Dec 3, 2011, 3:04 PM EDT
We’ve heard some uncertainty on the matter recently, though a source told Rosenthal’s colleague Jon Paul Morosi late last week that it remains “more likely than not” that he will pitch in MLB next season.
Darvish, 25, went 18-7 with a career-low 1.44 ERA and a 276/36 K/BB ratio in 232 innings this season with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. Standing at 6-foot-5 and 185 pounds, he has a 1.99 career ERA over seven seasons in Japan.
While his posting fee might not approach the $51,111,111 sum the Red Sox bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka five years ago, the number still figures to be pretty substantial. And once exclusive negotiating rights are secured, it’s likely he will want an annual salary north of $10 million.
It will be interesting to see how this process affects the plans of teams at the Winter Meetings next week, especially those involved in the pursuit of C.J. Wilson. As Rosenthal notes, Rangers GM Jon Daniels and Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos both scouted Darvish in Japan this season. And though the Red Sox may be a little shy following Dice-K, Bobby Valentine’s experience in Japan can’t be ruled out, either.
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