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: Sep 30, 2007
Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:55 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

i just hope the simple minded baseball fans don't go with the usual 'Darvish is not performing like 110 million dollar pitcher'...   if Darvish pitches like a 10 mil pitcher (which is the price of a #4 pitcher nowadays), then he's doing his share.  it won't be HIS fault that MLB is so corrupt and retarded that they even have a 'blind bid posting'  can you imagine if they had that in NBA?   but unfortunately, baseball has so many older simple minded folks that there will be plenty of lower IQ fans that'll crticize Darvish for not pitching like a 20 mil pitcher intead of recognizing the insufficient aggregate IQ pool of those that control MLB

Since: Feb 1, 2009
Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:52 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

I think to declare Daisuke a bust would be completely unfair. I did a quick Wiki read a few months ago and was surprised at what I saw. So the guy went 15-12 in his very first season with the BoSox, second year 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA, then got injured in his third year requiring Tommy John surgery. Strasburg needed that too. Is he a bust already?

Career record: 46-27. That includes getting roughed up in a season where he was injured. Is that really "bust" worthy?  

Since: Jun 19, 2007
Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:51 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger


yea the lineup on paper looks great, except your filling in one spot with Prince Fielder who is still unsigned. And if you being a Ranger fan like good ol Ian Kinsler (I do) Hamilton (ditto) Cruz (Im on the fence) then you might have to reconsider signing the good young Prince. He will strangle-hold their payroll along with Darvish for the next 6-8 years. The Rangers need to not bite on the appealing bait just because the Angels did, trust me Im a Yankee fan! Longterm deals for 'high maintenence' players is a headache waiting to happen. Put it this way, save the $ on the team now so if God forbid one of the stars gets injured they have flexibility to move players and even take on a big contract if needed. The Rangers can compete with the Angels, does anyone remember who won the AL East? Yea the Yankees after the HUGE offseason last year by the Sox. Texas has gotten to where they are now by promoting youth, they should stick to it.

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:34 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

If the Rangers sign former Brewer Prince Fielder, then their payroll will rival that of the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies. Still, I would have preferred Fielder over Yu Darvish anyway...that's one proven commodity over an unknown.
If the Rangers sign Fielder they be in the top for the highest team pay roll, but the Yankees and Phillies will still be the top two highest payrolls.

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: January 19, 2012 10:36 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

Gotta go with Ogando as one of your starters. I saw the kid pitch in Yankee stadium in the spring and he throws straight GAS. Him, Feliz, and Darvish can make a great prospective 1-3 down the road.

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: January 19, 2012 10:35 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

A six year deal for a pitcher with 0.0 major league innings sure is risky, but no guts no glory in the AL West this season. I still don't get the $50+ million posting fee, especially when the entire contract itself was worth only slightly more. I feel like the Rangers outbid themselves a couple times in this whole process.

Otherwise, I still like this Rangers team to win the AL West. Pujols and CJ Wilson make the Angels a lot more dangerous, but I'd still take the Rangers lineup any day of the week. If Feliz can transition to a starter, this team won't skip a beat.

Since: Mar 22, 2011
Posted on: January 19, 2012 10:20 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger


Darvish, Feliz, the Dutch Oven, Harrison, and Colbra (Ogando and Scooter in the pen but will both start at some point)



Best lineup in the baseball backed up by one of the best bullpens in the Bigs. 

We'll see about the rotation, but they are young and out to prove themselves.


Hello Win Column!

Since: Feb 11, 2010
Posted on: January 19, 2012 10:03 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

Very nice blog KLM.  This is a factor many haven't thought about.  I can't wait to watch this guy pitch.  I still think the rangers have plenty of could be starters if Darvish struggles.

Since: Feb 11, 2010
Posted on: January 19, 2012 10:00 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

Man it is refreshing to see other teams other the the AL east spending the big jack.  I know the AL east fans are very nervous at this point.  They will now start to understand what a true fan is when they go on a long losing streak.

Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2012 9:58 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

I think this is a huge mistake for the Rangers, I really do.  They are paying, in total, over $100 million for a Japanese pitcher who has never pitched in MLB and is unproven in North American baseball.  Who really knows if he will be great or another Matsusaka?  I know the scouts are saying he is legit, fine, but those are just opinions, not facts.  If I were the Rangers, I would have said "Yu, thanks but you can have your posting fee back."  I could be proven wrong and if I am so be it, but I just do not think this makes any sense from the Rangers perspective.

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