Nationals Struggling to Sign Fielder Because of Darvish

The Washington Nationals didn’t place a bid to purchase the rights Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish this offseason, but he may be the leading factor blocking Prince Fielder‘s arrival in DC.  Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com is reporting that Darvish and the Texas Rangers, the team that won exclusive negotiating rights to his contract, are not close to a deal.

The Rangers paid a $51.7 million posting fee to the Nippon Ham Fighters to negotiate a deal with Darvish.  According to reports, Darvish has been offered a contract similar to Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Boston Red Sox pitcher, of around $52 million.  All in all, that would be almost $104 million out of the purse of the Rangers organization.

How does this affect the Nationals?  Well, the Rangers have also been tied to the Prince Fielder.  If Texas doesn’t successfully sign Darvish, he will return to the Nippon Ham Fighters and the Rangers will get their $51.7 million posting fee back, plus they won’t have doled out as much as $90 million to sign Darvish.  All that means the Rangers will have more than $100 million, and could have as much as $140 million, burning a hole in their pockets.

Fielder’s superagent Scott Boras is certainly aware that more bidders are better.  So it isn’t just possible, it is likely, that fans across NatsTown have been forced to wait not because of the Nats front office, but because of the Rangers front office.

The Rangers have another week to decide what to do with Darvish, but you can expect once that’s wrapped up one way or another, Prince will sign somewhere very soon after. 

About Joe Drugan

Managing editor of The Nats Blog and co-host of the Nats Talk On The Go podcast.

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