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Report: Blue Jays lead in bid for Darvish

In this file photo taken on May 21, 2010, Nippon Ham Fighters starter Yu Darvish pitches against the Yokohama BayStars during their baseball game in Sapporo, northern Japan. Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish ended months of speculation Thursday Dec. 8, 2011 by saying he intends to make a move to Major League Baseball. The 25-year-old right-hander, considered the best pitcher in the Japanese professional leagues, wrote on his blog that he had decided to use the posting system, which allows MLB teams to bid for the negotiating rights to Japanese players who have yet to become free agents.

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Its involvement in last week's $1.32-billion purchase of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has seemingly done little to dampen Rogers Communications's affection for its first sports love – the Toronto Blue Jays – according to a report out of New York Thursday night.

The New York Post is reporting that the Blue Jays have outbid both the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers and are the favourites to land the negotiating rights to Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish. The Post also reported that the Blue Jays bid between $40-million and $50-million (U.S.) under orders from team owner Rogers.

Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos did not respond to a request for clarification.

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The Chicago Cubs are also believed to have submitted a bid, but the exact amount is unknown.

Darvish's team, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, now has until Tuesday at 5 p.m. EST to accept the highest bid, with the winning club getting an exclusive 30-day window to negotiate a deal with the 25-year-old.

The 6-foot-5 Darvish, who has a 93-38 record with a 1.99 earned-run average in seven years in the Japanese league, is believed to be looking for a five-year, $75-million (U.S.) deal.

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