• Don't believe anything until Yu Darvish posts it himself on the Twitter (@Faridyu) or on his own site. BUT...
When the Japan Series (Nippon Professional Baseball's championship series) ended and a few weeks passed, baseball fans and front office executives in the U.S. and Japan began to wonder if Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters' right-hander Yu Darvish would once again defy expectations by choosing to remain in Japan instead of making the jump to Major League Baseball. SI.com's Jon Heyman (@SI_JonHeyman) wrote on Twitter last week that a source told him that the rumors about Darvish's impending move were true, "Baseball execs are wondering whether yu darvish will ever post. be patient, says source. says likely to happen in 2 weeks."
On Friday, according to reports out of Japan translated at Yakubaka.com, the Nippon Ham Fighters held their year-end meetings with players but did not discuss Darvish's plans with the 25-year-old veteran of seven seasons in Hokkaido. Asked for a comment, Darvish told reporters, "'I have nothing to talk about. I have not met with the team.'" This past Thursday, reports translated at Yakuba.com had Nippon Ham Fighters' owner Hiroji Okoso stating that he'd heard nothing new and wondered if Darvish was waiting for this week's MLB Winter Meetings to announce his decision. Darvish's father, who had previously been quoted stating the his son was 50/50 as to whether he would make the move, told reporters Darvish had made no decision and would talk to the team this month.
On Saturday afternoon, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reported on Twitter (@Ken_Rosenthal) that a source was telling him, "Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish likely to be posted after winter meetings." In a series of follow-ups, the bow-tied FOXSports.com reporter said, "Darvish posting not 100 percent. Still working out issues with club. Divorce not a factor." Mr. Rosenthal mentions the Blue Jays, Rangers, and Red Sox as teams with interest, noting new Boston manager Bobby Valentine's love for the right-hander.
Earlier this week in a report on the Toronto Blue Jays's interest, Toronto Sun writer Bob Elliot wrote in an article entitled, "Jays target closer Bell", that, "Jays' president Paul Beeston is not a fan of the current posting system in place," and thus "lukewarm" on the possibility of signing. Darvish.
In an interview earlier this fall, the Nats' general manager, Mike Rizzo, told reporters the Nats had scouted Darvish, "... over the years. I've scouted him personally over the years, our pro scouts have scouted him this year specifically. We've scouted the whole Japanese Professional League as well as every other international league that plays organized baseball." Asked specifically when he had last seen Darvish pitcher, Rizzo told reporters, "I haven't seen him pitch for the last two seasons, but we've seen him pitch this year, several times."
Should Darvish officially decide to make himself available to MLB teams through the posting system that allows NPB players to transfer before reaching free agency, he enters into the process after an (18-6) 2011 season in which he had 10 complete games, six shutouts, a 1.44 ERA and 276 K's (10.71 K/9) with 36 walks (1.40 BB/9), 5 HR's and 42 runs (37 ER) allowed in 28 starts and 232.0 IP.