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: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:58 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

YES!  I understand now. $112 million, $120 million per year that teams are paying for a single player.  What was I thinking? Silly me!

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:50 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

The Hokkaido Nippon fighters just pulled one over on the Rangers...I think that is probably more accurate honestly with all the hype honestly even if he's good he's still not going to live up to it...sad to say. 

You would be a virtually a bad GM. The Ranger did not even try to keep Wison but made the commitment to Darvish for a larger total cost.  Plus once the posting was won it was not a bidding war ....REgarding the 60M contract-It would have been much higher if there was not a posting fee.  1) Once the 52M was posted the Japan team did not want him back.  Baseball is run differently in Japan.  The Nippon team is owned by a big corperation that is poised to show profits.  the net to them is 80M on this deal alone.  they want the money.  Baseball does not bring in that kind of money in Japan.  2) The Rangers are the only team that could sign him.  SO for Yu is was take the 10M per year or go back to Japan and make 4M?  

See why they got him for a "small" contract?  Just save face and say "Yes".

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:46 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.

Since: Mar 14, 2008
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:43 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

So the Rangers spent $111 million dollars on an unknown product?  They have more faith than I would have had.  Perhaps there is some sort of escape clause in case this guy bombs, or is his contract guaranteed?  If not, I hope he doesn't blow his arm out playing longer seasons, pitching more innings, facing better hitters during a more grueling season.  Otherwise there will probably be more than a few disappointed fans for the next 6 years.

Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:38 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

If and this is a big IF...Yu becomes an ace for the Rangers it will be the best deal they've made to date.  Look and the Sabathia deal five years for 122 million. This is the kind of money aces are getting and the Rangers need an ace more than anyone. If Yu is as big as we think he could be the money will be defrayed by other sales...imagine shirt sales to Japan alone.

Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:35 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

So that's 10 mil a year the way I read it...take away the blind bid money that they paid for him and all in all 10 mil a year is lower then expected, now what I thought he'd want and if he's really that could would be a 6 yr 60 mil a year for a total of 360 mil contract that is more what we as baseball fans are used to seeing for this talent...not sure if the Rangers snaggled a good deal here because of bad agent or if The Hokkaido Nippon fighters just pulled one over on the Rangers...I think that is probably more accurate honestly with all the hype honestly even if he's good he's still not going to live up to it...sad to say. 

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:24 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

You can't compare 1975 to 2012
Sure you can. Even with inflation adjustments (which most of the rest of us rarely get), 45K in 1975 would be about the same as 180K today. How much are Bat Boys making these days? 1.5 million per year? We can all thank the late George Steinbrenner. He's the one that started throwing stupid money at players in the beginning. The others had to follow.

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:19 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

The truth, the fact that teams are spending 100-120 million for any single player is mind boggling. I don't care how the money is split up, all contract, half for the right to sign the player, it doesn't really matter. It really is mind boggling. Our society obviously has it's priorities straight.

Since: Nov 11, 2006
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:11 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

To answer your question.. they are jealous.  You can't compare 1975 to 2012.  I do agree with you about what player is worth $112 million but the fact of the matter is there are many players exceeding that threshold e.g. Pujols, ARod, Cliff Lee, etc...

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:09 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

Perhaps I am missing something, but the idea of paying fifty million dollars for the right to negotiate with a player, especially one that has never played in the major leagues, is ridiculous. After pay all that money and to come away with no player is not going to happen. From what I have seen, it is a pretty big jump to go from Japanese ball to the major leagues. Ichiro did it easily. Dice K had one good year, a couple more had some success, but most have been busts. I would think that either signing or trading for a proven major league player  would be the way to go, but I guess that I am wrong. If I were a betting man, I would bet against super stardom in the near future, but time will tell. The rich get richer in pro sports as usual.

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