The big rumor on the Yu Darvish front yesterday came courtesy of a Sports Illustrated report, which cited Japanese officials who told SI that the winning bid exceeded the $51 million secured by the Seibu Lions in 2006 for the rights to Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Given that the only piece of information that Darvish’s team does have is the number of the highest bid, it is plausible that this information is legit.
But who won the post?
There were reports this weekend that the Blue Jays had won the post with a “sky high” bid, but the reports acknowledged that the bids of other teams were not known. Most reports that actually offered a number pegged the Blue Jays’ bid at between $40 and $50 million, which conflicts with the suggestion that the bid was through the roof at the insistance of Jays’ ownership. It would also put the Jays’ bid short of the winning bid … if you believe that SI report. Other reports have the Rangers joining the Blue Jays as the only serious bidders (with the Yankees believing they lost, and either the Rangers or Blue Jays bidding “a ridiculous number”).
In short: if you believe any of these reports in whole, you’re doing so because you want to believe them. We simply do not have enough clear, reliable information to know anything for certain.
So where do the Cubs stand?
We still don’t have a great sense of just how much the Cubs bid, though a source indicated to me immediately after bidding closed that the Cubs felt good about their bid and “wouldn’t be surprised” if they won. But, if you listen to the national media on this one, the Cubs are a mere afterthought in the bidding process. Indeed, it sounds like everyone else “would be surprised” if the Cubs won – or if any team other than the Blue Jays or Rangers won, for that matter. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo adds to the doubt that the Cubs made a serious bid, saying the Cubs made a “very low bid and have no illusions of winning the post.”
Once again: if you believe anything in this matter, it’s because you want to believe it, and that includes my own report. There is simply too much conflicting information coming from fairly reliable sources to be convinced of anything.
For my part, I think the Cubs did bid. I think the Cubs probably put in a bid they felt was competitive. I think other teams did the same. And we’ll find out who won very soon. That’s as far as I can go.
Remember: Darvish’s team has until 5pm ET tomorrow (Tuesday) to accept the highest bid, which they are expected to do. Once his team accepts, then MLB can announce the winner. This could happen at any time between now and then. Don Nomura, Darvish’s agent, however, tweeted this morning that his team is expected to announce their decision tomorrow “late morning” Japan time, which would be late tonight.