Wire Taps: Did Washington Nationals Bid On Yu Darvish? Baseball World Waits For Announcement On Winning Bid...

• Just waiting...Well, there's still no word on whether or not the Washington Nationals actually placed a bid on 25-year-old right-hander Yu Darvish. The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters have until Tuesday (12/20) to announce which team placed the highest bid and won the right to negotiate a deal with the starter. It didn't take that long for the news to come out the last few times NPB players entered into the posting process, but 19 hours after the deadline to submit bids for Darvish there's still no word. The Rangers, Jays, Yankees and Cubs are believed to have submitted bids, but there are a dozen or more teams (including the Nats) that haven't said either way whether or not they're involved. Keep your eye on the Twitter...If the Nationals don't win or didn't submit a bid, do they move on to Roy Oswalt. Forget about adding an arm? The suspense...the suspense...the links...

• THE BIG STORY:

• "There is mystery surrounding the submissions considering there is no current favorite for Darvish. A number of teams have been rumored to possess interest in the Japanese star." - "Yu Darvish's fate now in hands of Japanese team" - Jon Star, MLB.com: News

• NATS BEAT:

• "After engaging in occasional trade discussions involving B.J. Upton for about a year, the Nationals and Rays have seemingly reached a point where talks have stagnated." - "As Nationals search for a center fielder, the Rays appear unlikely to trade B.J. Upton" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'Darvish is better than Matsuzaka,' [Ira] Stevens said. 'Everyone who’s seen Darvish knows Darvish is better than Matsuzaka...'" - "Nationals GM Mike Rizzo keeping tabs on Yu Darvish" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Many times, if you make the right choices for your bench this time of year, it can reap short-term return if you trade them at the trading deadline for future prospects..." - "Nationals interested in Mike Cameron and Greg Dobbs, among others" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "The Cubs placed a qualifying bid for the rights to 25-year-old Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish before the Thursday afternoon deadline ending his posting period..." - "Chicago Cubs: Chicago Cubs put bid in for Yu Darvish" - Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune

• "With the deadline for bids for Yu Darvish now in the past, I thought it was time to see what all the fuss is about. The headline possibilities are almost endless..." - "What they like about Yu (Darvish)" - Jonathan Mayo, B3: Big, Bald and Beautiful

• "The Nationals have been in D.C. for seven years now, and during that time they've handed out a whopping two contracts whose total value exceeded $20 million..." - "The largest contracts in Nats history" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "After four years of use, "the grass became compacted and the decision was made to replace it with a fresh new surface of the same type of Kentucky Blue..." - "The new grass at Nationals Park" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "While some sources indicate that the Nippon-Ham Fighters could announce the winning bid later tonight or early tomorrow, one of Darvish's representatives appears to have thrown cold water on that notion..." - "Deadline passes, Rizzo mum on Darvish" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals have not revealed whether they submitted a bid or not, but general manager Mike Rizzo spoke highly of Darvish at last week's Winter Meetings..." - "Bidding for Darvish ends, wait begins" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 19, 67 days from now." - "Nationals finalize spring training schedule" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "5. Nationals: They've gone for the home run before, and no one would be shocked if they made a late play here." - "Notebook: Rangers might grab Fielder with kick at the finish" - Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com Baseball News, Scores, Stats, Schedule and Standings

• NATS WINTER/MINOR LEAGUES:

• Liga Mexicana del Pacifico: Guasave 2, Mazatlan 1 - Rafael Martin (MAZ) - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K - Box Score.

• Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico: Carolina 2, Ponce 1 - Joe Testa (PON) - 1.1 IP, 1 BB - Box Score.

• "Minor-League Signings" - NationalsProspects.com

• "The big draw here is, of course, the phenomenal slugger Bryce Harper, the best prospect in baseball. But there is considerable talent beyond Harper, beginning with Anthony Rendon, Alex Meyer, and Brian Goodwin from the 2011 draft." - "Washington Nationals Organization Discussion" - John Sickels, Minor League Ball

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "If developing qualities like love, compassion, generosity and patience, is to be effective, we must put them into practice in our daily life."

• NATSTOWN:

• "Yuniesky Maya - Age 30 - MLB Service Time 0.07 years. How He Became A Nat: Signed as an international free agent on July 31, 2010. He is a Cuban defector." - "A Few Good Men: 42 - Maya" - Sean, Capitol Baseball

• "When we last checked in with Bryce Harper this offseason, he was lounging by a pool in the Bahamas and rooting on the Yankees in the playoffs." - "Just Bryce Harper asking Robinson Cano to swing it with him on Twitter, no biggie." - Nats Enquirer

• "For almost every pitcher there is a discrepancy between how many pitches that pitcher had called as a ball and those that actually were a ball. For some, such as Livan Hernandez, that discrepancy is huge." - "'Strike' is Just a Six Letter Word" - Bryce Wilson Stucki, The Nats Blog

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves: "At this point in the off-season we're reduced to speculating on who will be the Atlanta Braves utility infielder." - "Braves Interested In Ronny Cedeno" - gondeee, Talking Chop

Marlins: "The wild card is the retractable roof. The Marlins have done studies on how the ball will travel with the roof open as opposed to closed, but Samson said the results were inconclusive." - "Miami Marlins executives hope new stadium will be pitcher-friendly" - Joe Capozzi, Palm Beach Post

Phillies: "It's December 14th, a typically fun day in recent Phillies history, and the team's longtime shortstop Jimmy Rollins still is not under contract." - "Dear Phillies: It's Time to Bring Jimmy Rollins Home" - Whole Camels, The Good Phight

Mets: "Bridge loan, meet bridge ballplayers. Andres Torres (under team control for two more years) and Ramon Ramirez (one year) will be gone by the time the Mets are ready to contend." - "Bridge loan, bridge ballplayers, bridge years" - Andy Martino, New York Daily News

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