The last thing I want to do is relive the frustratingly uncertain days leading up to the announcement of the winner of the Yu Darvish posting. The rumors, perhaps more than any time in recent memory, were profoundly flawed, yet stated with such certainty, that every pundit knew two things to be true: the Blue Jays would win, and the bid would be perversely high.

And then the Rangers won with a bid just a hair over the winning bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka. So much for the rumors.

Still, as much as I don’t want to relive that time – the Rangers won, the Cubs didn’t, the end – I remain very curious to know just how adequately the Cubs, and other teams, bid.

We don’t yet have the exact number for any other team, but we can do some surmising, based on Jon Heyman’s latest report. Heyman says that no team was even remotely close to the Rangers’ $51.7 million bid, including the Blue Jays, and notes that the Yankees’ bid was in the $15 to $17 million range.

If that’s true, it’s now easy to see why there were simultaneous reports that the Cubs believed they had a shot to win (from me) and that their bid was not very high (from Boston media). If every other team was bidding in the teens of millions, perhaps the Cubs’ bid would have been competitive, but for the Rangers’ bid.

Maybe the Cubs bid $20 million, and had gathered intelligence that the other bids would be quite low (why, I can’t say – fears that Darvish wouldn’t sign if the post bid was too high?). That could explain why they thought they had a chance to win, and why reports said the bid was very low, relative to the ultimate winning bid. Keep in mind, teams who lost probably have a little incentive to downplay their bids now (“Pfft, those stupid Rangers spent $51.7 million just to talk to Darvish! We bid, but we were only going to pay $15 million. They’re stupid. We’re smart.”).

I think we’ll probably find out at some point what the Cubs’ bid was, or at least what range it was in. For now, it sounds like the Cubs’ bid was clustered together with most of the other bids, with the Rangers blowing everyone else out of the water.

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    Hmm with all the bids so low, do you think that future posting bids will also be lower because teams may start thinking they don’t have to pay 50+mil to win a bid?

    • Brett

      Possibly. Of course, it only takes one team bidding super high – which they’ll probably continue to do for superstar talents like Darvish (of which there are few).

      • Kansas Cubs Fan

        Yeah, but didn’t the Red Sox “Reportedly” bid 15-20mil higher than the next team? And now the Rangers “Reportedly” bid significantly higher than the next team.

        I guess either teams could start thinking they don’t need to over bid, or they need to start bidding higher. Who knows?

        • Brett

          That’s what I’m saying – it could go either way.

        • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

          I don’t think there’s any accountability to teams saying what they bid. What does AA have to gain if he says he got outbid by 1M? What does he have to gain if he says no one else was close to TX? I’d bet that AA was close to the TX bid, but I’d make that bet because I can’t lose, because we can’t know.

  • DRock

    Off subject, but can someone please let me know how to add a pic to my profile?  Thanks.

    • Brett

      We use gravatar here, so just go to, set up an account, and make sure you use the same email address there as you use here. Then, your picture will pop up anywhere you comment with that email address all over the Web. It’s quite handy.

      • Brian in San Diego

        Do you have any plan on adding an FAQ section in near future? You didn’t need it until now. But the community is growing rapidly.

  • DRock

    Thanks, Brett!  I know you’ve had to explain it a million times, and I’m sorry to have to make you do it again.  Appreciate your help.


    • Brett

      Never a problem.

      • LJ


        This is off topic as well. I have been reading that Austin Bibens-Dirkx has looked pretty good in winter ball, yet he is a Cubs prospect that is almost never mentioned. Can you tell me what his ceiling is and how long until he might make an appearance at Wrigley?


        • Cedlandrum

          Not Brett, but I have seen Bibens-Dirkx a bunch. He is extremely hittable. I think his ceiling is AAA pitcher. He doesn’t have a plus pitch. He has decent control but he doesn’t honestly to me look like a major league pitcher except for in an emergency.

          • LJ

            Ok, It is easy to see why we never hear about him. Thanks

  • Spencer

    So, in short, no one knows.

    • Brett

      Correct. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  • baseballet

    When you combine the winning bid with the salary he’s expected to command, how much will Texas be paying him annually? Are we talking CC Sabathia / Cliff Lee money? If so that’s crazy and I’m glad the Cubs didn’t shell out MVP salary to someone who’s never played MLB.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      I’ve heard a total number of around 110mil. By the way Darvish doesn’t get the posting bid, his old team does. But still crazy money.

    • Scotti

      When acquiring a Japanese player through the posting process it helps to remember that what you give up (cash) is similar to what you give up in trade for other talents (prospects/MLB players). So, when the Red Sox gave up a boatload of talented prospects for Adrian Gonzalez and then gave him $154.3 million through age 36, fans never really talk about the cost to get him in the first place (not just Casey Kelly, Reymond Fuentes and Anthony Rizzo–but all of the crap the Red Sox had to scout, sign and TRY to develop to get those guys who represent the cream of the crop). So, not only did the Sox pay millions to scout, draft, sign and develop those three players but there were dozens and dozens of players who didn’t pan out who still got paid (and cost to scout, draft, sign and develop). My guess, given the yearly Sox budget, is that those three top end prospects cost upwards of $20 million to develop (when failures are factored in).

      The cost in savings that they could represent could be astronomically higher. If only one of those three become a really good player then the cost of replacement (what it would take to replace a Dustin Pedroia, for example) on just that one alone could dwarf the Yu Darvish posting by itself. Paying for a really good player with similar values would cost a mint.

      If the Rangers sign Darvish into his 32nd year for, say, $60 million plus the posting fee then that is a comparative bargain. They give up no draft compensation, they risk no age related injuries, they keep their farm system intact, they don’t have to replace the low wage years of top prospects who may become stars and the overall cost to get a very talented player in his prime is know at $110 (18.333 per).

      In terms of Darvish’s lack of MLB experience I really don’t have much concern. He’s dominated Japan for years. He’s been scouted for years. Dice-K was not as good as Darvish and yet he was worth every penny until his injury (which can happen to any pitcher). Because of his lack of experience Darvish won’t be paid AGone/Sabbathia money. That is as it should be. But he also brings youth to the table and his costs are 100% limited to known money. My guess is that Theo would have jumped on Darvish if the Cubs money wasn’t tied up in the purchase of the team.

  • Edwin

    I think we’ve been thinking about this whole Theo Epstein thing all wrong. What if, instead of coming to the Cubs to try and win a world series, Theo actually came to make sure that the Cubs never win a world series?

    Think about it. Theo is the Curse-Breaker. He alone is at the top of Baseball GM Mountain. The only accomplishment that could possibly throw him off of that mountain would be that somehow, an even greater curse is broken. The Cubs are that Curse. Much like Laius trying to keep his son from one day murdering him, Theo is trying to destory the Cubs, to forever cement his place in history. Look upon his works ye mighty and despair!

    It starts with a few “Rebuilding” moves. Valuable pieces are shipped off to other teams, traded for “prospects” and “players to be named later” and “money”. Valuable Herculean first basemen go unsigned, deemed “too costly/horizontally challenged” to consider for the rebuild. From there, it only gets worse. We can only assume that Chairman Rickets is under some type of imperio curse, and is now working for Theo. With his powerful gang of Death Eaters like Hoyer, there will be nothing to stand in Theo’s quest for eternal GM life. Already he has managed to put changes in place to the CBA to ensure that the Cubs will never follow the Red Sox vuutshteps. As ticket prices rise, talent levels will fall, along with team payroll, putting the team into an uncontrollable death spiral.

    Obviously, the only way to save this franchise is for the players to get a risque photo of Theo, divided into 95 patches. Every time the team wins, a patch is pulled off the photo, revealing the picture underneath. Alternately, the team could do the same thing with a Jim Hendry photo, except instead of starting with all the patches on, you start with them off. After a win, a patch is quickly added back on to cover it up. I hear Koyie Hill has good source material.

    I mean, hasn’t anyone else considered this?

    • Mike

      Are you talking?

      • Brett


      • MichiganGoat

        It never ends, it never ends, it never ends… It just get more and more ridiculous.

        • Brett

          If you can’t tell Edwin was joking, I just don’t know what to do for you.

          • MichiganGoat

            It a problem with all the negativity over the last few weeks, my humor-dar is on the fritz.

            • Kansas Cubs Fan

              I’m right there with you, I’ve been fooled a few times here lately.

              Stay classy San Diego!

          • Fishin Phil

            MG’s sarcasm detector may be on the fritz due to sensory overload.  It’s a tough time of year for goats.

    • DRock

      It’s all very possible, Edwin because so far, Theo hasn’t done anything to put us in a better position to win in 2012.  Maybe he will prove us wrong by spring training, but until then, the conspiracy you just laid out could very well be true…loved the Major League reference btw.

  • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

    I’ll be watching to see if there are signability issues the other teams knew about. If Darvish has a set amount he believes he is worth, he may price himself out of TX’s budget, what with them already having committed 50 M.

  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    What are the odds the darvish refuses to sign so that he can be a free agent next year where he could get stupid money.

    • Brett

      He’s not a free agent until after 2014, according to NPB Tracker.

  • CubSouth

    The Omnipresent Mystery Team, he made himself available early so that the Nippon Ham Fighters would receive money for him to come play in the U.S. They wouldn’t have if he left when the international draft starts, so I’m pretty sure he is willing to sign. Also Brett, I watched MOB Network when Heyman said what the other teams bid for Darvish, he said that no one elsewhere bid was even close to that of the Rangers, what was funny was that he said he didn’t know what the Cubs bid was. How does he know everyone else bid way lower yet not know the Cubs bid, we could have been second and close for all Heyman knows.

  • CubSouth

    MLB Network*