So did anyone come close to the Rangers’ bid for Darvish, or not?

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Yesterday we heard that the Toronto Blue Jays came really close to the Rangers’ $51.7 million bid for Yu Darvish.  As the day wore on into night, however, multiple reports surfaced suggesting that, no, the Jays didn’t bid that high and that in fact no team came anywhere close to what the Rangers’ bid.

I’ll accept that, I suppose. But I also can’t help but wonder if it serves a team’s interest to say such a thing after the fact, even if it isn’t true.  Bid close and lose on a guy like Darvish and someone may accuse you of not having the guts to go the extra mile. Of miscalculating or something.  Put the word out there that you were nowhere near the Rangers’ bid, however, and maybe a narrative is created in which the Rangers clearly overbid and, my, aren’t we wise for not being so silly with our money.

I’m not married to that explanation. I can see that it may cut in a couple of different directions. I just think it’s always smart to be somewhat critical when multiple reports related to information we can’t possibly know from other sources comes out.  For every leak, there’s an agenda, even if it’s a small and benign one.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.