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As (sort of) expected, tonight the Nippon Ham Fighters accepted the high bid for the rights to negotiate a contract with their star pitcher, Yu Darvish, which bid belonged to the Texas Rangers. The bid was worth a reported $51.7 million, slightly higher than the $51.1 million that netted Daisuke Matsuzaka’s rights in 2006. The Rangers now have 30 days to sign Darvish to, you know, an actual contract. If they fail, Darvish goes back to Japan for 2012, and the Rangers get their money back.

I know many of you weren’t crazy about the Cubs spending upwards of $120 million in total for six years of Darvish, but it’s rare that you have the opportunity to acquire a 25-year-old could-be ace for nothing more than money. I hoped the Cubs would land him even when I thought the bid might reach $60 million. I am, therefore, bummed.

If the Cubs weren’t going to win the post – and I hope the Cubs’ bid amount leaks in the next few days – the Rangers certainly aren’t where I was hoping Darvish would land. With Darvish going to the Rangers, it seems highly unlikely that they’ll continue to pursue a starting pitcher like Matt Garza on the trade market.

For what it’s worth, the Blue Jays probably would have been the best winner for the Cubs. That would have left the Rangers, who’ve been connected to Garza, looking for a top-line starter. The Jays would not have been out of the market for another starting pitcher – they were a finalist, along with the Reds, for Matt Latos’ services this weekend. They were ready to acquire Latos, even knowing they’d made a huge bid on Yu Darvish. Further, if the Jays added a pitcher like Darvish, it’s conceivable the Yankees and Red Sox would feel pressured to similarly add to their respective staffs.

But, it wasn’t to be. I wonder how quickly the Jays will be on the horn to the Cubs (and A’s about Gio Gonzalez).

Hopefully activity will finally pick up now.

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    Sounds like we might as well keep Garza.

  • JulioZuleta

    I would rule out the Rangers still going after Garza. Remember, they lost Wilson, so really if they acquired both, they would only be adding 1 starter. Also, they have to keep pace with the could-be juggernaut Angels.

    • Rick Vaughn

      Not to mention the transition of Neftali Feliz into a starting pitcher.

      • Lou

        Yeah, I think we can forget the Garza to Rangers rumors.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          As I said – the Rangers are almost certainly out on Garza. No reason to keep pursuing now.

          • Lou

            Yep. Damn.

  • Ashley

    Could see the Blue Jays being possible players for Garza now!

  • http://www.twitter.com/mrrobbins MrRobbins

    Worst case scenario it seems. Bummer. I was with you about signing Yu and losing to the Rangers really hurts. Interested to see how this is all going to play out.

    The only good thing about the Rangers? It has to become less likely they can pay big bucks to Price… Big market teams for Price are quickly washing up. He/Boras can’t want him in Seattle and eat up his stats? I can’t see that happening.

    My half full Cubs-fandom coming out in full force…

  • oswego chris

    We now officially have a Yankees-West (Angels), Yankees-South(Marlins) Yankees-Southwest(Rangers)…why can’t we be the Yankees-Midwest?

  • Lou

    Well, my three team trade between the Tigers-Pads-Cubs seems a little bit more plausible since it’s known that the tigers covet Chase Headley.

  • Katie

    Well, shit. I was looking forward to something under the Cubs tree this week. Can we please get the Prince deal done now?

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      I bet if there really interested things should start moving a lot faster since they know they have the money for Prince that they were going to use for Darvish.

    • miggy80

      Katie, there will be plenty under the cubs tree this year, but just like all the corny movies it’s in the spirit of new blood and a new beginning

      • Katie

        True, Miggy! Cue the inspirational music and shit. I prefer “Eye of Tiger” personally.

        • CubFan Paul

          the Good News: Theo has $50plus million to buyout or trade Soriano

        • miggy80

          Katie, can I ask which part of DSM are you from?

  • Matt

    Seems that if we were actually in it to win it, we’d have bid $55 plus.

    It was just a hair over what Theo paid for the rights to Matsuzaka 5 years ago.

    I’m guessing we were never really in it. Or stupidly try to get a steal and bid $49.9

    • CubFan Paul

      agree 100%

  • miggy80

    Ace keep up the good work! It’s coming to the official start of winter and with all these bullets it has soften the blow of the off season. Here’s to keeping us warm with a “lukewarm stove” through the short days of winter and hope you can find time to rest for the up the upcoming season!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, miggy. I do what I can. It would be nice if there were some actual good news to share at some point.

      • Spencer

        are you getting pessimistic, brett?

      • miggy80

        But there isn’t any bad news to report, and your keeping me entertained. Which is getting harder to do as the firewall gets better at work, but I believe I’m getting a smart phone for Christmas! Then I will become useless;

  • Kyle

    I’m running out of combinations of offseason moves that are left on the table that can make this team a real threat to win the division in 2012 (barring something magical like every single player with upside on the roster suddenly becoming awesome simultaneously).

    • Lou Cub

      Kyle, the best combos are the ones that no one talk about…I never saw the Matt Latos to the Reds coming…did any of you guys?? It just sucks that the Rangers won the bid, especially since everyone had Toronto winning it. I kind of wonder if the BoSox won’t somehow get in the mix for Garza, their starting pitching sucked down the stretch and may be able to take Texas’s spot in a 3 way with San Diego..and what about KC?? Didn’t Brett post a few weeks ago that they were interested in Garza and they got the prospects too. I bet Marshall could get us some solid kids back for sure.

  • ferrets_bueller

    LOL@ sadcat.

  • Spencer

    So, Theo and co. said something about “building for the future” while still wanting to compete in 2012.  Can’t remember the quote precisely, but it was something to that effect.  At any rate, so far, the Cubs have done neither.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      I think your to hope full for 2012. Sure there not going to gut the team and get rid of all hope, but it’s better long term that they don’t go out and go all in to win in 2012 and then be crippled long term.

      Try not to be upset if they don’t get the big time FA like Fielder there will be other options in the future after the farm is reinforced. Remember they said they want to have assets to be able to go out and make a trade for that missing piece when the team is ready to compete.

      It’s going to take more than one off season to fix this organization. Be patient.

      • Kyle

        Acquiring good players this year doesn’t cripple the team the future.

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          Yeah but signing players to long over paid contracts that they can’t live up to does. Which is why I’m glad their not giving Prince the 8 year contract he wants. I’d be in favor of a 5 year deal with options because the team should be competitive within 5 years. I’m sure the team will have turned the farm over by then and we should be able to replace players or make trades to get who we want.

          • Lou

            3 years I’m ok with. You’re giving the Cubs up to 5 years…too long to wait. In five years, Theo’s contract will be up. Unfortunately, though, your statement about a 5 year deal may still not happen for Fielder. I even think if the Cubs targeted Votto in two years, he’ll want more than 5 years. That’s the problem–all players want long-term contracts if they’re really solid players. And you need some of them on your team. Remember Theo left Boston signing Crawford, Lackey and Gonzalez to long term deals and negotiating an extension with Beckett and he also signed Schilling to what was I’m sure somewhat of a big money deal at the time. Gotta remember where Theo came from. Not that I’m advocating the kind of contracts Hendry gave players.

    • Lou Cub

      It’s not Theo’s fault that Hendry ran this club into the dirt financially and talent wise..Give him some time..

  • Edgar

    What about the nationals I heard they were going for gio gonzalez maybe we should offer them garza

    • Lou

      They really don’t offer much in the SP department.

  • 2much2say

    Back to square 1. We are magically going to turn our prospects into Mlb players.
    This is not working. We are talking 3 4 years to turn things around and even then we will be no better then we are now. There is no certainty with prospects. Even if Darvish goes down Texas can succeed. We have no core besides Castro. He’ll be over the hill or signed by someone else in 3-5 yrs. White Sox here we come.

    • Lou

      Still have Cepedes out there though. Maybe not the SP we covet but if CF has power and above avg OBP….those guys are hard to find in CF.

  • Katie

    You know, I’m not all that upset we lost the bid. Japanese talent has not flourished here, for the most part. I’d rather take a known producer and go after them.

    • Lou Cub

      I’m with you Katie…I still have bad nightmares of Fukodummy and all his wasted potential here…I thought he was gonna shine…I’m sure that’s why Theo didn’t surpass the 51 million he posted for Dice K

  • SirCub

    Crappola, I wish the Cubs had got him, or if not, that he went for like, 75 million. My wishes are apparently falling on deaf ears.

  • Dougy D

    Well, its good to finally know. Hopefully that will ramp up some efforts to make something happen. I think that my fragile little mind has been warped with all of this tugging back and forth with Darvish and Fielder. I would like to see either a Fielder signing or big trade under the tree, and maybe a couple of Cubans in my stocking.

  • Brian Peters

    Let’s look at this realistically: no team is going to chase someone like Garza–who has but two years left on his contract. They’d rather go after wade Davis who has 4 years left on his contract. The Cubs need to take some risks and soon or this off-season will have been a HUGE waste.

    • Lou

      Huh? If that’s the case then why are the White Sox shopping Danks?

  • K.C.

    Now we can spend on Fielder, Cespedes, and Soler. Pick up Maholm. Make a trade for Headley without giving up Garza. Maybe Marmol (would probably have to be a 3 team trade).

  • Mike F

    I think the thing to watch is a deal which sends a couple of players and prospects to Boston, ant then stuff goes back to San Diego and the Cubs end up with Michael Bowden and Rizzo. Who knows all the names, but having traded for Stewart it’s unlikely they are still pursuing Headley. And Bowden’s name has come up several times before. Being short SP and long RP, I think it’s far more likely that Marshall, Marmol, maybe roster parts and prospects be sent for a guy like Bowden and maybe Rizzo than forcing a Garza deal. If Texas is willing to give Darvish 120 M added in posting fee, it tells you they were really never intent on Garza or Gonzalez, ultimately they were looking for someone to give them something for nothing.

    Millar during the winter meetings predicted the Cubs would trade Garza to the Jays for a 31 year old power hitting outfielder and a lesser know CF. I hope he was joking.

  • Mike

    Would it be stupid to keep garza and trade Cashner for? Maybe not straight up but Cashner and a mid-level prospect for Izzo!

  • Brian

    I never saw these coming…..

    3 Japanese pitchers in TEXAS Ragers
    2 Texas teams in the same division
    Darvish facing Ichiro all the time

    BTW, Does Rangers have all these money for real?
    Can they afford to sign Napoli & Hamilton after next season?
    Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, Michael Young, all becoming FA after 2013…
    I think they just went all in to compete with AA and they will be facing serious financial trouble over next few years. Maybe we should save some money for Texas Ranger’s Black Friday.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      I thin we have a new troll in the neighborhood.

      • Brian

        Troll? Because I am off the topic? Or because I am Asian who doesn’t speak English?
        Or you know everything and I know nothing? I don’t get it.
        I am sorry, if you are having hard time understand me. I don’t even know what exatly troll means. But I don’t like to be called troll. What did Ido wrong? Is it someting to do with another Brian’s Post few minutes ago? That wasn’t me. Please tell me what to do to void being called “Troll”. I really mean it.

        • Brian Peters

          Hey, I’m no more of a troll than anyone else! LOL! Now that’s saying something!

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          First I want to start out by saying nothing in my comment had one thing to do with your race, don’t even associate my name with racism because I am as far away from racist as it gets.

          “I think they just went all in to compete with AA and they will be facing serious financial trouble over next few years.” Texas has more money than you think. The troll comment was in reply to this and another comment you made on a different topic that was pretty “troll-ish”.

          And I’ll admit the troll tag gets handed out a little too easy because there seems to be quite a few noobs around here …well being trolls.

           

      • TWC

        Whaaa? You kidding? Brian my be a BNV, but he’s completely legit. He posted some great info on Darvish over on the message board. You’re out of line on that one.

        • MichiganGoat

          Absolutely agreed, keep posting Brian your input is welcomed here.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            What they said.

  • Lou Cub

    Millar is a funny guy, but his musings aren’t much better than Mitch Williams opinions…Phil Rogers just tweeted something about the Cubs and Jays hooking up..I guess that puts the kiss of death on that potential deal, Phil Rogers has ZERO cred with me, his rumblings dor a baseball writer are awful.

  • Jspencer

    Everyone keeps talking about dumping Soriano by paying 40 million or so of what he’s owed. So you would rather save a little under 5 million a year for three years instead of having a hitter in the 6-hole putting up 25 HRs and 75 RBI? I get he’s not worth 18 million per year, but it doesn’t make sense to trade him for nothing unless you’re saving 8-10 million a year.

    • Lou Cub

      @Jspencer, Soriano needs to be removed from this organization…He represents what went wrong with the Cubs, overpaid, under hustled, under performed just a poor funadmentally , who cares about the 25 homers when he fu@ks up everything else.. We need complete players not quick fixes.Addition by subtraction

  • 2much2say

    We need a core to build around. Castro, then what? Rookies? Trading Garza isn’t the answer. no 1st no 2nd no 3rd no CF no LF. No Ace No #2
    The Number 1 pick the next 3 years though. That’s something, I guess.
    The answers: Fielder, a #5 (Beltran) a #3 (Cespedes) 6? RF 7? 2nd 8 Soto

    • Lou Cub

      @2 much..we’ve got 3 future everyday players really close in Brett jackson and Matt Sczur and Josh Vitters,and i’m not down on Vitters like a lot of other people are, the guy has amazing bat speed and doesn’t K…Maybe Sveum, who preaches patience can help him to lay off crap and take more walks and wait for his pitch..OI could see the guy hitting 300 with 20-25 homers, 35-40 doubles and playing LF with Sczur in CF and B Jacks in RF…Castro @ SS and Castillo or Clevinger behind the plate..We still need a young 1b, 2b and an overhauled rotation assuming that Stewart can be the answer @ 3rd.

      • 2much2say

        An outfield of Rookies sounds like A’s/SD model. You can always find good FA outfielders and 2nd baseman 1st SS 3rd hard to find youth there.

        • Lou Cub

          It’s the perfect time to go young in the outfield and at every position..In 2 years it could be a very solid outfield offensively and defensively especially in CF and RF

  • 2much2say

    After the haul SD got no GM in his right mind will trade for a stud pitcher again.
    Why not lock up Garza 5 yrs 75 mil now. Work the hell out our pitching prospects.
    Just rotate them in until 1 or 2 sticks. Sign every free agent that fills a hole.
    Castro Dejesus Cespedes Fielder Beltran Stewart Beckham Soto

    • Lou Cub

      This thing has to be built the right way, no more quick fixes..Thourough and complete

    • John

      that team wins 80 games next year and maybe 85 the year after if Cespedes works out. We are better off rebuilding the right way, what does it matter if we win 70 or 80? neither will win the division.

  • Jannenga

    Letter to Ricketts:

    Please Fire Epstien and Company already and sell the Team to mark Cuban………..You suck as an owner…………Any owner who will pay 20 mil for a Mc Donalds before he spends money on a Big name Free Agent is no friend of the cubs and needs to go and epstien should be fired for not hiring Sandberg as manager……….

    It’s looking more and more like the Cubs will never win a Series in our Life times………It’s a Sad Fact but one every Cubs fan has to face………..If you think a Winning Championship team looks like this:

    1.SS. Castro
    2.2b.Hudson
    3.1b.Rizzo
    4.3b.Vitters
    5.LF.Soriano
    6.CF Bryd
    7.C.Soto
    8.RF Dejesus
    9.Pitcher

    ya if you think this above looks like a wineer you need to contact me asap and let me know what you are smoking and don’t act like these parts are really going to change when there is not one Big name Free Agent coming up in 2012 or 13 offseason that will help………The facts are Theo is gambling with the cubs and us Cubs Fans deserve better and don’t preach to me that Theo deserves time…The Angels GM was hired after Theo and made a Huge Move………..Theo has had time and more money then the Angels..he is screwing up…………It looks like to me that we were all sold a lie and Henry was the genious behind the SOX……

    • John

      Overreact much?

      • Jannenga

        I know I am just over reacting it’s only been over 100 years and all the millions of cubs fans that Epstien and company owe us a Championship………but your right they should just run the team into the ground with lies and people like you should still show up and make them rich and live in denile and never should get upset after all these years……..You are right I guess i am just over reacting……..I think you don’t care enough and thats the problem most of ya don’t and thats why you go to wrigley to get drunk and not make the Cubs accountable……..Epstien could have already signed Fielder if he was dedicated to the cubs……….the fact is Big name FA get what they want or a team loses out and thats what is happening……..

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          I had no idea that Theo and Jed were responsible for the past 100 years. Hmm learn something new everyday.

    • seancarr1983

      I thought we acquired Ian Stewart to play 3rd in the Tyler Colvin deal. Vitters can’t be the better option…can he?

      • Lou Cub

        Vitters d doesn’t cut it at 3rd…LF could probably be an option…The guy can hit, he has to be more patient..It’s not that he doesn’t hit bad pitches, he just doesn’t maximze his at bats and his average suffers for his lack of patience

    • dude

      Go jump off a cliff already. No one here needs your childish overreactions.

    • MichiganGoat

      Ignore

  • Timmy

    Epstein’s slow to the gun approach is leading to an early profile of a lot of missed opportunities! Then again Maddux didn’t sign until February when we got him back so a lot can happen in the next few months. So far his track record in Chicago has been limited to buying a nice condo downtown, though!

    • Lou Cub

      Sandberg was aquired in January, late January 1982…Ron Cey was aquired in late Jan 83, Sosa was aquired in early March 92, Maddux was signed in Feb 04…Clement and Alfonsucka were aquired in Feb 2002′ deals happen all year around..I expect the trigger to be pulled repeatedly in the next few months be patient…sometimes being over anxious can lead you into bigger mistakes..We can’t afford any more big mistakes after Hendry shit the bed over the last 4 seasons

  • 2much2say

    Wrecking Ball here we come. You have to have something someone wants in order to build from scratch. Waiting for the draft every year will not work. Buy what you can and trade who you can and cross your fingers.

  • Jannenga

    Slow to the Gun..thats the most minor statement of the offseason……….Epstien has made monumental mistakes already this off season. and he continues to……….The Condo shows he is selfish and only think about himself….instead of spending time on himself he owe us cubs fans a winning Team next year………..but he has done nothing………..Now he is gonna trade garza and then act like he is doing it for us……….what an a$$hole

    • JulioZuleta

      I could have never guessed a comment that was this misinformed and off would be riddled with the infamous ellipses.

    • dude

      How dare Epstein purchase a home for his wife and child to live in! How dare he consider trading assets to restock a nonexistent farm system! How dare he not wildly throw money at available players in hopes of duct taping together a team that could maybe win 85 games for the sake of hamstringing the organization for the next decade! They owe us more! They owe us EVERYTHING!!! …go fuck yourself.

      You’re either the greatest troll of all time or a really pathetic Cubs fan… I cant tell.

    • farmerjon

      Jannenga, the only thing your idiocy is missing is a slight tap on the caps lock button…frankly, I think that what’s wrong with the cubs nation is fans like you. try the muskat blog, you seem in tune with the conversation that takes place over there.

      • polocubs

        in my opinion…whats wrong with the cub nation at the moment is the cruelty that is taking place here…i thought this was a place for cub fans to to openly discuss and debate their opinions…ultimately we all want to end up in the same place…the only differences we may have is the road to take in which to get there

        • farmerjon

          Polo, you’re a little misguided on your definition of cruelty. Up until recently this has been great spot for (mostly) intelligent conversation. My hope is that more fans take a 3-D view as to what’s taking place and don’t head straight for all of the doom and gloom speak. Spending 300 million this off season is NOT the answer. Have a plan, stay the course, and work harder than everyone else, that’s how we’ll get there. Maybe you and jannenga could start “firetheoepsteinbecauseeverythinginthewholecubsworldisallhisfault.com” c’mon relax

        • http://cubbiekingdom.wordpress.com hansman1982

          Polo, we certaintly don’t mind discussion, debate, disagreement, any other d words you can find.  What we don’t appreciate in these parts is people coming in here and immediately throwing around “arguments” like “Epstien and company owe us a Championship” or “Epstien could have already signed Fielder if he was dedicated to the cubs” or “Any owner who will pay 20 mil for a Mc Donalds before he spends money on a Big name Free Agent is no friend of the cubs and needs to go and epstien should be fired for not hiring Sandberg as manager” and my personal favorite: “Please Fire Epstien and Company already and sell the Team to mark Cuban”

          This is not intelligent debate.  This is trolling at best and just someone who needs to do more homework on the Cubs situation before they go off on rants.  I just joined Bleacher Nation in August and I feel very welcomed here, and I certaintly don’t agree with everyone else on here but I do make every effort to have an informed, rational response to what is happening in the Cubs world.  While it is frustrating that the Cubs haven’t signed a big name free agent, this is not a team that is just a Prince Fielder away from contention.

          • polocubs

            hansman…i have never been on the “fire epstein train”…and i dont have any illusions about where the cubs stand as an organization…all i was saying is, i dont believe it is necessary to being throwing around the f-you’s and the a-holes the way some people are…you all are jumping on the wrong person here…i mostly read here just to gain an education…i think everyone is entitled to their opinion…but a few people could be a bit more civilized about it

            i am not a troll…in fact im not even sure what that is…and i am not one who really posts my opinion on where the cubs should be going and how they should get there…i dont have the credentials for that…i have probably been following the cubs longer than most you have been alive…i found bleacher nation a few months ago and i now read daily so i can finally be a more informed fan rather than a blind follower

            so thank you for the education…a little more respect in a disrespectful world could go a long ways

          • farmerjon

            Please and thank you

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