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Tracking international players Yu Darvish and Yoenis Cespedes

Baseball news -- at least as it relates to the Detroit Tigers -- seems to be pretty slow this week, and I'm not sure how much we can expect it to pick up with Christmas and New Years quickly approaching on the calendar. But there are a couple of players to keep watch on.

The first is Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, MLB teams had until 5 p.m. on Wednesday to place a bid with his team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, in order to gain the right to negotiate with Darvish. The Tigers were not thought to be in this chase, beyond pipe dreams and dreaming from some fans. The Fighters have a few more days to think about the bid -- reports say that they'll accept it -- but it is apparently from the Toronto Blue Jays.

George A King III of the NY Post wrote today:

Having made a posting bid above $40 million and possibly close to $50 million, the Blue Jays are the favorites to land the negotiating rights to Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish.

There is a belief the Cubs also made a large bid on the right-hander but a number hasn't been attached to their bid.

The Yankees made a bid Wednesday night, but it's not expected to top what the Blue Jays submitted. The Rangers are also believed to have bid.

Which brings us to Cespedes, whom I have to write about at least once or twice a week due to a contract I signed with myself.

Well, there's not really much new there. The claims negotiations begin at Aroldis Chapman money (about $30 million) have been repeated by his agent, but that's not really all that exciting when the figures $50 and $60 million have been tossed around for weeks. Also, he may be looking for a six-, seven- or even eight-year deal, Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan wrote on Twitter. So that's about it.

People continue to write that Cespedes could be declared a free agent at pretty much any time, but so far he hasn't, so there's nothing that can officially happen right now on the Cespedes front.

But when that happens... excitement! No matter if the Tigers get him or not.