Blog Entry

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

Posted on: January 18, 2012 5:35 pm
That the Rangers got the Yu Darvish deal done is no surprise.

Neither is it a surprise that the talks pretty much extended all the way to Tuesday's 5 p.m. EDT deadline.

Now ... will it be a surprise if Darvish immediately becomes the Rangers' ace?

Hmmm. ...

The airspace from Japan to the major leagues has been turbulent for pitchers, but so many scouts say Darvish is no Daisuke Matsuzaka or Hideki Irabu (or Kei Igawa). Across the board, that's a good thing for Texas.

Most importantly, the Rangers themselves are betting that there will be no surprises, that Darvish is ace material. They got exactly what they wanted in essentially exchanging Darvish for C.J. Wilson, and they got exactly what they wanted in getting it done with a six-year deal instead of a five. (Thus keeping him out of the free agent market for an extra year).

Texas' total commitment is $111 million, given the $60 million plus the $51 million posting price, and who knows, maybe there even will be money left over for Prince Fielder. The Rangers steadfastly have downplayed that possibility, but they do have the money and the potential for a monster winter remains.

A good day overall for the Rangers, who have watched AL West rival Los Angeles sign Albert Pujols and Wilson this winter while waiting patiently to put their own plans in motion.

But despite his credentials in Japan, Darvish still comes to Texas as less of a proven commodity than, say, Cliff Lee when the Rangers acquired him at midseason in 2010. Darvish must prove that he can adjust to a longer schedule, pitching every five days, a different culture, a different baseball, the Texas heat and living away from his family. Among other things.

Wilson helped pitch the Rangers to consecutive World Series in 2010 and 2011. He worked 223 1/3 innings last year and 204 innings two summers ago. He made 77 starts over those two seasons and won 31 decisions. He was not nails in the postseason, however, and he had run his course.

There was absolutely no way the Rangers were going to re-sign him, certainly not at anything remotely close to the $77.5 million he got over five years from the Angels.

They did not like the prospect of their return on that investment, and they have not liked how the past two seasons have turned out despite the World Series appearances.

"We've had some success the last two years, but we haven't been able to close it out," general manager Jon Daniels said last month on the night it was revealed that the Rangers won the right to negotiate exclusively with Darvish. "That's our goal. Put the best possible club out there and win a championship."

That goal only gets harder, never easier, as players age and opponents adjust. The Angels have stolen all the headlines this winter and there is no question -- on paper -- they are better post-Pujols.

Baseball men who have watched Darvish pitch, both in Japan and on video, swear that he is by far the best pitcher to come out of Japan. Best stuff, strongest, most developed, most confident.

They Rangers right now have $111 million saying that's right.

As for the rest, well, across the AL West, the Angels are feeling pretty, pretty good about themselves right now. But with Darvish -- and with Fielder still free -- it would be a colossal mistake to curb your enthusiasm where the Rangers are concerned.


Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2012 10:27 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

They said all the same things about Dice-K...granted i belive Darvish will be better than him.

Since: Nov 12, 2009
Posted on: January 19, 2012 8:16 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

You are DEAD ON with you analysis.  It's very difficult to change your routine from pitching your whole life with 5 days rest, and then coming to a different country where you only get 4 days rest, and pitch on a different mound.  People always overlook those two things, and I'm shocked by it.  I'm a Yankees fan, and remember when we got Matsui who was touted as the Japenese Babe Ruth. 
 To pay 3 million more per year for an experiment makes me frustrated on the use of money. Wasn't this the team that MLB had to bail out as they went through Bankruptcy 24 mos ago ??? 

Since: Jan 7, 2012
Posted on: January 19, 2012 7:59 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

The signing of Darvish brings back memories of when the Dallas Mavericks drafted Dirk Nowitzki. The local sentiment was this guy will be a nice complimentary player like  Toni Kukoc IF he pans out and we all know how that turned out. Darvish definitely passes the eye test and as a fan I am 100% behind Ranger's management rolling the dice on Yu's potential. Watching CJ roll out that big bag of nothing every 5 days during last years playoff run is still a recent memory. I bet Mike Maddux is twisting his moustache as we speak thinking what he can make of this Darvish kid. He helped Matt Harrison become a servicable starting pitcher last year which is an absolute miracle. Go Rangers!

Since: Aug 20, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2012 6:00 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

I'm constantaly amazed by how stupid owners and gms are.  I mean they have to be smart people to get into those positions, but honestly they act like idiots when it comes to baseball decisions.  Here's an owner with a new TV deal who just cant wait to spend that money.  Forget whether waiting a year or two might pay off ten times as much, he has to make a move now.  So we get a deal like this.  110 million on a completely unproven commodity.  Do these guys not pay attention to history when they make these decisions?  Do they really think they are smarter than the guys who made the bad signings before them?  Of is it really just as simple as grown men acting like kids with a new toy?  I like the story down in TX.  Would be nice if this works out, but will anyone be surprised when this guy is 52-60 with a 4.2 era after 6 years?  Essentially paying him over 18 million a year they needed to land an ace, odds say chances of that are at best 1 in 4.  Being a gambling man those are not odss I would want to bet that kind of money on.

Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: January 19, 2012 1:56 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

CJ Wilson fans,...... he's a California boy, he didn't want to sign here, he wanted to go back to California.  Anyone in TX knows that while CJ was good while he was here, he was a loud-mouthed douche in the clubhouse, and he was more let go for that than anything else.  He wasn't a likeable teammate in the clubhouse, he wasn't a guy that stepped up and pitched big when he had to.  Yeah, he ended up with some nice 2-year stats.  But that's all he'll ever be.  His upside and ceiling was pretty much hit, so that's what he is.  CJ Wilson is not an ace.  Darvish might not be either, but there's more upside.  Yes, this is a risk and gamble to a degree, but so is every signing of free agents in a way.  Who knows, Darvish might get here and $%@# the bed....... but we also know that come playoff time, so will CJ.  You have to take a risk to get a reward, and the Rangers have the money to spend to take risks.  If CJ really pitched half as well as he talked about how he did, the Rangers might have that World Series ring.  Hello Darvish, you are welcomed by Ranger fans.  CJ, don't let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out.  Good riddance.  People on here posting aren't Rangers fans.  Ranger fans are quite happy with Darvish over CJ. 

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2012 1:44 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

110 Million for an unproven MLB pitcher when you let e PROVEN MLB #1 starter walk?    You could have signed CJ for the 77 million and taken the remaining savings of roughly 33 million and put it towards a Fielder contract no?  I dont get it.  This seems like more of a 'reactionary" move to the fact tthat they lost CJ and the Angels got so much stronger this off-season.

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2012 1:22 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

The newest "Ace" from Japan...and at the low, low price of $111 million...what a bargain. Yet not one Asian pitching prospect has been a star and most of the position players (not named Ichiro or Matsui) have been average at best. When will MLB teams learn that for whatever reason skills (especially pitching skills) just don't seem to translate once they cross the Pacific. Experts say "he is the best pitcher to come out of Japan." Exactly who are they comparing him to- Dice-K? Saito? Irabu? None of them were close to being worth $111 million. Yet here he is..."The Next Ace". Really? Wouldn't that make him the first ace...from Japan anyways?

Really glad the Yanks stayed out of this. I'd rather have Michael Pineda than Yu over the next 5 years. Pineda will be well on his way to an All-Star career, while Yu will be the latest Japanese import to disappoint. But soon after, the "next ace" will be on his way...for some team to pay an ungodly sum to just to negotiate with and even more on his contract. This will lead to more outrageous (and impossible to live up to) expectations, which inevitably will lead to disappointment.

The simple lesson-buy American...especially pitchers. You get more for your money.

Since: Dec 14, 2007
Posted on: January 19, 2012 12:41 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger


If you simply look at wins and losses, Dice-K doesn't look too bad. Instead, look at the number of walks pre innings pitched, and most importantly look at how many innings he has been available for the Res sox since the first couple years.

Many times, just looking at statistics doesn't give the whole picture. And I would bet that you never had to sit and cringe as he walked the bases loaded then get out of a horrible inning due to some nifty fieldwork to get a double play. That of course is while he was able to pitch, given that he was so beat down by the WBC, and while he always was a star in those games, left it all on THOSE fields, never bringing it back to Boston. All in all, he had one good year. No, most Boston Fans would disagree that he was not a bust. He was a pricey flop as far as most Red Sox fans are concerned.

Good luck with Yu...hope he brings you better results down there in the Lone Star State...:)

Since: Apr 5, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2012 12:33 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

Whereyaat?, If they do sign Fielder and any Ranger fan that doesn't want that is crazy their lineup is scary, with Kinsler, Hamilton and Cruz you have to worry about injuries but I guess that's the case with everyone, The rotation is in the middle of the pack in the AL but I think Holland ends up as the ace of this team and one of the better leftys in baseball. The Nathan signing doesn't impress me and by the end of spring training, if they don't sign another closer, I see Feliz back in the pen.

Since: Apr 5, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2012 12:23 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

So Slippy, its not realistic for fans and the management of the Rangers to expect Darvish to pitch better than a #4 starter when they let CJ Wilson, their #1 last year, go and paid 110 mil to get him? Nobody made the Rangers bid that much to get him when they could have signed Wilson for 5 years/ 75 million?, not much more than the 60 million they just threw Darvish on top of the bid. It's obvious to the "lower IQ" fans to see that Texas thinks they are getting a better pitcher and expect him to perform like it or they wouldn't have made the move. But you must have way more baseball knowledge than Nolan Ryan and the Rangers front office as they have to feel that Darvish will come in and lead their staff when you think he's doing well if he performs like a back of the rotation pitcher.

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