From Franz Lidz of Sports Illustrated comes word that the winning posting bid for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish will top the $51,111,111 sum that the Red Sox paid for exclusive negotiating rights to Daisuke Matsuzaka back in November of 2006.
The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters have not revealed which major league team made the record bid, and aren’t expected to do so until Tuesday.
Indications are that only the Blue Jays, Yankees, Rangers and Cubs tried for the 25-year-old starter. And there was a report in the New York Post earlier this week claiming Toronto as the winner. But none of that information has been confirmed by any of the involved parties.
Darvish registered a fantastic 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 over seven total seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball.
Including the posting bid, his total cost will easily top $100 million and might even approach $150 million.
Update (11:57 PM ET): And it’s over. Angel Pagan led off the bottom of the seventh with a line drive double down the left field line off of Stroman, ending the no-hitter. Manager Jim Leyland immediately removed Stroman from the game.
U.S. starter Marcus Stroman has held Puerto Rico hitless through six innings thus far in the World Baseball Classic final. The Blue Jays’ right-hander has held the opposition to just one base runner — a walk — with three strikeouts on 68 pitches.
WBC rules limit a pitcher to throwing a maximum of 95 pitches in the Championship Round, so Stroman has 27 pitches left with which to play. If he hits the limit during the at-bat, he can continue throwing to the completion of that at-bat. Needless to say, though, Stroman won’t be finishing his potential no-no.
The U.S. has given four runs of support to Stroman. Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer in the third inning. Then, in the fifth, Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen both provided RBI singles. Update: The U.S. tacked on three more in the top of the seventh when Brandon Crawford drove in two with a bases-loaded single and Giancarlo Stanton followed up with an RBI single.
We’ll keep you updated as Stroman and any pitchers that follow him attempt to complete the no-hitter. Shairon Martis is the only player to throw a no-hitter in WBC history. However, the game ended after seven innings due to the mercy rule, or as it’s known now, the “early termination” rule.
Ian Kinsler found himself in hot water on Wednesday evening when he criticized the way players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play baseball. It is his hope that kids watching the World Baseball Classic decide to emulate the emotionless way players from the U.S. play baseball as opposed to the exciting, cheerful way players from other countries tend to play the game.
Needless to say, Kinsler’s comments didn’t sit well with many people, but he has the most recent laugh. Kinsler broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning of Wednesday night’s WBC final against Puerto Rico, slugging a two-run home run to left-center field at Dodger Stadium off of Seth Lugo.
Kinsler, of course, rounded the bases solemnly which is sure to highlight just how cool and exciting the game of baseball is to international viewers.