There are a handful of Japanese baseball players who have expressed interest in coming over to North America this offseason. The guy everybody has had their eyes on, though, is this young fellow named Yu Darvish, a 25-year-old starting pitcher with incredible statistics.
The question of whether or not Darvish would be posted has been among the offseason's biggest. A few days ago, we heard reports that Darvish would be posted after the winter meetings. However, there were also reports that he wouldn't be posted until January, and there were still other reports suggesting that he might not be posted at all.
But now we know. And now we know that Darvish will be posted on Thursday. That's coming straight from his agent, Don Nomura.
Nomura represented Hisashi Iwakuma a year ago in talks with the Oakland Athletics after the A's won the rights to negotiate with Iwakuma through the posting process. No contract was agreed to, and Iwakuma returned to Japan. That is not expected to happen this time around.
Here's the process: interested teams will have four business days to submit blind bids. Darvish's Japanese team, Nippon-Ham, will then have four business days to decide whether or not to accept the high bid. If they accept the bid, then the high bidder will enter a 30-day exclusive negotiating window with Darvish and his agent(s). If Darvish signs, Nippon-Ham receives the posting bid. If he does not, then the money is refunded.
The Texas Rangers have been talked about as a potential favorite to sign Darvish, and they'll be in the mix after missing out on C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle. They will not be without fierce competition.