relieved now. I feel as if I am now one step closer to realizing my dream. I will allow my agent to handle the rest while I focus on my practices to make sure I am fully prepared," said Aoki.
Yu Darvish updated his blog on Friday and spoke of losing some wait, but nothing more.
Losing weight: Done
I finished my first round of weight loss.
I lost about 5-6kg over three weeks (a good pace) and now plan gain 3kg and then lose 3-4 kg in January.
I have also managed to maintain the amount I can lift!
I want to focus on growing stronger and trimming down even more.
I also recently found out how I like to blow off steam.
By thinking about training exercises, how to stay fit, and supplements.
You may have realized by now that...
I am weird.
Today I feel that baseball, or being an athlete, is a vocation.
The bidding on Norichika Aoki is set to end on 12/16 at 5pm EST (12/17 at 7am JST). Not much has really been mentioned about Aoki in the Japanese press over the last few days, other than an event he attended.
UPDATE @ 8:42am - At lease one team submitted a bit on Aoki.
UPDATE @ 11:30am - The Swallows are saying that they might reveal the bid amount because they have nothing to hide, but may not be able to do to various circumstances.
Updates on Yu Darvish from 12/16/2011:
- Nikkan Sports reports that the winning bid may have gone over US$50M (they quote Jon Heyman).
- Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant tweeted, "The 'buzz' is that Toronto had whopper of offer on Darvish. Many reasons for Jays to bid more than $50mm. Believe Rangers bid. Prob. in $40s."
- The New York Posts' George A. King III writes that the Toronto Blue Jays are the favorites.
- CBS Sports' Danny Knobler reports that the Nippon Ham Fighters will probably wait to make an announcement until just before the deadline.
- Sponichi wonders how much money will be shaved off potential salary with posting bids that may have gone above US$50M (with some reports mentioning US$70M as the high end) and whether or not it will be enough.
- Daily Sports notes that six teams may have placed bids based on various US reports - New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, and Seattle Mariners. They also mention US reports that counted out over ten teams, like the Boston Red Sox, LA Angels, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, Minnesota Twins, and Baltimore Orioles.
No real surprise that there was at least one bid submitted on Yu Darvish. The Nippon Ham Fighters have until 12/20 at 5pm EST (12/21 @ 7am JST) to decide what they want to do with the bid. They are not expected to turn it down.
UPDATE @ 10:59am - ESPN's Buster Olney has posted a series of tweets on possible teams that bid.
- Talked to three execs involved in bidding asked them to guess -- speculate -- on winning Darvish. All three named same 2 teams: Jays, Texas. link
- One executive also mentioned Giants, Mariners as possible heavy bidders for Darvish. We'll see. link
- Sources: the Yankees did post an offer on Yu Darvish. link
The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo tweeted that the Boston Red Sox did not submit a bid.
UPDATE @ 6:51pm - The Chicago Tribune's Phil Rogers notes that the Chicago Cubs submitted a bid on Darvish.
Team rep Toshimasa Shimada spoke to reporters earlier and said that he still had nothing he could report and that there was no set timetable on their decision (other than the 12/20 deadline). He also added that while they will respect Darvish's desire to play in the US, they also can not ignore the bid amount -- so this is not as simple as accepting whatever was bid.
So a little less than an hour left until the bidding period on Yu Darvish ends.
Sponichi threw up an article a few hours ago that mentions an MLB source talking about Darvish wanting to play for a team on the West coast -- think warm weather and fairly large Japanese communities.
But therein lies the problem.
There are probably no West coast teams that can afford to pay top dollar on both the posting fee (US$50M?) and salary (Darvish apparently wants US$20M a year). That means even if a West coast team manages to win the bidding, they might not have enough left over to sign Darvish.
One could almost wonder if Darvish might be trying to set up these impossible conditions just to prove some sort of point about the posting system.
In any case, the mystery team will soon be revealed.