This was the week of Yu Darvish.
Even though we still don’t know the identity of the team that won the right to negotiate with him, Darvish speculation dominated the past week, largely overshadowing significant signings by Aramis Ramirez and Michael Guddyer, and a big trade between the Padres and Reds.
Once seen as favorites for Darvish, the Yankees are now believed to be bit players in the process. The Blue Jays seem to be the industry favorites while the Yankees continue to play offseason small ball.
The Nippon Ham Fighters have until Tuesday to announce the winning bid.
Some more of the past week in review…
• Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Dave Robertson won GIBBY Awards, the annual honors handed out by MLB.com. Jeter was picked for the year’s best performance, Cano as the most exciting player and Robertson was tabbed as the best setup reliever.
• Colin Curtis cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A. Greg Golson cleared waivers, became a free agent and landed a minor league deal with the Royals.
• Hal Steinbrenner landed on Sports Business Journal’s list of the most influential people in sports business. Who knew running the Yankees would get someone on such a list?
• The Yankees are bringing back veteran catcher Gustavo Molina on a minor league deal. He’ll serve the same insurance role he played last year. Meanwhile, Andrew Brackman — surprise! — got a big league deal with the Reds.
• The Red Sox made some moves, most notably adding former Yankees reliever Mark Melancon to their bullpen. Boston also added Nick Punto to play a utility role.
• Lou Pinella is coming back to the Bronx to work at the YES Network.
• We got a glimpse of what it might cost to trade for a young starting pitcher. The Reds acquired Mat Latos from the Padres at the expense of three prospects — all ranked in the organization’s Top 10 according to Baseball America — plus Edinson Volquez, who’s still fairly young and just a few years ago looked like an elite big leaguer.
• We also got a glimpse of what Nick Swisher’s value might be next winter with both Josh Willingham and Michael Cuddyer signing three-year deals.
• The new CBA was approved, and with it comes a series of changes. Baseball has also appointed a committee to begin looking into changes in the way teams acquire international talent.
Associated Press photo