The Yu Darvish Sweepstakes is over, and it looks like the Japanese Phenom will be heading to the Texas Rangers. Major League Baseball announced that the Rangers had beaten out the New York Yankees and The Toronto Blue Jays with a winning bid of $51.7 Million Dollars.
The system for acquiring Japanese players is completely different than in the United States, which uses a draft system. In Japan, players sign with their teams for ten years and only become free agents in their late 20’s. If a player wishes to go to the US and play in the big leagues his team in Japan has to agree to “Post” him. The posting process requires any team wishing to negotiating rights with the payer posts a blind bid to the team. The MLB team with the highest bid earns the exclusive right to negotiate with and sign the player with thirty days of the winning bid. If an agreement isn’t reached the team refunds the money and keeps the player (although this rarely happens).
So while The Texas Rangers have won the bid with $51.7 million dollars, they now have to sign Darvish, which could cost them another $60-$70 million.
The previous high bid for a Japanese player was the Boston Red Sox, who posted a $51 million dollar bid for starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. It cost them another $52 million dollars to sign the pitcher to a six year contract for a total investment of $103 million dollars.
Yu Darvish will probably wind up costing the Rangers a lot more to sign the pitcher, than any previous Japanese pitcher, but then again no other Japanese pitcher has posted an impressive 18-6 record with a 1.44 ERA and 276 strikeouts in 28 games for the Nippon Ham Fighters last season.
Do you think the Texas Rangers will get a superstar in Yu Darvish?