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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

Reds get Latos in five-player deal with Padres

The Reds acquired right-hander Mat Latos from the Padres Saturday in exchange for right-hander Edinson Volquez and three of the club’s top prospects.

In acquiring Latos, who went 9-14 with a 3.47 ERA and help opponents to a .233 batting average for the Padres last season, the Reds gave up four young players with big upside. Along with Volquez, the Reds also sent infielder Yonder Alonso, right-hander Brad Boxberger and catcher Yasmani Grandal to San Diego.

“Our offseason objective was to try to upgrade our rotation and add a top-of-the-rotation starter, and Mat Latos, of the potential players available, he’s still young at [24] and he’s a power pitcher we think will pitch well in our park,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on a conference call with reporters. “He’s definitely a top-of-the rotation guy who will slot in well behind [Johnny] Cueto and, in time, will develop into a No. 1 starter.”

Quinn Roberts

Rollins agrees to three-year deal with Phillies

Two sources confirmed an ESPN.com report Saturday that Jimmy Rollins agreed to a three-year, $33 million contract with the Phillies, along with a vesting option for a fourth season that will give him the opportunity to finish his career in Philadelphia.

“I see you all know by now,” Rollins said on his Twitter account @JimmyRollins11. “Gotta deal with me for 3 (4) more years!”

Rollins entered the offseason saying he wanted a five-year contract or a four-year deal with a player option for a fifth season. But the market never materialized as the Milwaukee Brewers signed Alex Gonzalez and the St. Louis Cardinals signed Rafael Furcal.

Quinn Roberts

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