Yu Darvish: What the Texas Rangers' Winning Bid Means for MLB Free Agents

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Yu Darvish: What the Texas Rangers' Winning Bid Means for MLB Free Agents
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

Yu Darvish will become a Texas Ranger, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. An actual deal could be weeks away, but as of Monday night, the Hakkaido Nippon Ham Fighters had accepted the winning bid (submitted by Jon Daniels, Nolan Ryan and the Rangers) of $51.7 million. Texas now has 30 days to work out a deal with Darvish.

The implications of this development can scarcely be overstated. With the addition of Darvish, the Rangers become once again the favorites to win the American League West in 2012. They have saved themselves prospects and draft picks by adding a potentially elite right-handed ace to their starting rotation, without having to trade for one or sign one via domestic free agency.

As elated as the Rangers are, the Toronto Blue Jays are as crushed by the news.

They were aggressive suitors for Darvish themselves, and in fact, the international feel of both the team and its city would have ensured a greater sheer benefit from Darvish's arrival than the Rangers will reap. Texas is simply in better position to leverage a major addition into competitive success and sustenance, and that led them to bid a record amount for the right to negotiate with Darvish.

This move changes the tone of the MLB offseason in a number of ways. Here are five ripple effects we can expect to see in coming weeks.

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