Wire Taps: Yu Darvish Chatter, Washington Nationals' AFL/Winter League Notes.

In an article in the Mainichi Shimbun 毎日新聞, or The Mainichi Daily News on Wednesday entitled, "Baseball: Darvish ready for major league challenge", the Kyodo News reported that it had, "... learned through several sources on Tuesday," that the 25-year-old Hokkaido Nippon Ham right-hander Yu Darvish, "... is expected to officially ask the Fighters to put him up for bidding after the postseason." Darvish finished his seventh season with Nippon Ham with a 15-K complete game shutout last week, leaving him (18-6) with 10 complete games, six of them shutouts, in 28 starts over which Darvish posted a 1.44 ERA and collected 276 K's (10.71 K/9), while giving up 42 runs, 37 of them earned, 36 BB (1.40 BB/9) and 5 HR's in 232.0 innings on the mound for the Fighters, for whom he's scheduled to start in their first playoff game next week. After that, a "source" with the team is quoted saying, "It's really up to him. That was the conclusion they reached after a series of talks."

Darvish took to the Twitter @faridyu to tell the world the reports that he'd made a decision were untrue...

"メジャー挑戦決定!みたいな記事出てますがウソです!現時点では何も決まってないですから。 共同通信は誰から聞いたの?(笑)" That is funny. Sorry. If I were to roughly translate what GoogleTranslate tells me that says, Darvish denies the reports, he wonders who the Mainichi Shimbun 毎日新聞, or The Mainichi Daily News reporters spoke to and he promises he will announce his decision when it's made, saying it hasn't been made yet. Yakubaka.com's reports on the Tweets said the same. So sources close to Darvish are saying he'll be leaving the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters for the major leagues, but nothing's official yet. Darvish has come to this stage before. Will this be the year he finally jumps to MLB? 

• Ed Valentine at SBN New York wrote about the Yankees and Yu Darvish last night: "Yu Darvish: Should The Yankees Pursue Star Japanese Pitcher?"

Can the Nationals take someone from New York's big-spending American League team. Sign ダルビッシュ有!

One New York writer has a question about a current Yankees' starter and the nation's capital...

• In an article on Tuesday entitled, "Sabathia talks with Yankees could push limits", New York Daily News' writer Joel Sherman brought the Nationals up in a discussion of CC Sabathia's upcoming decision on whether or not to opt out of his contract with the Yankees. "The key elements will be if any team(s) are willing to go beyond the $92 million left," on his current contract, "... and by how much," the Daily News reporter writes, "and if Sabathia would really leave to play in, say, Washington?" Who would want to pitch in Washington? Now I want the Nationals to overpay for Sabathia too...

• In a discussion about potential destinations for New York Mets' shortstop Jose Reyes in the "Around the Majors" section of an article entitled, "Pressing World Series questions", SI.com's Jon Heyman says that all of the other NL teams are possible fits for the soon-to-be free agent, including the Nationals, who, "... are expected to make another big splash this winter." 

• AFL Wednesday: 22-year-old Nats' backstop prospect Derek Norris was 3 for 4 in the Scottsdale Scorpions' 6-5 loss to the Mesa Solar Sox on Wednesday. Norris singled in his first two at bats, driving in a run the first time up, and he homered for the first time this Fall on what ESPN.com's Keith Law (@KeithLaw) tweeted was a 96 mph fastball from the Chicago Cubs' 25-year-old '08 3rd Round pick, right-hander Chris Carpenter. Norris is now 8 for 28 (.286/.364/.429) with a double and a HR in 8 AFL games. Fellow Nats' prospect Zach Walters was 1 for 2 with 2 walks on Wednesday. 

• Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: Tiburones de la Guaira outfielder Gregor Blanco was 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored in a 13-4 loss to the Navegantes del Magallanes. Navegantes' backstop Jesus Flores was 2 for 5 with a run scored on Wednesday, and he's now 13 for 27 with 3 doubles and 2 HR's in 6 games. Nats' prospect Hector Nelo gave up three hits, a walk and two runs in 1.0 inning of work for the Tiburones, but the game was already decided by the time he pitched. 21-year-old Nats' shortstop prospect Adrian Sanchez was 0 for 2 and Seth Bynum was 0 for 3 with a walk and a K in the Aguilas del Zulia's 7-3 loss to the Cardenales de Lara. 

• Liga de Beisbol Dominicano: Eury Perez was 1 for 4 with a walk and a run scored in the Leones del Escogido's 13-3 win over Aguilas Cibaenas. Tigres del Licey catcher Jhonatan Solano was 0 for 3 in a 6-2 loss to the Estrellas de Oriente. Tigers' lefty Atahualpa Severino retired the only batter he faced last night. 

• Liga Mexicana del Pacifico: Zech Zinicola threw a 10-pitch inning in relief for the Naranjeros de Hermosillo, giving up a hit and recording a K. 

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