The Texas Rangers have until 5:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday to sign Yu Darvish. They won the rights to negotiate with the Japanese superstar, and the rights gave them a month to negotiate exclusively with him. That month is up. From ESPN Dallas:
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and members of his staff worked much of the night (after working much of the day) with Darvish's agents -- Arn Tellem and Don Nomura -- in an effort to get an agreement. But as of this morning, there is no agreement with some issues to still work out, though sources said the club still thinks a deal will get done before the deadline (though likely right up to that deadline).
In a lot of ways, this is reminiscent of the deadline to sign amateur draft picks every August. There's fretting. There's hand-wringing. There's a deadline. There are apocalyptic scenarios if a team can't sign its top pick. And when the deadline rolls around, the teams sign the pick at the last second. Every time.
Well, almost every time. About five to ten percent of the time, a team can't come to terms with their top draft pick. And that's the fear that Rangers fans are right to have. The Rangers are clearly smitten with Darvish, enough to outbid every other team for the right to negotiate with him. They want to get a deal done.
Darvish wants to get a deal done too. As one of the game's best pitchers, he wants to test himself at the game's highest levels. And even though a substantial chunk of the Rangers' payout will go to the Nippon Ham Fighters, he'll still get a contract close to, if not bigger, than what he'd receive in Japan. He was paid just over $6 million last year, for example.
So with everyone having the same ultimate goal, there should be a deal. But if something goes afoul, there will be dominoes that fall. Suddenly the Rangers will be on the open market with an extra $80 to $100 million (at least) to spend, and a first baseman that doesn't exactly baste their wings. The Prince Fielder market will explode. Roy Oswalt could have a new suitor. Things will get weird.
But Darvish will almost certainly be a Ranger by the end of Wednesday. Unless something weird happens. Which it can. Both scenarios are pretty entertaining to consider, actually.