The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters are expected to accept the posting price on star pitcher Yu Darvish, but not until just before the Tuesday 5 p.m. ET deadline.
That means another five days of waiting to find out which team has won the right to negotiate with Darvish, the 25-year-old right-hander who wants to come to the major leagues after a brilliant career in Japan. Once the Fighters formally accept the bid, the commissioner's office will reveal the name of the winning team (even the Fighters don't know which team it is), and a 30-day negotiating window will open.
Ever since the bidding period ended at 5 p.m. Wednesday, rumors about which team won and how high that team bid have been flying around baseball. Talk in the game is that the winning bid was above $40 million, and possibly even above the $51 million that the Red Sox paid for the rights to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka.
As for which team won the bid, speculation continues that it was the Blue Jays, although it is also thought that the Rangers put in a strong bid. The Yankees were said to have put in a "modest" bid, and thus it's considered unlikely that they were the team that won the rights.
Waiting until near the deadline before accepting a posting bid is not unusual. The Seibu Lions did the same thing five years ago, after posting Matsuzaka. And while there was much speculation then about which team made the highest bid, the winner wasn't known for sure until after the Lions officially signaled their acceptance.