Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan said Thursday that he is "optimistic" the team will sign pitcher Yu Darvish before Wednesday's deadline, according to ESPNDallas.com.
"My expectation is that we'll get something done," Ryan said, according to the report. "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 Rangers and representatives for Darvish are in negotiations, but if the two sides are unable to strike a deal by Wednesday Darvish will return to Japan. Texas has exclusive rights to communicate with Darvish after they posted the winning bid of $52.7 million.
Ryan has been impressed with Darvish, and compared him favorably to current Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis. "He was bigger than I thought," Ryan told ESPN. "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."