Back in 2006, the Rangers reportedly bid $27 million on Daisuke Matsuzaka's rights (per MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan), but were handily trounced by the Red Sox. So, too, was every other team that got involved to any extent, as my recollection is that the second-highest bid on Matsuzaka was somewhere between $30-40 million. It was a blowout.
Well, the Darvish auction appears to have been a bit closer:
It matters little to Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos, the encouraging pats on the back he might receive for being runner-up to the Texas Rangers on the posting bid for Yu Darvish.
Sources in baseball insist that the Jays’ bid for the 25-year-old Japanese star was over $50 million, barely edged out by the winning bid of $51.7 million reported to be posted by Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels.
“I understand the passion and the interest levels in our team,” Anthopoulos said via conference call Tuesday morning. “I have people come up to me in the street every day. It’s on us to provide a winning product. That’s what you want, but we want to make sure it’s done the right way.”
The Jays have been eternally close-mouthed when it comes to confirming their participation in the chase for any free agents and trades, not just in the case of Darvish, but as a matter of policy. In fact, Anthopoulos maintained he would not even have staged a conference call except for the volume of requests that he had and the subsequent recommendation of his media relations staff.
Of course, we're probably talking about some of the same sources inside baseball that were absolutely convinced within an inch of their lives that the Blue Jays had won it. And since the Blue Jays seem to abide by the same let's-play-things-low-key philosophy as the Rangers do, I'm not sure whom, if anyone, inside the Toronto front office would be inclined to blab about this. We also don't know if all of these "sources" are obtaining their information from one single party, which would heighten the likelihood that this is misinformation.
But with all of those caveats aside, this is quite a story. Let's tell it again.
Update: Per ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand, the Yankees bid less than $20 million for Darvish "according to a baseball official with knowledge of the process," as they liked his stuff, but couldn't be sold on the idea that his stuff and makeup would successfully translate to the majors.