Good Morning
Good Morning

Yankees won't go overboard to win Yu Darvish

Japan starter Yu Darvish pitches against Korea in

Japan starter Yu Darvish pitches against Korea in the first inning of their World Baseball Classic game in San Diego. (March 17, 2009) Credit: AP

The bidding will close at 5 p.m. Wednesdayfor Japanese righthander Yu Darvish, and the Yankees continue to look like a trailer in the race for Darvish's services.

Darvish, 25, is being posted by the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. Once the bidding period concludes, Major League Baseball will notify the Japanese Commissioner's Office of the amount of the highest bid, but not the identity of the club that made that bid.

The Japanese Commissioner's Office will then have four business days, until 5 p.m. next Tuesday, to notify MLB if the bid has been accepted or rejected by the Fighters. Assuming the bid is accepted, the winning team would have 30 days to negotiate a contract with Darvish.

The Yankees like Darvish a great deal from a baseball perspective, but they know all too well -- from the Kei Igawa failure of five years ago -- how difficult it can be to project a Japanese pitcher in the American League East. From the different size of the baseball to the dramatically disparate work and travel schedules, there are many adjustments to anticipate.

Therefore, the Yankees might post a bid, but not likely one for the $30 million or more it will probably require to win the right to speak with Darvish, who wants a multiyear contract in the neighborhood of $12 million a year.

Toronto is expected to bid aggressively for Darvish, with Texas, Washington and Boston, whose new manager Bobby Valentine knows Darvish well from his days managing the Chiba Lotte Marines, also possibilities.

New York Sports