When the Texas Rangers paid $51.7 million to win the exclusive negotiating rights with Japanese superstar pitcher Yu Darvish, it was thought that the deal would be imminent as Darvish didn't have much leverage if he wanted to pitch in the United States.
And while the likelihood of Darvish sporting red and white come April is still really high, it's not moving along as quickly as some might have thought.
Reports came out via CBS Sports Jon Heyman today that the Rangers are offering "Dice-K money" to Darvish, while Yu and his agent think, and rightfully so, that Darvish is a better pitcher than Daisuke Matsuzaka, who signed with the Boston Red Sox using the same posting system and has uniformly been deemed a bust.
"Dice-K money" was six years for $52 million, which would be a great bargain for Darvish, who it was widely speculated would land something similar to what C.J. Wilson got from the Los Angeles Angels.
At 25 years old, it wouldn't be far-fetched for the Rangers to give him Wilson money even if he doesn't have any MLB skins on the wall.
If the Rangers did indeed sign him for somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million, it would be considered a bargain for the Rangers and might even allow them to still go out and get heavy in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes.
If Darvish doesn't get what he wants from the Rangers and has to go back to Japan, you can bet your bottom dollar the Rangers jump in fully on Fielder, even if they insist Mitch Moreland is their first baseman of the future.
Expect the deal to get done, but it likely won't be until the Jan. 18 deadline.