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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: Jul 3, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2012 12:29 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

yawn. jap pitchers suck. dont care about jap stats. these guys are good until mlb hitters figure them out and crush them. rangers will regret this contract in 2 years when darvish is walking 6 batters a game because he's afraid to put the ball remotely near the plate (for good reason). not as many slap hitters in mlb as in japan. we make you throw strikes, and when you do, we crush them. seen it before. nice job texas. only cost you 100 mill. (chuckle)

Since: Jul 31, 2011
Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:14 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

You fellas that are lumping Darvish in with other Japanese imports (Igawa, Irabu, Nomo, Dice-K are making a mistake.  Take a look at a head to head comparison of their international #s and you'll realize this guy is in a league of his own.  Better winning % then all, Whip 2nd only to Nomo, Best walk rate, best SO/BB rate, and an ERA almost a full point below the next closest guy. And those #s don't include his 2011 season which was by far his most dominant.  Obviously you cant predict how He'll respond to pitching on 5 days rest vs. 6 or throwing a slightly bigger ball, but he's got the frame to handle the work load( 6'5") and the ball. Even though he was pitching every sixth day he still put up some serious innings 202 and 231 respectively the last two years.  All things considered I think that Rangers fans have reason to be very optamistic. You can mark it down Darvish will out perform CJ wilson this year.

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:11 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

The Yankees bidded only 20 million for this guy after they spent over a year evaluating him. 
Yankees scouting staff sucks.  That is why there are not any top tier players that came up through their farm system.

Since: Feb 13, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:01 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

"... 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)."
Oh, is that what another year on a contract does?

Thanks for clearing that up, Scott...

Since: Feb 11, 2010
Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:09 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

If darvish bombs, I don't see the problem.  The rangers have more than enough potential starters to even man a 7 pitcher rotation.  I can see a 6 man rotation very easily with the staff they have.  Ogando was lights out but wore down and put in the pen.  Feliz is not stretched out in my opinion, so he won't be pitching 200 innings.  I can see darvish, ogando, and feliz all starting at some point this season to save their arms.  This isn't rocket science and it's not my money.  I applaud the rangers and think this is what they plan on doing as well.

Since: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2012 9:48 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

Lets put it this way...The Yankees bidded only 20 million for this guy after they spent over a year evaluating him. He may benefit pitching in Arlington instead of New York but we will see. The Angels have the pitching in the division hands down. Texas might not even make the playoffs.  

Since: Dec 17, 2011
Posted on: January 18, 2012 9:31 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

Just like Butler, Rangers had their best shot to win it all the last two years in a row and gagged. This is an ill advised, desperate attempt to stay relevant that is an obvious gamble that will likely fail. Yankees got the real quality pitcher from the East when they signed Kuroda to a 1 year 10 mil contract. This Darvish contract is insane. Yankees know all too well about signing super star pitchers from Japan only to have it blow up back in their face: Irabu, Igawa.

Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2012 9:15 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

What do they care? It will just be passed down to the fans. People are going to end up paying $250 for nose bleed seats, paying $20 for a beer and $10 for a hotdog
Actually 90% of this money is coming from the HUGE Foxnetwork contract the Rangers signed prior to last sesaon.

Seats in Arlington are a mere fraction of what they pay up in the NorthEast.....Have to be, or you'de never get people in them once the 105 hits...which is like 3 months of the season. Beers are very very reasonable too. Dogs are about $3.00 a piece...not bad.

Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2012 9:12 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

After pay all that money and to come away with no player is not going to happen. 
Actually, if they didn't sign Darvish today, they would have gotten the 51 million back.

Since: Feb 6, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2012 9:06 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

Yu Darvish - Over rated and over hyped! most probably Dice-K version 2.

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