We can just hear it now: “Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!”
But before baseball gets to rain cheers down on Japanese phenom Yu Darvish, he is going to have to agree to terms with a Major League Baseball team—and he has 30 days to do so.
Major League Baseball announced Monday that the team with the winning bid to negotiate with the power-throwing right-hander is the Texas Rangers. ESPN reported that number to be $51.7 million, and that’s just so they can talk to the star pitcher.
Major League Baseball said in a statement: “The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League have informed Major League Baseball that they have accepted the highest bid for the negotiating rights to 25-year-old pitcher Yu Darvish…The highest bid in the posting process was submitted by the Texas Rangers.”
The team will have to pay Darvish, on top of the posting fee to his team in Japan, if they reach a deal.
The posting fee for Darvish reportedly surpassed what the Boston Red Sox dished out to have the right to speak with Daisuke Matsuzaka when he decided to leave Japan in 2006. That price was $51.1 million.
The Red Sox signed Matsuzaka to a six-year, $52 million contract.
“The Texas Rangers are pleased and excited to have acquired the rights to negotiate with Yu Darvish,” the team said in a statement. “Our organization has scouted Mr. Darvish for the last several years and has been very impressed with his abilities and accomplishments. We believe he would be a great addition to the Texas Rangers pitching staff.”
Although Darvish is considered to be one of the best talents to come out of Japan in years, many observers around baseball didn’t believe any team would post more than what the Red Sox offered to talk to Matsuzaka.
The Red Sox right-hander has battled through injuries during his career in the majors and appeared in only eight games last season. He has a 4.25 career ERA in five seasons with the Red Sox.