In a time on the MLB calendar when there are no games, we’re just past the Winter Meetings, and the off-season signings could come any day without warning, the Yu Darvish Derby has everyone’s attention. The standout Japanese pitcher was posted late last week and the bidding ended on Wednesday at 4:00PM CST.

And here we are.

We still don’t know who had the winning bid but the consensus is that the Blue Jays and Rangers were the front runners. Despite the mixed results of Japanese players that have moved to MLB, the posting bid for Darvish is expected to be as high as $48 million, just short of what the Red Sox bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka.

And the bid is simply for the right to negotiate with the posted player. A contract still has to be agreed upon within 30 days, or else the player returns to his Japanese team.

NPBTracker.com, a solid source for Japanese baseball news, has a brief “the news is that there’s no news” update here. We don’t have anything better on this side of the pond as MLB.com’s Jon Star writes about mostly speculation during this dark period where we’re waiting to hear who won the bid.

But wherever the 25-year old hurler ends up, he seems to have a flair for the kind of off-the-field adventures that will make him a superstar in this country. Read the second paragraph in John Lott’s story for the National Post and you’ll see Mr. Darvish has what it takes to make it in North America.

Let’s hope the numbers detailed in that story’s first paragraph translate well enough that the team with the winning bid doesn’t get stuck with some goofy reality series to show for its multi-million dollar efforts.