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: Jun 25, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:43 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

I hope he is a b.P. machine for the big A.L. east teams this year. Just another failed arm from the orient.

Since: Jan 23, 2012
Posted on: January 23, 2012 4:01 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

Darvish doesnt have to be an Ace..we have gone to World Series for past 2 yrs..Cj Wilson was sputtering mightily last signed with Angels..4th starter..if they make the playoffs he will prob come out of the bullpen in relief..5yr $77mil..we got Darvish a dominant player in Japan..big..strong..workout freak..crazy stuff..mid 90 speed..with Holland, Harrison, throw lewis and a developing Feliz..we will have 4 starters under 26yrs old..ogando back in the bullpen and a spot starter when needed..future is bright..

Since: Dec 24, 2009
Posted on: January 23, 2012 12:22 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

Somehow when I see an image or video of Jon Daniels, Michael Corleone comes to mind. As the article stated, the Rangers were not likely to re-sign C. J. Wilson, a proven pitcher from the past two years. He let the Rangers down during the past two World Series and so he was given the kiss of death.

And through his pursuit and signing of Yu Darvish, he has essentially moved into territory previously claimed by the Red Sox and through an increase in spending, has executed a leader from one of the rival families, Brian Cashman of the Yankees.

Jon (Corleone) Daniels is the new Godfather of Baseball.

How else do you explain that Mike Maddux turned down a chance to manage the Cubs, that assistant GM Thad Levine chose not to interview for the Houston Astros General Manager position?

Yu Darvish is the new soldier in the family, but I can see him moving up to Capo among the pitchers very quickly.

Since: Feb 27, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 11:09 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

He is not going to be strassburg. Pitching in the american league in a small ballpark with 100 degree heat look for his era to be around 5.00. The footage I have seen on him on mlb is not that impressive. I don't think he will fool major league hitters as frequently as those in Japan. I don't think he will dominate major league hitters either.

Since: Jan 18, 2012
Posted on: January 22, 2012 8:33 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

I think the new CBA is affecting the Yankees. 

Yankees aim to trim payroll by 2014 to escape luxury penalties

Brian Cashman is no longer able to open up the Yankee check book to cover up for all of his past mistakes.

Just look at the money the team had wasted just lastyear.  They had three left-handed pitchers in Marte, Feliciano and Igawa that cost them over 17 million dollars (when you pro rate Igawa posting) that didn’t even throw a pitch for them last season. This wasted 17 Million dollars represents over 40% of Tampa’s payroll for 2011.  The 17 million dollars would be 17% of both Texas and ST Louis (two teams that played in the World Series
last year) team payroll.

If Cashman had not made such a blunder when he signed AJ to a contract that no one in MLB was offering they would have had the money to
become at least a player in the Darvish sweepstake.

So instead of having Darvish in the rotation Yankee fans are left wondering if Pineda is this season version of Jeff Weaver another pitcher
that Brian Cashman said was going to be the center piece of the Yankee Starting Rotation for years to come.

It will be interesting to see over the years which one Darvish or Pineda really becomes the center piece of their teams starting rotation.  My guess based on Brian Cashmans track record with pitchers it will be Darvish.

Since: Nov 25, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2012 6:23 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

Money is no object in Yankee Land......  but they didn't go after him because this is far from a sure thing.  The Yankees did go after him, they got outbid.  Darvish is as close to a sure thing as you are going to get out of Japan.  He has the build of an ACE to go along with the pitches of an ACE.  The Yankees didn't go after him because they were looking in a different direction.  They knew who they wanted a while ago and finally got them.  Darvish would have been a bonus. Although the posting fee doesn't count towards their salary cap, it certainly is still money spent regardless.  It comes from someone's pocket, so please don't knock this guy just because the Yankees didn't spend the most money to retain his services.  The Yankees are not being run the smae way they used to be.  They currently have a lot of expensive old players on their roster.  My guess is you will see them continue to fall short as they have the past several years, until eventually they end up rebuilding like back in the 80's.

Since: Jul 31, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 1:03 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

Don't think your giving the Japanese game enough credit. Take a look a cobly lewis' numbers over there...there solid but you wouldnt confuse him for bob Gibson or nolan Ryan and more importantly pales in comparisons to Yu's stats. I think we can agree he's been pretty successful over that last couple of seasons.

Since: Nov 24, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2012 11:38 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

"Seam".  It's spelled "SEAM".  

Since: Jul 30, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:58 pm

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

I'm an Angels fan first off so I'm def a little biased.   Having said that I'm thrilled that Texas signed Darvish over Fielder (so far).  Not just to point out that NO ONE knows how this guy will do, but he is coming to one of the worst stadiums to pitch in.  I believe that the Rangers have some pretty good arms in that rotation but look at their r/h splits.  The ERAS of these guys at home are horrible.  Which is def not going to benefit Darvish.  Along with that the American ball is not as tight and the seems not as tight.  So from a pure physics standpoint he is not going to get the same amount of movement on his pitches as he normally would in Japan.  He's not Nomo but he defintely not Feliz in terms of speed.  I think that will hurt him.  My last point is to point out that the Rangers let go a solid pitcher who would not be able to utilize his potential at Arlington but in Anaheim with that thick air at night, he could possibly be a Cy Young winner.  Just look at his road stats from last year, as well as his OPP AVG against the Angels at the BIG A (yes, I know the Angels O wasn't very good, but there AVG. was actually decent, it was their ability to score runs that was horrible).  

Since: Jun 10, 2010
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:35 am

Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

5 stars for using 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' in the final sentence of the article!

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