1) At 5 p.m. EST today, the timeline to submit a bid to the Nippon Ham Fighters for Japanese pitching phenom Yu Darvish ended. According to Jack Curry of the YES Network, at least one team has submitted a bid for his services. An announcement of the winning team is expected to be made tonight or tomorrow morning.
And according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Boston Red Sox didn't place a bid. So if Darvish indeed finds his way to the United States for baseball next season, it will either be with the New York Yankees or most likely outside the American League East. There's speculation that the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays may have placed a bid, but time will tell. Any thoughts on how high the bidding went? We'll have updates as we hear them.
2) Talks surrounding former New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran are beginning to take shape. There are apparently "at least five teams" that are serious about acquiring him, including the defending World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Colorado Rockies.
I'd personally be intrigued to see the Toronto Blue Jays try and land him. He would certainly help bolster a weak outfield behind Jose Bautista and have the luxury of serving in the DH spot. Beltran hasn't been in the American League since 2004 when the Kansas City Royals traded him to the Houston Astros.
3) As pointed out earlier today by our very own Jedi Master A-Rod, the Boston Red Sox have traded for former Yankee prospect Mark Melancon. Houston will receive shortstop Jed Lowrie and starter Kyle Weiland. Boston has already countered the loss of Lowrie by agreeing to terms with former Minnesota Twin Nick Punto.
4) Last, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Blue Jays are showing interest in 41-year-old reliever Darren Oliver. The southpaw is surprisingly still around and could very well find himself in Boston or Texas if Los Angeles and Toronto don't work out.