Texas won the negotiating rights to Yu Darvish, the highly touted Japanese righthander, outbidding several other teams, including the Blue Jays and Yankees.
The Yankees placed a bid for Darvish believed to be between $20 million and $25 million, though they did so under the assumption that another team — likely the Rangers or Blue Jays — would bid nearly twice that much for Darvish’s rights.
Texas did just that, bidding $51.7 million for the 25-year-old Darvish. The bid exceeded the $51,111,111 the Red Sox paid for the rights to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka five years ago, establishing a new posting fee record.
Darvish is represented in the United States by Arn Tellem, the same agent who helped bring Hideki Matsui to the Yankees nine years ago.
The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters learned the amount of the winning bid last Wednesday, but the club was not required to inform the Japanese commissioner’s office of its decision until Tuesday. MLB made the announcement shortly after 11 p.m. EST that Texas had submitted the highest bid.
The Rangers now have 30 days to come to a contract agreement with Darvish, who would return to Japan if the two sides are unable to reach a deal.
Darvish is reportedly seeking a six-year deal worth $75 million; Wilson signed for five years and $77.5 million with the Angels earlier this month. Factoring in the posting fee, a contract in that range would bring the total price for Darvish to more than $125 million. That represents quite a gamble for someone who has never thrown a pitch in the big-leagues.