The suspense is finally over, and we know that the rights to negotiate with Yu Darvish are the exclusive property of the Texas Rangers, at least for the next 30 days.
I'm too lazy to actually write a paragraph so here are some thoughts in handy bulleted list format.
- I'm a little surprised that Texas cracked the Daisuke Matsuzaka line with their $51.7m bid, but not surprised that they only surpassed it by a little. I always found the rationale that "Matsuzaka got $51m, Darvish is better, therefore... $60m for Darvish?" to be simple minded.
- I think Darvish will sign with the Rangers, but I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't.
- One perhaps underrated adjustment for Darvish to make (assuming he signs): the Rangers are two time zones away from the rest of their division. The entire country of Japan fits in one time zone.
- I wonder if the Fighters will sign a foreign starter to take Darvish's roster spot. Seibu forgettably signed Jason Johnson to replace Matsuzaka.
- Nippon Ham's risky pick of Tomoyuki Sugano, and subsequent failure to sign, in this year's draft looms a bit here. Having him around would have cushioned the blow of (probably) losing Darvish a bit.