Ready. Set. Rumors. While some sources are telling writers the Washington Nationals are after 31-year-old left-hander C.J. Wilson, others say 32-year-old Mark Buehrle is really the Nats' top target. FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal and ESPN.com's Jayson Stark said it was the former White Sox' lefty and not the Rangers' on the Nationals' radar, and late Sunday night MLB.com's Bill Ladson reported in an article entitled, "Nats making pitch for free-agent lefty Buehrle", that Washington, according to a "team source", had, "... made an offer to free-agent left-hander Mark Buehrle," though, "Terms of the offer were not disclosed."
At the same time, of course, former Nats' GM and current-ESPN and Sirius/XM employee Jim Bowden was reporting via the Twitter (@JimBowdenESPNxm) that the Nats are after them both, with the sights also set on the two top bats on the free agent market: "Nationals not just chasing Buehrle and Wilson...they are at least talking to Fielder AND Pujols as well...put your seat belts on." It's that time of year.
So the Nats have made an offer to Buehrle, but they could still be in on Wilson right? "I was also informed that LHP C.J. Wilson is not a top target for the #Nats," MLB.com's Bill Ladson (@washingnats) wrote on the Twitter, "One person said he is not really on the radar screen." But Prince Fielder is right? "I was also informed that Prince Fielder is not a target for the #Nats," Mr. Ladson wrote on the Twitter, "They already have Adam LaRoche and Michael Morse at first base." Pujols though? "Nats source on Fielder/Pujols talk: 'That's not even a good lie.' Can we put that to bed now?" according to the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP).
Of course, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal's and ESPN.com's Jayson Stark's sources were right about Buehrle and they both tied Fielder and the Nats together on Sunday and both have pointed to 26-year-old Cuban-born soon-to-be-free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes as a potential target in the Nats' search for a center fielder. Is someone keeping score?
As for Buehrle, it's not clear if the Nationals are one of the three teams that Chicago Sun Times' writer Joe Cowley wrote on Sunday, "... have the money and the three years on the table," or if they're the fourth team to make an actual offer (four years?) to the veteran of 12 MLB seasons all of which were spent pitching for the White Sox. The Miami Marlins, who agreed on a deal with Jose Reyes last night that brings the Mets' SS to Florida, are also reportedly in on Wilson and Buehrle. Which NL East team will make the next move?
• And What About Yu?:
• Darvish Disclaimer: Don't believe anything until Yu Darvish posts it himself on the Twitter (@Faridyu) or on his own site. BUT...
After SI.com's Jon Heyman (@SI_JonHeyman) wrote last week that "Baseball execs are wondering whether Yu Darvish will ever post. be patient, says source. says likely to happen in 2 weeks," there were reports out of Japan translated at Yakubaka.com, which said that the 25-year-old Nippon Ham Fighters' right-hander met with team officials on Friday for year-end meetings but did not discuss his contract situation, and afterwards Darvish reportedly told reporters, "'I have nothing to talk about. I have not met with the team.'"
On Saturday afternoon, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reported on Twitter (@Ken_Rosenthal) that his sources were telling him the veteran of seven seasons with the Fighters would finally make the jump to MLB. "Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish likely to be posted after winter meetings," Mr. Rosenthal wrote. After the initial reports Mr. Rosenthal changed his tune slightly writing, "Darvish posting not 100 percent. Still working out issues with club. Divorce not a factor," after reports from Sponichi.com translated at Yakubaka.com Sunday quoted Darvish's father, who'd previously said his son was 50/50 on staying or leaving, saying his son was under no pressure to make a decision soon and worried about contract negotiations not going well.
Early Monday morning in Japan, however, the latest Darvish news translated by Yakubaka.com from a report by Sports Hochi (a Japanese language paper previously known as Hochi Shimbun (報知新聞) agreed with FOXSports.com's Mr. Rosenthal's sources that Darvish's decision should arrive sooner rather than later. "Sports Hochi is reporting that Yu Darvish (25) could ask the Nippon Ham Fighters to post him as early as some time later this week (likely after the Winter Meetings)," Gen at Yakubaka.com wrote.
As for concerns about the type of contract Darvish will receive the Yakubaka.com writer's report says, "Arn Tellem and Darvish have apparently [decided that if they can not get an offer that is considered 'appropriate for Japan's Ace,' they will simply withdraw," from the negotiations and remain in Japan. The report suggests Darvish could want $8M a year...After a $30-$50 million posting fee a five-or-six-year deal at $8M per...$70-$100M total for a potential top of the rotation arm? If Buehrle, Wilson and Oswalt are off the market quickly, Darvish might just get paid like an ace by teams desperate for pitching...