Yu Darvish Posting: Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays Making Biggest Pushes
The Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays each submitted bids for the right to negotiate with Yu Darvish, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN. Theirs were each bigger than the one made by the New York Yankees, according to Jon Heyman, and Evan Grant adds that the Rangers bid somewhere in the range of $40 million.
These two teams are the most likely to land Darvish, if the information we have thus far proves accurate. It's strange, but not surprising that they should end up squaring off for the services of Darvish.
The clubs are as far removed from one another as the North is from the South. The Blue Jays have not been to the playoffs since winning the World Series in both 1992 and 1993; the Rangers have lost each of the last two Series. Toronto has struggled to draw fans as they flounder in third and fourth place year after year, while the Rangers have one of the most energetic fan bases in the game and drew over 1,000,000 more fans than the Jays this season.
Yet, there are similarities here, too. No team anywhere in MLB can match their commitments to player development and scouting. They each have huge media markets and wealthy owners, and have salary upside far beyond their current payroll levels. Both have had keen interest in Darvish for a longer period than almost any other squad.
There's no question: In the short term, Texas has more to gain. They have won two straight pennants, but the Angels' free-agent coup has them reeling a bit. Reinforcing their starting rotation might make them AL West favorites again in a blink.
Toronto, meanwhile, has more need of Darvish in terms of absolute value. The Rangers could trot out a rotation of Neftali Feliz, Alexi Ogando, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis without missing a beat. They would merely be a bit more vulnerable. Without Darvish (or some high-profile outsider), the Blue Jays might not even be able to fill a rotation. They also play in the AL East, where top-shelf pitching is at a greater premium.
Whichever team wins will have paid a heavy price, but if Darvish even approximates his upside, he could make one of these teams the AL's preeminent power for the next few years.
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