As we noted last night, nothing will be official until next week, but the New York Post is reporting that the Blue Jays have made the highest bid for negotiating rights for Japanese sensation Yu Darvish.
The Post reports that “according to several sources with knowledge of the situation,” the Blue Jays owner, Rogers Communications, ordered the team to bid upwards of $40-50 million for the rights to negotiate with Darvish. If they are the winners, they would then have 30 days to get him under contract, which could cost an additional $75 million, many speculate.
The Blue Jays landing Darvish would make the AL East pretty interesting next year. The Jays were just a .500 team in 2011, but they have a core of great talent with Jose Bautista, Brett Lawrie — who would get more than 43 games in 2012 — and Ricky Romero.
With Darvish in the fold, the Jays would officially obtain “frisky” status, no?
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will opt out of his contract shortly after the World Series concludes. Cespedes, who earned $17.5 million for the 2016 season, has two years and $47.5 million remaining on his deal which includes an opt-out clause.
That Cespedes plans to opt out isn’t surprising as he’s almost certain to get a better contract entering a weak free agent market. He hit a terrific .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBI in 543 plate appearances for the Mets this past season.
It remains to be seen how the Mets will deal with potentially losing Cespedes. They can pick up a $13 million club option for Jay Bruce, but he performed terribly after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. The Mets could also go after free agents Jose Bautista or Mark Trumbo. Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto will handle the other two outfield positions.
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.