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.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.