The New York Yankees submitted a bid for Japanese ace Yu Darvish, the New York Post reported Thursday, citing sources.
If the bid is accepted by his Japanese team the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, the Yankees will be in position to get exclusive negotiating rights to the 25-year-old right-hander.
In addition to the Yankees, the Cubs, Blue Jays and Rangers also submitted bids for Darvish before Wednesday afternoon’s deadline, according to a report Thursday morning by MLB Network radio on Sirius XM.
The Japanese club has until 5 p.m. on Tuesday to accept a bid, though word of the winning bidder is expected to come out much sooner. The winning major league club will gain exclusive negotiating rights to Darvish for 30 days.
Darvish will return to the Fighters only if he is unable to agree on a contract with the high bidder. His friend, right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, failed to reach agreement with the Oakland Athletics a year ago.
Obtaining Darvish is expected to cost a total of more than $100 million. The Red Sox won the bidding for Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2006 with a $51 million bid and then signed him to a six-year, $52 million deal.
Darvish went 18-6 with a career-best 1.44 ERA last season, striking out 276 and walking only 36 in 232 innings. He led the Pacific League in strikeouts in 2007, 2010 and 2011