1. The Texas Rangers won the bidding process for the rights to negotiate a contract with Yu Darvish, potentially sending $52 million to the Nippon Ham fighters, originally broken by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
2. The internet whet crazy. Here's a selection of some of the better reactions, and reactions to those reactions:
Massive Darvish bid worth the risk for Rangers - Jeff Passan
Know this: If the Rangers and Darvish do arrive at a mutually acceptable contract – sources speculate it will take $75 million-plus, which would put the total haul for Darvish higher than what Philadelphia paid Cliff Lee last year – he is not going to arrive with a gut and double chin like Daisuke did after the Boston Red Sox plunked down $103.1 million only to see him slog through games before blowing out his elbow.
Passan's point should not go unnoticed -- Darvish is not Daisuke. However, do note the wariness that the Yankees and Red Sox may have had in pursuing Darvish was probably more about investment strategy rather than investment risk. With the working capital that each team has, why risk it?
Yuesday Morning Rangers Update - Lone Star Ball
Since that dark day when our homegrown C.J. Wilson signed with the rival team, and took the best hitter we might have personally witnessed in Albert Pujols with him, the talk from every pundit, local or otherwise, was about how the Rangers perhaps didn't have the funds to strike back. A true warning shot from Anaheim would just have to be suffered as it appeared suddenly too expensive to muster a riposte.
LSB has a fantastic collection of reaction links and is actually a bit overwhelming. The notable piece of this story from Rangers fans is interesting, though: Texas knows how to run a smokescreen.
Texas Rangers' bid wins rights to Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish - MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN
A week ago, the Rangers were making trade offers for starting pitchers such as Cubs righty Matt Garza, Athletics lefty Gio Gonzalez and Rays righty Wade Davis. If one of those offers had been accepted, they might have taken a different approach with Darvish, according to a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking. As it happened, ownership made an exception in approving the bid for Darvish. Those financial issues that I wrote about last week — the ones that I reported might steer the Rangers away from the Darvish bidding — were legitimate, sources say. But clearly, something changed.
As noted by LSB, perhaps nothing changed at all? Perhaps Texas was after him all along? We've known for some time that the Rangers' new TV deal has the club looking at long term dominance, no longer forced to sit at the little table.
Twitter / @d_a_cameron: If Darvish gets 5/75, Rang ...
If Darvish gets 5/75, Rangers would need ~23 WAR through '16 to justify $125M payout. 9 SPs have done that in last 5 years. #NoPressure
Let me translate: Darvish needs to be in the top 6% of all starting pitchers -- on the field -- to make a total cost of $125M ($52M posting, $73M contract) worth it. Read: he won't. That doesn't mean he won't be good, or he won't bring some intangible asset to the team, like increased international interest or the splash of seriousness that the Marlins were trying to do earlier this off-season.
Missing Yu - Bluebird Banter
Anyway, I'm sad that we didn't get Yu, but I'm still a Jays fan. I don't think it changes the way Alex will do business. He has a process he uses and he'll stick to it. I liked the way Alex was doing things 2 weeks ago, and I still like him now. I think he'll be back trying to improve the team tomorrow. He's made a ton of moves in the last year and I'm sure he will make a bunch more before the start of spring.
I've said this on twitter a bit, but I think Jays fans get the short stick -- but only for the moment. Darvish will need to be Cliff Lee good to make this potential contract worth it, and Alex Anthopoulos can't afford the risk in the AL East that Jon Daniels can in the AL West. I really think the fans will eventually appreciate the prudence, but only if Toronto can surpass the Red Sox and Yankees over the next few years. And that's not completely crazy.
Darvish a risk Rangers had to take - The GM's Office by Jim Bowden Blog - ESPN (Insider)
Frankly, it’s the type of move that can make or break a general manager’s career. Between the posting fee and Darvish’s contract, the Rangers will be committing between approximately $120 million and $150 million for a pitcher who has never pitched to a single batter in the majors. It’s a gamble from which most people would walk away. Therefore, you have to give credit to Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels for having the conviction to land a potential ace in order to keep up with their AL West rival Angels.
Remember this particular post, and others like it. I like Jim Bowden's analysis a lot, but the "gotta give credit for trying" thing is one blown elbow away from "terrible decision!"
Remember the feeling of thinking, hey, this team is trying to make a splash, trying to get better, and gambling big time. Because if Darvish is anything less than completely dominant, the Rangers overpaid and we'll see a lot less of this whole "gotta give 'em credit" business.