Texas Rangers win rights to DarvishNEW YORK - Two-time defending American League champions Texas entered the winning bid to negotiate with Japanese star pitcher Yu Darvish, Major League Baseball officials announced on Monday night.
The Rangers now have 30 days to sign Darvish, a 25-year-old right-hander, to a Major League contract after the Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League accepted the American team’s negotiating offer.
Darvish, who joined the Fighters in 2005 after high school, was born to an Iranian father and a Japanese mother. He was this season’s highest-paid player in Japanese baseball at an estimated 500 million yen ($6.4 million) a season. Texas, which lost to San Francisco in last year’s World Series and St. Louis in this year’s edition of the best-of-seven final, beat out the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays for the rights just to make a deal with Darvish.
The offer was reportedly worth more than the $51 million posting fee that the Boston Red Sox paid in 2006 for the rights to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka, who would sign a six-year deal worth $52 million with Boston.