By C. Trent Rosecrans
After some doubt, it appears Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish will likely be posted sometime after the winter meetings, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets. Rosenthal notes it's not "100 percent" sure Darvish will be posted, but still expects it to happen. However, Darvish's father tells Sponichi in Japan that he doesn't expect his son to make a decision about his status until January.
"His table time does not say anything about making a decision in December," Farsad Darvish said (via YakyuBaka.com). "He is talking to the team and will most likely make a decision by some time in mid to late January."
Darvish's father also said his son is currently "50-50" about whether or not to come to the United States and is worried about what could happen if negotiations don't go well, like last season when the A's failed to reach an agreement with Hisashi Iwakuma after placing the winning bid.
Darvish, 25, is considered to be one of the top two starting pitchers on the market along with C.J. Wilson.
Last season for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, Darvish went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA, struking out 276 batters in 232 innings. In his seven-year career, he's 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA, striking out at least 200 batters in the shorter Japanese season and walking more than 50 just once. He hasn't posted an ERA more than 2.00 since his second year in the top level of Japanese baseball -- and he was 19 for most of that season.
Many teams will be interested in the right-hander, including the Yankees, Blue Jays, Nationals and Rangers expected to be the front-runners. The Red Sox could also be interested, especially with new manager Bobby Valentine's experience in Japan where he managed against Darvish. Rosenthal tweets that Valentine "loves" Darvish. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos traveled to Japan this season to scout Darvish in person.
The posting is just the first part of a possible move stateside. After he's posted, teams will have a period to submit blind bids for the opportunity to sign Darvish. The team with the highest bid will win the right to negotiate with Darvish and after signing him will not only have to pay Darvish, but also the posting fee, which goes to the Fighters.
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