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 7:31 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

I think this entire thing is costing the Rangers $112 million.  Half of that just for the rights to the pitcher and the other half to address his contract. The Rangers are paying for his entire previous teams 2012 payroll just for the right to sign him. Am I missing something? What f'ing pitcher or any international or american athlete is worth $112 million? The average major league baseball player made $45 K per year in 1975. I wonder what some of those players (any sport really)  think about today's salaries.

Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: January 18, 2012 7:29 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

Mid January and the Boras/Fielder trainwreck simply won't stop burning (itself).

Its like a tire fire!!!

(PS - A little karma for a guy in his early 20's to be obese and refuse to drop a single pound - despite the team's prodding - until his contract season.)

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: January 18, 2012 6:32 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

A cool 10 million for a man who has never tossed a pitch in the real big leagues.  WOW!

Good for him.

Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2012 6:04 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

3 names that I think has this guy becoming the first real Japanese Phenom (No hit on Dice-K, he just didn't last as long as projected).

Those 3 names are of course Nolan Ryan, and the other two are brothers both named Maddux.

Mike Maddux has been god-like in developing pitchers, and now he has his brother, perhaps the pitcher that did the most with the least in Greg Maddux. 

The fact the Rangers also have a deep, not great by any means, but deep rotation will allow Darvish to miss a start every couple of weeks and that will also be very very important. 

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