Bidding on Darvish ends, wait begins

Bidding on Darvish ends, wait begins
December 14, 2011, 10:19 pm
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Updated at 8:12 p.m.

The posting period for Yu Darvish expired at 5 p.m. EST, leaving any major-league clubs that bid on the Japanese sensation with nothing to do but wait to find out who won.

MLB teams had four days to submit blind bids to Darvish's Japanese club, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, unaware what other teams were bidding or how much they were bidding.

The Fighters technically have four days to select a winning bid, but sources familiar with the process said a decision is expected to be announced tonight or early tomorrow.

According to various reports and industry sources, only two clubs are known to have submitted bids so far: the Yankees and Cubs. A host of clubs made it known they did not submit bids: the Red Sox, Reds, Tigers, Dodgers, Orioles, Twins, White Sox, Phillies, Pirates, Rockies, Rays and Angels.

The Rangers, who have been mentioned as a likely frontrunner throughout the process, are believed to have not submitted a bid but have not confirmed that. The Blue Jays, another likely frontrunner, are believed to have submitted a bid.

The Nationals have not revealed whether they submitted a bid or not, but general manager Mike Rizzo spoke highly of Darvish at last week's Winter Meetings, and most expect the Nats did get involved in the process.

The winning bid only secures the right to exclusively negotiate a contract with Darvish over the next 30 days. If the two sides can't come to terms, he'll return to the Japanese league for another season, and the MLB club will get its full posting fee returned.

The winning posting fee, though, is expected to top 50 million. Combined with Darvish's eventual contract, the total cost to acquire the 25-year-old right-hander is expected to exceed 100 million.