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Let the bidding begin.

25-year-old Japanese ace Yu Darvish will be posted by his team later today, which will allow MLB teams to bid on the exclusive right to sign him. Teams interested will submit bids to Darvish’s team, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, over the next four days. The bids are blind, which means no team knows what the other teams are bidding (the point, of course, is to get MLB teams to absolutely blow their wad on a huge bid). After the bids are in, Hokkaido will have another four days to decide whether to accept or reject the highest bid (they’ll accept). After the bid is accepted, the winning MLB team will have 30 days to sign Darvish.

Darvish has been discussed here previously, but the short of it is this: he’s as good as it gets in Japan, is young, has great stuff, and has thrown a ton of innings. In 2011, Darvish had a 1.44 ERA in 232 innings, striking out 276. Again, as far as Japanese baseball goes, he’s as good as it gets.

The Cubs have long been expected to be serious bidders for Darvish, but they’ll have ample competition from the Yankees, Rangers, and Blue Jays, among others. The posting fee could exceed the $51 million it cost to negotiate with Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka five years ago.

It will probably be an exciting four days as rumors flow in and out about who bid, how much they bid, who’s going to win, etc.

  • Oswego Chris

    Ahh…..enjoy that 13 million dollar a year set-up man you have there in KRod Brewers….

    • hansman1982

      So much for the Brewers owners meeting with Fielder.  I saw on Twitter that someone suggested they could trade him if he goes to Arb – GOOD LUCK!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yup. That’s worth a good laugh. They could still cut him for a couple million, or could try and trade him.

  • hansman1982

    If you think the bidding will go higher then the contract will most likely be higher.  This puts his total cost somewhere around the 6 year $135-140M range or about $23M a year and that is assuming the Marlins don’t go in on him which would drive him into the $3-400M range.

    If he can have a career like Nomo (who also came over as a young man), then the best would could hope would be 2 great years followed by a lot of meh.

    I think I will pass.  Yes he has been great in Japan, yes he is young but that is just too much money.  If we were a pitcher away from contending then sure, but not with where we are now.

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    Everytime I hear Ham Fighters (I know it’s the city’s name) I think about what the jersey would look like and chuckle.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I want to own that jersey.

    • Fishin Phil

      • hansman1982

        I was imagining two guys dressed in their best 1890s business outfits, top hats, monocles and white gloves slapping each other in the face with slices of ham

        • Dougy D

          I demand satisfaction!

  • baseballet

    Question regarding what happens after a team wins the blind bid: What if the team isn’t able to sign Darvish during the 30 day signing period (e.g. Darvish wants too much money; or he doesn’t want to play for the team that won the bid)? Does the MLB team get their blind bid money back if Darvish refuses to sign?

    • Kyle

      You don’t have to pay the posting fee until you actually sign the player. If you can’t come to an agreement in the 30 days, your obligation to pay the posting fee is wiped out. You pay nothing.

      • JAndersonjr81

        Well, we should bid 100 mil, then choose not to sign him, just so nobody else gets him.

      • hansman1982

        Are you sure?  I thought during the Fukudome sweeps that the money we paid to talk to him was gone the moment they agreed never to return.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yup. You get your cash back.

  • Kyle

    Yes, yes, yes, please.

    26, big, strong, ace-quality stuff.

    Matsuzaka came over here and put up two quality seasons before getting hurt. Matsuzaka is much smaller than Darvish and was a noticeably worse pitcher in the Japanese leagues. He also was a bigger injury risk due to his reliance on breaking stuff and a smaller frame.

    It Matsuzaka was able to come over here and be a 3.5 WAR pitcher before he got hurt, then I’d expect Darvish to be in the 5-WAR pitcher range. And I’d pay him accordingly.

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