As you know by now, the Texas Rangers have won the bidding for Yu Darvish. I don't know why I'm beginning this way, as if all of you are plugged into the news. I'm sure some of you didn't know that the Rangers won the bidding for Yu Darvish. The Rangers won the bidding for Yu Darvish.
The Rangers won by submitting a record bid of $51.7 million, exceeding the Red Sox's bid of $51.1 million for Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Red Sox's bid was actually bigger when you take inflation into account, but nobody takes inflation into account because inflation is math and math is hard, so the Rangers get the record. It is a stupid and misleading record, but then, they usually are.
I do not have a fully-formed response to this news. What I have is an ever-growing and scattered assortment of thoughts. These thoughts are below, in no order, except for the first thought.
- The first thought, naturally, is "aw crap". It's "aw crap" because Yu Darvish is a talented player, and he's a talented player who looks like he'll end up with a division rival. One's initial response to any signing usually has more to do with the get than the cost, because the get is easier to process. We understand that Darvish will come at a cost, but considerations of that cost don't form as quickly as considerations of the talent.
- It's worth remembering that Darvish isn't guaranteed to become a Ranger. It's likely, highly likely, but not guaranteed, because Darvish and the Rangers still need to work out a contract. Any agreed-to contract will not be a cheap contract.
- The Rangers took a big step towards acquiring a highly-talented rookie, but he's a rookie they'll have to pay more or less free agent wages. It's not like the Rangers just made a move towards signing Matt Moore. Darvish should help them, but Darvish will cost them.
- Last Tuesday, Ken Rosenthal cited sources who told him that the Rangers had very limited flexibility, and probably weren't in on Prince Fielder or Yu Darvish. Do not listen to anything ever. People will lie to you. People will lie to you on purpose!
- There will be a lot of hype if and when Ichiro faces off against Yu Darvish for the first time, and the reason is because both players are Japanese. It is exactly that simple. I am guessing there was less hype in Japan the first time Dee Brown faced Bobby Keppel.
- Yu Darvish is probably going to be a successful Major League starting pitcher.
- There does exist the distinct possibility that Yu Darvish will be an unsuccessful Major League starting pitcher, or at least an unremarkable Major League starting pitcher.
- The Mariners do not need to do anything to respond to this. I'm not saying that a team should operate oblivious to the actions of its rivals, but a good organizational plan is never reactionary. Being reactionary is a great way to put short-term interests above long-term interests, and putting short-term interests above long-term interests is a great way to end up shitty.
- This probably has some impact on the Prince Fielder market. I do not know just what that impact is. It might make the Blue Jays more intent on signing Fielder, but it might not. It might mean that the Rangers are no longer a candidate for Fielder, but it might not. What a fulfilling bullet point this is.
- No idea if the Mariners made a bid. If they did, no idea for how much. All we know for absolute certain is that the Mariners did not bid more than $51.7 million for the rights to negotiate with Yu Darvish.
- I like to think that the Padres placed a bid for $51.6 million, hoping to catch everybody completely off guard, and they booked a big ballroom to celebrate with poppers and noisemakers and everything, and tonight that ballroom is dark, poppers unpopped, noisemakers unblown.