Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters accept Rangers bid for Darvish

The Rangers won the exclusive negotiating rights to prized Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, Major League Baseball announced late Monday night. Texas will now have 30 days to sign Darvish or his rights will return to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League.

While the details of the bid weren’t disclosed, multiple sources have reported that the bid exceeded the $51.1 million for Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2006 as the highest in the history of posting of Japanese players. Sources told Yahoo! Sports that Texas won the auction with a $51.7 million bid.

The Blue Jays, Mariners, Marlins, Nationals, Red Sox and Yankees were among the other Major League teams that were mentioned as possibilities in the sealed bidding for the negotiating rights for the right-hander’s services.

The 25-year-old Darvish was 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA last season, walking 36 and striking out 276 in 232 innings for the Fighters.

Quinn Roberts

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