The Texas Rangers bid $52.7 million just for the right to negotiate with Yu Darvish over the past month. But they didn't pay $52.7 million. Not yet. If they can't agree on a contract with Darvish before Wednesday, the Rangers will not have to pay the posting fee, and Darvish will head back to Japan.
Here's where it gets tricky: the Rangers are right to think that the $52.7 million they'll have to pay should be considered a part of their total Yu Darvish expenditure. And Darvish is right not to care. None of that money goes to him. It all goes to the Nippon Ham Fighters. So if the Rangers have designs on paying Darvish -- just to make up a number -- $75 million over five years, they'll have to offer him a five year, $22 million contract, which is less than what Darvish would receive in Japan. That won't work.
But ESPN Dallas says that the Rangers are confident that Darvish will sign. Nolan Ryan on (what will hopefully be) his new ace:
"My expectation is that we'll get something done," said Ryan prior to the Texas Rangers Award Show at the Arlington Convention Center on Thursday night. "It's a process, so during the period that we negotiate with someone, we really don't talk about it. I'm optimistic we'll get something done."
The part about the money going to Darvish's old team isn't a surprise. It's not like Darvish was rubbing his hands together, thinking about his new $100 million contract, before he stumbled upon his own Wikipedia page. He knew that he wasn't going to get what he'd command on a truly open market.
And, apropos of nothing, here's Ryan one more time:
"He was bigger than I thought," Ryan said. "He was built like a pitcher."
Which is certainly better than a credenza or a bookshelf. Never forget that Todd Coffey is built like a half-and-half carton, so it's probably a good thing that Darvish is built like a pitcher. If Ryan's happy, then the Rangers are happy. And if the Rangers are happy, that means that Darvish will sign soon.