BY:  Richard W. Humphrey

The agent representing Yu Darvish said that the Nippon Ham Fighters will announce between 7:00 and 8:00 PM (Central) tonight that they have accepted the posting bid to relinquish the rights to the Japanese phenom.  It is assumed that MLB will almost concurrently announce which team made that bid.  Most rumors center around the winner being Toronto or Texas.  In any event the wait will soon be over.

The Rangers have also lost a pair of players from last year’s squad. Outfielder Endy Chavez has signed with the Orioles, reportedly for a salary of $1,500,000 with incentive clauses that could push the total to $2,000,000.  Chavez hit .301 in 256 at-bats in 2011, with five home runs and 27 RBIs.  He played all three outfield positions, but saw most of his action in center field.

Backup infielder Andres Blanco has also signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Washington Nationals.  His 2011 playing time of only 36 games was limited by Michael Young’s newly defined role as super sub and late in the year by injury, a stress fracture in his back.  He was not healthy enough to participate in the post season.  He had just 76 at-bats in which he hit .224.  He was an excellent defender though – perfect for the role of a back up. 

Texas was interested in bringing both players back for 2012 before they signed elsewhere.

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