New York, NY
The Texas Rangers won the negotiating rights to Japanese pitching sensation Yu Darvish after bidding a record $51.7 million Major League Baseball announced.
The Rangers now have 30 days to negotiate a contract with Darvish, who was pitching for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan.
The Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs were also reported to be in the bidding for Darvish but the Rangers won with a bid that surpassed the $51.1 million the Boston Red Sox paid for the negotiating rights to Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2006.
"Obviously, it's a very exciting night for our organization, our fans and our community," Texas general manager Jon Daniels said on a conference call.
Darvish had an ERA of 1.44 ERA and 276 strikeouts over 232 innings with the Ham Fighters last season and would leave Japan with a career mark of 93-38 and a 1.99 ERA.
The Rangers, who have represented the American League in the last two World Series, already have a rotation that includes Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando and former closer Neftali Feliz.
"If we're able to sign him (Darvish), then we'll have a very good problem on our hands," Daniels said.
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