The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters were presented with the winning bid in the Yu Darvish sweepstakes on Wednesday. But it could be another several days before they reveal that information to the world.
According to CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler, the Fighters have until next Tuesday to accept the bid and reveal the winning team, and they’re likely to use that entire period of time. So unless there’s a leak, we’ll continue to play the waiting game.
Indications are that the Yankees, Blue Jays, Rangers and Cubs made bids for the 25-year-old Japanese right-hander and that the Rays, Angels, Twins, Orioles, Red Sox, Reds, Marlins, Mets, Giants and Athletics did not. As for the other 16 major league teams — well, we just don’t know.
Darvish posted a superb 18-7 record, 1.44 ERA and 276/36 K/BB ratio in 232 innings this past year for the Fighters. He had a 1.99 career ERA in seven total Nippon Professional Baseball seasons.
Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.
Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.
J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.
This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.