Darvish's agent tweeted about 30 minutes ago Darvish will be posted Thursday. While he is 26 he would qualify as a rookie this year. I think he's the best of the free agent class of pitchers this year, and while he will cost a premium with the posting system, I do expect him to be signed.
On a totally selfish note, I'm thrilled because I picked up Darvish in early-September for my very deep keeper league and as a rookie Darvish can be stashed on my reserve without any cost for the upcoming season.
I know much has been written about the dangers of banking on Japanese pitching imports. There is probably some truth to the notion that it is more difficult here to pitch on 4 days rest. But I also think the discussion has been warped by the very few imports who have come here -- a sample size that holds no statistical value.
From what I have seen of scouting reports and looking at Darvish's numbers, I expect he'll be a top-20 starter in either the A.L. or the N.L with an upside to break in to the top-10. I also expect the Yankees, Rangers or Red Sox to be the leaders in signing him.