Texas Rangers are top bidders for Yu Darvish

The Rangers bid $51.7 million to negotiate with Yu Darvish, meaning that barring some major setback in negotiations they’ll likely have the 25 year old Japanese ace atop their rotation in 2012.

This is sad news for some Mariners fans who wanted to see Darvish in a Mariners uniform, and less sad for Mariners fans who didn’t want to see their team spend a likely $100+ million on a player who has never pitched in the Major Leagues.

Somehow, after replacing a metrosexual, necklace-wearing pitcher, Yu Darvish will still bring down the masculinity factor in the Rangers locker room. ,

Chances are Darvish will be good. He’s a good pitcher, and even if reports of his velocity and repertoire are exaggerated, he seems to have the kind of size, arm angle, and repertoire that will translate to the bigs.

For Texas Darvish may be absolutely perfect. He’s an extreme strikeout and groundball pitcher, which is the type of pitcher than can succeed in a hitter-friendly park, and he’s very young. The team is desperately trying to replace C.J. Wilson, who went to the division rival Angels, and are really still trying to find the ace they thought they had when they unloaded the top end of their farm system for Cliff Lee (thanks guys!).

From a Mariners perspective this may make a non-Prince-Fielder-signing even more moot of a point. Whether they sign Fielder or not, the chances are that as much as the division has improved they’ll have a hard time catching both the Angels and Rangers, and obviously 85 wins is a pretty shallow feat when it doesn’t end in a postseason bid.

If Darvish were to have ended up in Seattle there was a lot of speculation that the team would then trade Michael Pineda for some type of hitter. That’s probably off the table at this point.

The remaining potentially high-caliber free agents are Fielder and Yoenis Cespedes.