Posted on: January 17, 2012 10:11 am
Edited on: January 24, 2012 10:48 am
The Texas Rangers, the two-time defending American League champions, are at the center of the action this week, with the Yu Darvish deadline looming Wednesday and the continuing Prince Fielder intrigue, which began to boil over when Fielder was discovered to be meeting with top Texas brass in Dallas last Friday -- not to mention a couple other smaller talks ongoing thrown in for good measure.
The great likelihood is that the Darvish deal gets done for slightly more than "Dice-K money,'' say people familiar with the talks who are referring to the $52-million, six-year contract Daisuke Matsuzaka signed with the Boston Red Sox. That's logical because while Darvish is considered the better pitcher (18-6 with a 1.44 ERA and a Pacific League-leading 276 strikeouts in 2011), the posting fee of $51,703,411 for him was just barely above the $51,111,111 fee the Red Sox paid for Matsuzaka, and Darvish's agent Arn Tellem has no other alternative but to take him back to Japan, in what is seen as a generally unpalatable alternative for star Japanese stars who go to the trouble of posting.
While there was still said to be a difference on the years, with Darvish wanting five so he could become a free agent at 30, and Texas wanting to repeat Matsuzaka's six-year contract, everyone surrounding the negotiation suggested the deal is likely to get done before the deadline Wednesday if the range of $55 million. (side note: Boston's first offer to Matsuzaka had been half that, $28 million.)
If the Darvish deal does somehow fall through (unlikely), the Rangers would suddenly become the overwhelming favorite to land Fielder. But the bigger question is whether the Rangers would be willing to pay the freight for Fielder if more than $100 million is committed to Darvish.
Rangers people have consistently characterized that possibility of a Texas superstar two-step as "unlikely,'' and a $300-million week would indeed be extraordinary for a team that isn't in New York, Boston, Philadelphia or Los Angeles (or even Los Angeles of Anaheim). However, Texas, a team that recently had been receiving luxury tax payouts, is committed to winning and on the rise financially with its rapdily increasing TV and attendance revenues and relatively new oil baron owners.
Rangers people also are full of surprises, like last winter when they stole Adrian Beltre late, after the rival Angels and A's had bid earlier. This time, Texas may have even more incentive to make a big play, what with the Angels earlier having their own $317.5-million week between their pricey new imports Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, the former Ranger.
Rangers people like to keep things secret, and their clandestine meeting last week with Fielder at the Four Seasons in Dallas only leaked because the wedding of Pirates star reliever Joel Hanrahan (yet another star player the Rangers have tried for this winter) happened to be at the same hotel at the same time, so the players and agents at the wedding started telling people they had seen Fielder and/or agent Scott Boras with Rangers brass Nolan Ryan, Texas' icon and managing partner, and GM Jon Daniels. Rangers people also knows it doesn't do anything positive for the psyche of incumbent first baseman Mitch Moreland or even incumbent positional superstar Josh Hamilton if Fielder speculation keeps mushrooming.
It's possible Ryan and Daniels were just covering their bases on the off chance Darvish doesn't get done. But the Rangers do seem to love the idea of signing Fielder, which while prohibitive could make sense if they allow Hamilton to leave as a free agent after this season. Hamilton has been a tremendous asset since Daniels acquired him in a deal for Edinson Volquez and a minor-league pitcher after Reds medical people forced the deal, but Fielder is younger, less injury prone and generally a safer bet (Hamilton's father-in-law Michael Dean just bowed out as his accountability partner).
Beyond the simultaneous dances with the two huge stars, the Rangers are looking to add a lefty reliever and bench player, and have considered Mike Gonzalez and Ryan Spilborghs. But of course, the first thing to do is figure out whether they will add one superstar or two.
Posted on: January 9, 2012 11:19 am
Edited on: January 24, 2012 8:44 pm
The Texas Rangers are offering about "Dice K money'' to star Japanese righthander Yu Darvish, sources told CBSSports.com, and there's no evidence a deal is at hand.
The expression "Dice K money'' would mean the offer is someone in the range of $52 million, although it isn't known whether the Rangers' proposal is for exactly that amount or exactly six years, as Daisuke Matsuzaka received from the Red Sox (it may be for five). In any case, it seems clear Texas wants to use Matsuzaka's $52-million deal as a barometer for a deal, while Darvish's side apparently hopes to successfully argue that he's the better pitcher and thus deserves a higher contract. Ultimately, the Rangers may go a bit higher than Matsuzaka's contract, but the plan seems to be to keep it within shouting distance, particularly with $51.7 million committed to the posting fee, money that goes to the Nippon-Ham Fighters.
Everyone has assumed there'd be a deal by the Jan. 18 deadline, and there would still seem to be too many reasons for the sides to come together. But at the moment, the evidece suggests they are not on the precipice of a deal for the pitcher who went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA and led the Pacific League with 276 strikeouts while pitching for the Fighters.
The Rangers are concentrating completely on Darvish at the moment, and if a deal is struck, their chances to make a real run at star free agent slugger Prince Fielder would be diminished. However, in the event no agreement can be reached, the chances they'd pursue Fielder would probably significantly increase. They have checked in on free agent reliever Ryan Madson and there was a report they did the same with free agent starter Hiroki Kuroda, as well, although there's no evidence those contacts are related to any concern about the Darvish talks.
The Rangers' winning bid to negotiate with Darvish was precisely $51,703,411, with the 34 and 11 tributes to the uniform numbers of Rangers president Nolan Ryan and Darvish himself. The Red Sox won the right to Matsuzaka with a bid of $51,111,111. So there is a parallel in those numbers, anyway.
Posted on: January 3, 2012 5:32 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 8:52 pm
Yu Darvish just visited the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as the Rangers acknowledged. Nobody is saying yet that Darvish and the Rangers are close to a deal yet. But everyone knows he will eventually have one.
And Darvish's visit can only be seen as another positive sign in a negotiation that is sure to end with Darvish signing with the Rangers and taking over C.J. Wilson's role as Rangers ace. Negotiations are ongoing, and indications are that there's progress being made. They are about halfway through the 30-day negotiating window, but this may be one negotiation that doesn't go the limit.
"There's no reason to think this won't get done. There's no reason to think this has to go to the deadline, either,'' one high-ranking baseball person said.
The parameters were already set by Daisuke Matsuzaka, who signed with the Red Sox for $52-million over six years after Boston won the bidding for Dice-K with a bid of $51.111111 million. Figure Darvish will get a bit more than Dice-K's haul, as he is viewed as the better pitcher. Darvish, only 25, went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA for the Nippon Ham Fighters and led the Pacific League with 276 strikeouts. The Rangers won the auction for him with a similar $51.703,411 winning bid. (The 34 and 11 at the end were, cleverly, borrowed from the uniform numbers of Rangers president Nolan Ryan and Darvish, respectively.)
The Yankees were learned Tuesday to have bid $15 million for Darvish, while the bid of the Jays, seen as the main competitors for Darvish, still isn't known but said to have been well below Texas' winning bid.
Sources have suggested Darvish would seek at least $65 million for five years. So figure he'll get $10-to-13 million on a deal for five years or so.
Posted on: December 21, 2011 9:15 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 9:04 pm
The Texas Rangers routed the field in the bidding for Yu Darvish, as it turns out.
Indications are Texas' winning bid of $51.7 million was easily the highest bid. While stories have suggested that the Toronto Blue Jays bid was $50 million, meaning less than $2 million separated them and Texas, there is no evidence to support these claims.
There has been a lot of misinformation out there regarding the Darvish post (and especially as it relates to Toronto), and it's no surprise sice the posting process is secretive and the interest is extremely high. Toronto was abuzz over early erroneous reports that they won the bid.
The Blue Jays' exact bid isn't known, but word is that Texas easily won. The Yankees' bid is believed to have been somewehere in the range of $15-to-17 million but isn't exactly know, either. Reports suggested the Cubs also bid, and perhaps other teams did, too.
But no one bid like Texas.