Thanks for all of the kind words about the daughter’s tubes surgery this morning. As expected, all went well, and within an hour she was ready to get up and go crazy, like usual. There’s nothing quite like a trip to a children’s hospital for a minor procedure to remind you of how fortunate you are.

Well, that took an unintentionally somber turn. Hey, how about Yu Darvish?

  • In case you weren’t following the Darvish craziness last night in the comments here and on Twitter, let me give you the 60 second version: the Cubs, Rangers, Blue Jays, and Yankees – probably among other teams (like the Mariners) – bid on Darvish. No one yet knows for sure how much each team bid, but speculation has the first three bidding high, and the Yankees making only a “modest” bid. A Cubs source couldn’t share the team’s bid, but did say, “I wouldn’t be surprised if we won.” Yahoo’s Jeff Passan says at least one executive has heard that the Cubs won, but many, many other sources say they’ve heard the Jays or Rangers or even Mariners won. Darvish’s team has until 5pm ET on Tuesday to accept the high bid – which is reportedly “sky high” – but MLB could announce the winner as early as this morning. If there’s no official announcement, I’d expect leaks about the bid amounts slipping out over the next few days.
  • Two former Cubs – Bobby Scales and Micah Hoffpauir – are teammates of Darvish’s, and call him “a good dude.” Both have generally positive things to say about him (though, what would you expect?), and Hoffpauir believes Darvish could immediately be a great pitcher in MLB.
  • Carlos Zambrano finally returned to the mound in Venezuela last night after missing a few weeks with a jacked-up face. He threw four hitless innings, walking one and striking out one.
  • TCR relays an anecdote from a recent Kerry Wood radio appearance, during which Kerry said his top thrill as a Cub was his game-tying homer in Game 7 of the 2003 NLCS, not the 20K game. I can certainly understand the choice, but, for me, it would be hard for that memory not to be tainted by the ultimate – and, my memory tells me, inevitable – loss.
  • Barry Rozner writes a column mocking Cubs fans who believe the sky is falling after losing Aramis Ramirez. The problem? I don’t know any Cubs fans who are actually reacting like that. Ramirez has been gone from Cubs fans’ minds as a player on the team since October. It always makes for easy writing when you’re shredding imaginary people for their ridiculous beliefs. “Some Astros fans think the team is spending far too much money this offseason on top tier free agents. Let me tell you why they’re wrong….”
  • Speaking of Ramirez, the Brewers unveiled their offseason addition yesterday, and Ramirez said he knows he can’t replace Prince Fielder (and Ryan Braun for a possible 50 games), but he’ll try. Ramirez said it will be an adjustment in Milwaukee after playing most of his career in Chicago, but noted he’ll appreciate the availability of a roof when it’s cold in April.
  • One Hall of Fame voter is withholding a vote for Jeff Bagwell for a couple more years because (a) Bagwell played in the steroid era, (b) Bagwell got big and muscular, and (c) evidence of Bagwell juicing might come out at some point and the voter doesn’t want to have voted for a juicer. I’m as disappointed with the steroid era and what it did to “the numbers” as anyone, and you can’t know for certain that a guy didn’t juice, but that’s some seriously twisted logic right there.
  • Blinda

    From my bud who works for says he has heard Cubs just over 40. Rangers and Jays around 45

    • Brett

      That would suuuuuuck.

  • cdc

    based on that comment Brett…i’m guessing you were hoping for the double jackpot of Yu and Prince? i was getting a little excited about Darvish…i hope we win the bid. I really think that once albert left and prince left that theo and jed had to seriously consider making things happen sooner than later. and if they did that would have zero impact on their baseline of build from bottom up with organization. i mean that’s a philosophy and can be accomplished regardless of whether or not they sign a couple big name free agents.

    what do you suspect the plan is at the moment?

    • Brett

      I think the plan was to go hard after Darvish, possibly Cespedes as well (Soler, too, but he’s more of a prospect, at 19), and see how the Fielder market shakes out. All other moves I’d think would be minor and/or sell-off type moves, depending on how the rest of the plan plays out. I think the CBA really mucked things up.

  • cdc

    what’s your gut tell you on Darvish right now?

    • Brett

      Moderately negative. But that’s based on little more than “buzz.”

  • Brian

    I have been browsing most of baseball related websites in Japan for last few hours and learned following…

    1. Nippon Ham Fighters representative had a news conference and said that “it is not the time yet (to talk about it)” and he also mentioned that it is up to Darvish now.

    2. Father of Darvish talked to the media he doesn’t want bid over 40MM and if it goes over that it will be very difficult for Darvish  to go to MLB this time.

    3. Nippon Ham Fighters will accept posting fee as long as it is north of 20MM. But team cannot make the decision without Darvish’s agreement.

    4. Most of Japanese media is repeating pretty much what we been talking about for last few hours.

    5. His nick name is “Dar” and even media calls him Dar (It sounds more like Da-Ru)

  • Mike F

    Latest consensus which fits some of that has said here is that the 3 most interested team were Cubs, Toronto and Rangers. There was a bid considerably north of 50 M, which could be 53-55 M. The numbers are whispers unsubstantiated from Heyman, but it seems well known the Rangers are known apparently not the winning bid and under 50 Million. Apparently no one has any idea what Theo bid, only that he was really interested.

    And here’s the worst of it, most recently in the last several hours, MLB Traderumors says Nippon will accept the bid but won’t do so until just before the expiration of the deadline.

  • Spriggs

    I have to believe that Darvish has been dreaming about playing ball and living in the United States.  So it will be kind of ironic if the Blue Jays are the high bidders.

    • Toosh

      He could still live in the U.S. and he’d be playing more than half his games here.

  • Spriggs

    True.  That’s why I said “kind of ironic” rather than something like incredibly ironic.

  • ferrets_bueller

    Call me crazy, but I’m actually kinda hoping that the Cubs win the bid and sign him.  I don’t really know why, as i was opposed to the signing completely up until yesterday, and even then was only 50/50…Maybe I’ve just seen his stats enough that they’ve swayed me, or I want the Cubs to just take a shot in the dark at an ace since there aren’t/weren’t any available.  Or….irrational exuberance. Or…I just haven’t slept enough in the last 48 hours. Either way…I hope they win, i guess.  Strange.