Texas Rangers win chance to sign Japan’s ace pitcher Darvish

NEW YORK – The Texas Rangers won the Yu Darvish sweepstakes and the chance to negotiate a contract with Japan’s top pitcher.

Major League Baseball announced Monday night that the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League informed the U.S. commissioner’s office that they have accepted the highest bid for Darvish.

That sealed bid was submitted under the posting system by the Rangers, winners of the past two American League pennants. Now, they have 30 days to sign Darvish to a deal.

“Our ownership went the extra mile on this one,” general manager Jon Daniels said on a conference call.

Daniels would not say how much the Rangers bid for the right to negotiate with Darvish.

Several media outlets reported that the posting fee was $51.7 million.

The 25-year-old right-hander is considered the best pitcher in the Japanese professional leagues and several of baseball’s biggest spenders were thought to be interested in him.

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