Wire Taps: Will The Washington Nationals Land Yu Darvish?

• Tomorrow afternoon (Wed, 12/14) at 5:00 pm EST the bidding for Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters' right-hander Yu Darvish ends. According to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, the Texas Rangers, who are some people's top choice for the 25-year-old's U.S. destination, are not going to go hard for Darvish. Of course, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney the New York Yankees are "lukewarm." Word out of Toronto (via Toronto Sun writer Bob Elliot) is that the Blue Jays aren't fond of the posting process and aren't likely to get seriously involved. The Red Sox, according to Boston Globe writer Pete Abraham, don't anticipate getting involved. The Seattle Mariners are seen as a sleeper possibility (and the idea of King Felix, Michael Pineda and Darvish atop their rotation is almost as intriguing as a Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Yu Darvish 1-2-3.) Tomorrow night the bidding process ends. Do you believe any of these teams are actually telling the truth about not getting involved...Will D.C. GM Mike Rizzo and the Nats go big for Darvish? The Orioles are reportedly close to signing Japanese lefty Tsuyoshi Wada. That's one more arm off the market...Links and lots of 'em on the way....RIGHT NOW!!!

THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "The Rangers are more focused on trading for a starting pitcher than signing free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder or even pursuing Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish..." - "Prince Fielder, Yu Darvish unlikely targets for Texas Rangers, who need Chicago Cubs' Matt Garza or other affordable starters" - Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi, FOX Sports on MSN

• NATS BEAT:

• "The Yankees, Rangers and perhaps even Red Sox will be in it for Darvish. The Nats aren't going to go THAT high for a player whose talent may not translate to a different league." - "Ask Boswell about the Redskins' loss to the Patriots, the Capitals and all Washington sports" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "Albert Pujols’ free agency was mysterious, controversial, complicated and overwrought. The forthcoming Yu Darvish drama might make it seem ordinary by comparison." - "Darvish is next big MLB mystery" - Jon Morosi, FOX Sports on MSN

• "Yu Darvish News and Notes: December 13, 2011" - Gen, Yakyu Baka

• "Before we take a look at a few intriguing names who might pique Mike Rizzo's interest, we should note that the Rays did tender B.J. Upton a contract last night." - "Which non-tenders could Nats go after?" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "There were several players who hit the free agent market late Monday night that could certainly interest the Nationals, particularly as they look to rebuild their bench." - "Non-tender candidates that may interest the Nationals" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Mark] DeRosa is healthy now and I think he would be a great backup first baseman. Manager Davey Johnson said recently he wants a veteran bench..." - "Inbox: What's the Nats' next offseason move?" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Bench coach Randy Knorr said the depth the Nationals have put together at catcher gives them options heading into spring training." - "Will the Nationals move some of their catching depth?" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Random/Related:

• "As difficult it was to see Flores snatched, an objective eye would not be nearly as harsh in criticizing the Mets for losing him as we Mets fans..." - "Will Jesus Flores Return?" - Joe Janish, Mets Today

• "There was also a slight question whether the Nationals would or would not tender Flores, but the Nationals currently see the 27-year-old as the primary backup to catcher Wilson Ramos." - "Nationals tender contracts to six players, non-tender Doug Slaten" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "Slaten, who made $695,000 for the 2011, was largely without a role in the projected 2012 Nationals bullpen..." - "Nationals non-tender left-hander Doug Slaten" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Doug] Slaten spent most of the season on the disabled list because of left elbow ulnar neuritis. Once he returned to action, Slaten was hit hard and ended the season with a 4.41 ERA in 31 games." - "Nationals tender contracts to six players, let pitcher Doug Slaten go" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "The Nationals added some outfield depth to the organization Monday with the signing of Brett Carroll to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training in Viera, Fla." - "Nats ink Carroll to minor league deal; Rijo a fugitive in Dominican" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "[Doug] Slaten's non-tender didn't come as a huge surprise. The 31-year-old was remarkably ineffective when healthy this season..." - "Slaten is Nats' lone non-tender" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "German Miranda, the head of the Dominican Justice Ministry's Anti-laundering Unit, announced Monday that Rijo, the MVP of the 1990 World Series for the Cincinnati Reds, is officially a fugitive." - "Former Nationals Latin American ops director Jose Rijo a fugitive in DR" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals have announced, via their media relations department's Twitter account, that left-handed reliever Doug Slaten has been non-tendered..." - "Nationals non-tender Slaten" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "The creation of a more peaceful and happier society has to begin from the level of the individual."

• NATSTOWN:

• "And now, just in time for the Holidays: The Michael Morse Beast Mode Collection, via 22Fresh." - "In other Washington Nationals Hot Stove news: The Michael Morse Beast Mode Collection" - Nats Enquirer

• "The big name from Japan this winter is pitcher Yu Darvish, 25, who has put up otherworldly stats against mostly high Double-A/Triple A competition..." - "Are Nats looking overseas to fill their needs?" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "After a disappointing week of Winter Meetings, the Washington Nationals are still in the market for a veteran starter to eat innings for the team's young pitching staff." - "Nationals Should Have Interest in Joe Saunders" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "Nats Off-season News Items Wrap-up 12/13/11 edition" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• "Alliteration is fun. Brian Bixler. Brian Bixler. Brian Bixler. Say it three times fast for your own amusement as I did on a nearly constant business this past season." - "Nats 2011 Grades: Brian Bixler" - Keara Dowd, Win For Teddy

• "I don't mean that in the 'it was a terrible deal' sense. Of course it was, but it's not the terribleness that I'm wondering about." - "What was up with that Werth deal?" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "The Nationals only non-tender last night was Doug Slaten, and it was probably well deserved." - "A LHP Who Didn’t Get Lefties Out" - The Nationals Review

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Phillies: "But the Phils could now use a righthanded hitting bench bat. And one conveniently non-tendered player is the perfect solution." - "Non-Tendered Spilborghs a Good Fit" - Corey Seidman, Phillies Nation

Mets: "The owners of the cash-strapped New York Mets have taken a $40 million bank loan while they try to sell minority stakes in the team." - "Mets owners take out $40M loan" - Josh Kosman, NYPOST.com

Braves: "The Atlanta Braves quietly non-tendered reliever Peter Moylan last night. A move that was expected, as the Aussie right-hander is recovering from a season-ending shoulder injury." - "Tuesday Morning Non-Tender Talk" - gondeee, Talking Chop

Marlins: "'I don’t know what it really came down to that necessitated the move but I’m very grateful the opportunities the Marlins gave me.'" - Burke Badenhop - "Marlins throw Burke Badenhop a curve: 'Kind of nuts. I really wasn’t expecting that." - Joe Capozzi, The Palm Beach Post

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