Ryan 'optimistic' about signing Yu Darvish

ARLINGTON, Texas – Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan said he’s “optimistic” that his club will sign Yu Darvish before Wednesday afternoon’s deadline.

“My expectation is that we’ll get something done,” said Ryan prior to the Texas Rangers Award Show at the Arlington Convention Center on Thursday night. “It’s a process, so during the period that we negotiate with someone, we really don’t talk about it. I’m optimistic we’ll get something done.”

The club and Darvish’s representatives are in the middle of an exclusive negotiation period thanks to the Rangers’ $51.7 million posting bid. They have until 4 p.m. central time on Wednesday to get a deal done. If they don’t, Darvish would return to Japan and the Rangers won’t be owed the posting fee.

Ryan spent most of Friday at the owners’ meetings in Phoenix, so he said he isn’t sure where exactly the negotiations stand, but acknowledged that the nature of negotiations is that they go down to the wire. Ryan met Darvish during the Japanese pitcher’s visit to the Dallas-Fort Worth area earlier this month.

“He was bigger than I thought,” Ryan said. “He was built like a pitcher. 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.”

Ryan has also watched Darvish on film and said he has a good feel for his breaking ball and command of the fastball.

“His feel for being able to do things with a baseball is real encouraging,” Ryan said.

Ryan also watched video of Colby Lewis before the club signed Lewis a few years ago and Ryan believed then that Lewis’ stuff would be good enough to get big league hitters out. He feels the same way about Darvish.