According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, who noted a Japanese report, Yu Darvish and his father have traveled to Arlington to visit the ballpark and get to know the area. Sullivan’s note mentions that a signing is not considered imminent.
While that may be true, I can take this as nothing but good news. Darvish and the Rangers have roughly two weeks left in their negotiating window and I think it’s a positive sign that Darvish would be in town personally this early in the process. If you’ll recall, back in 2007 when the Red Sox signed Daisuke Matsuzaka, the process literally went down to the final minutes before the two sides came to a deal.
Matsuzaka was represented by Scott Boras, however, and Darvish is represented by Arn Tellem and Don Nomura. Tellem was a super-agent long before Boras became one, but the two have vastly different negotiating styles. With Tellem involved, I think we can all feel much more confident that the negotiations have been advancing over the past couple of weeks. With Boras, that isn’t often the case.