A surprise Prince Fielder signing aside, Wednesday's main transactional stage will belong to Yu Darvish and whatever team ends up winning his posting process. The deadline for squads to submit their blind bids for the right to negotiate with the Nippon Ham Fighters pitcher is 5 p.m. ET.
As is the case with all things Yu, our own Jeff Passan has all the details of the Darvish derby. The gist: A straw poll of six team executives identified the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers as the two teams in the driver's seat, though teams like the Washington Nationals, New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners could also emerge as winners. Once a team wins the posting bid, Passan believes that the 25-year-old right-hander will wield all the leverage he owns because he doesn't particularly mind staying in Japan if his financial terms are not met.
In other words, while we'll get a name of Darvish's lucky suitor Wednesday, it could be awhile before they're contractually matched. Nippon first has four days to decide whether or not to take the winning team's bid. Then Darvish and the team will have 30 days to work out a deal, and it could take the entire month if he really decides to play hardball.
With C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle already off the market, it'll be interesting to see how pitching-hungry teams play the hand that's in front of them. Teams are asking a lot for tradebait arms like Gio Gonzalez and John Danks, sure, but is saving a few prospects who may or may not pan out worth doling out $100 million for a Japanese pitcher who will also arrive with question marks? Seems like common sense to say that it is not, but it depends on how big of a star a team is projecting Darvish to be.
Anyway, it should be an interesting day. The Darvish posting process has stayed relatively leak free so whenever the news hits on Wednesday night or points thereafter — again, Nippon has four days to decide — it's likely to be news in the truest sense of the word. Stay tuned.