MLB Notes: Rangers on verge of signing Darvish

Yu Darvish is expected to get more than $10 million annually. (AFP)

Yu Darvish is expected to get more than $10 million annually. (AFP)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:37 PM ET

With the deadline approaching for the Texas Rangers to sign Yu Darvish, the only sticking point remains contract length.

The hitch is not expected to keep the Rangers from signing the Japanese ace before the deadline of 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, the Dallas Morning News reported. Darvish is expected to get more than $10 million annually.

Should the Rangers not sign Darvish, the 25-year-old right-hander would return to Japan.

Reports say the Rangers want to sign Darvish to a six-year deal similar to the one Daisuke Matsuzaka signed in 2007 (six years, $52 million with Boston), but the pitcher prefers five years so he can enter free agency sooner.

In addition to Darvish's salary, the Rangers are on the hook for $51.7 million to the pitcher's previous team, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.

Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan told the Morning News he was impressed with the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Darvish.

"He was built like a pitcher," Ryan said. "He looks good. He understands a lot of English and I just liked his attitude about wanting to compete. To me, he represented what I've been led to believe."

SETBACK FOR TIGERS

Designated hitter Victor Martinez has injured his left knee and is likely to miss the entire 2012 season, the Detroit Tigers said Tuesday.

Martinez tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee during off-season training. The 33-year-old will be re-examined next week and surgery is expected.

His absence will be a blow to the Tigers. The switch-hitting Martinez batted .330 with 103 RBI last season, teaming with Miguel Cabrera in the middle of the order to help the Tigers win the AL Central.

SURGERY FOR CRAWFORD

Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford had arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist Tuesday and might not be ready for opening day, April 5.

General manager Ben Cherington called it a relatively routine procedure.

"We expect Carl to be recovered and hitting at some point during spring training," Cherington said. "We're not going to put an exact timeline on it ... (but) expect him to be in position to return to play at some point very early in the season."

Crawford, 30, periodically has had soreness in his left wrist in recent years. He is coming off a disappointing season, having hit .255 with 11 homers and 56 RBI.

CAVALCADE OF SIGNINGS

Numerous players agreed to one-year contracts at the Tuesday deadline to avoid arbitration, including the Tampa Bay Rays foursome of pitcher David Price, $4.35 million; outfielder B.J. Upton, $7 million; and relievers J.P. Howell and Burke Badenhop.

Others who signed similar deals include:

* Second baseman Kelly Johnson ($6.37 million), pitcher Carlos Villenueva ($2.27 million) and outfielder Ben Francisco ($1.53 million) with the Toronto Blue Jays.

* Pitcher Cole Hamels ($15 million plus incentives) with the Philadelphia Phillies.

* Outfielder Andre Ethier ($10.95 million) Los Angeles Dodgers.

* Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury ($8.5 million) and infielder Mike Aviles (undisclosed) with the Boston Red Sox.

* Pitcher Francisco Rodriguez ($8 million) Milwaukee Brewers.

* Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo ($4.9 million) with the Cleveland Indians.

* Pitcher J.A. Happ ($2.35 million) with the Houston Astros.

* Outfielder Delmon Young ($6.75 million), pitcher Max Scherzer ($3.75 million) and utilityman Don Kelly ($900,000) with the Detroit Tigers.

* Pitchers Mike Pelfrey ($5.68 million), Andres Torres ($2.7 million), Ramon Ramirez ($2.67 million) and Manny Acosta ($875,000) with the New York Mets.

* Pitchers Joba Chamberlain ($1.67 million) and David Robertson ($1.6 million) with the New York Yankees.

* Pitchers Brandon McCarthy and Joey Devine, undisclosed, with the Philadelphia Phillies.

* Pitchers Dana Eveland, Jim Johnson and Darren O'Day, undisclosed, with the Baltimore Orioles.

* Pitchers Juan Carlos Oviedo and Edward Mujica, undisclosed, with the Miami Marlins. Oviedo used to be known as Leo Nunez and is on MLB's restricted list as he sorts out issues relating to his use of a false identity.

* Pitchers Jason Vargas, Brandon League and Shawn Kelley, undisclosed, with the Seattle Mariners.

* Pitchers Jair Jurrjens and Eric O'Flaherty, and outfielder Michael Bourn, undisclosed, with the Atlanta Braves.

Big names who didn't come to terms by the deadline include David Ortiz (Boston), Tim Lincecum (San Francisco), Pablo Sandoval (San Francisco), Alex Gordon (Kansas City), Michael Morse (Washington) and Hunter Pence (Philadelphia).

Lincecum is asking for $21.5 million, a record request for arbitration.

BRIEFLY

Infielder Craig Counsell has retired to join the Milwaukee Brewers front office. Counsell will become special assistant to general manager Doug Melvin. Counsell spent 15 years in the big leagues, batting .255 with 42 home runs and 390 RBI ... The Blue Jays have released infielder Mark Teahen, as expected, and are on the hook for his $5.5 million salary.


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