Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rangers Win Yu Darvish Sweepstakes

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With all the talk this week of the Toronto Blue Jays offering up a whopping $40 million to $50 million to bid for the rights to Yu Darvish, it was the Texas Rangers who utilized the stealth tactic to walk away the winner. According to a report by T.R. Sullivan who covers the Rangers for MLB.com, the team posted a crazy $51.7 million fee to negotiate with Darvish's team in Japan. The Rangers have until 4 pm CT on January 18 to make a deal, otherwise, Darvish remains with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and the Rangers keep their money.

So are the Yankees losers? My opinion is a loud, resounding NO!! Darvish is a star in his own right, but unproven in the MLB. Besides, the price tag set by Toronto was absolutely ridiculous; you had to figure that the Yankees were out of this at that point. the Yankees are said to have placed a bid in the range of $20-$25 million which is still a lot considering the $75 million, 5-year contract Darvish is said to be looking for.

It had been rumored weeks ago that the Rangers were seriously looking at Darvish and that this might have come down to them and the Yankees going head-to-head as they did last year for Cliff Lee. But Toronto quashed all that hype last week and was assumed the front-runner. With no other teams seeming to want to go near what the Blue Jays offered, it was easy for Texas to swoop in and win the bid.

So with Darvish off the Yankees Christmas list, what's next? There are still some good starting pitchers available; Edwin Jackson and Gio Gonzalez rank high on my personal faves list, but only if the Yankees can acquire them without giving up too much. The Oakland A's want Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances for Gonzalez; Edwin Jackson's free agent price tag seems to be turning the Yankees away. Hiroki Kuroda is high on the Yankees' radar, but is seeking a 1-year deal similar to what he earned last year which was $12 million. That's a lot of money that the Yankees may not be willing to pay.

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper

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