Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Yu Darvish

After losing a pair of aces in the last two years, the Texas Rangers are going global to land a new one.

Winner of consecutive AL pennants, Texas also won the Yu Darvish sweepstakes Monday night with a record bid of $51.7 million. Now, the Rangers get 30 days to negotiate a contract with Darvish that would put Japan’s best pitcher at the top of their rotation.

“Obviously, it’s a very exciting night for our organization, our fans and our community,” general manager Jon Daniels said on a conference call.

Major League Baseball announced that the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League accepted the highest bid for Darvish. That sealed offer was submitted under the posting system by the Rangers.

“Our ownership went the extra mile on this one,” Daniels said, declining to reveal specifics.

A person familiar with the details said the winning bid by Texas was $51.7 million — more than the $51.1 million posting fee the Boston Red Sox paid for Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2006. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the figure was not made public.

Darvish is considered the best pitcher in the Japanese professional leagues and several of baseball’s biggest spenders were thought to be interested in him.

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