On the last day Texas was given to sign him or look elsewhere, the Rangers signed Japanese stud Yu Darvish to a six year deal worth $60 million on Wednesday.
Texas had already spent $51.7 million to the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, Darvish’s former team, in order to simply meet and discuss a deal with the right hander. It’s the largest deal to date in regards to a player coming from the posting system, the same system that brought Daisuke Matsuzaka to Boston in 2006 on a $52 million contract.
This largely fills a void for the Rangers who lost C.J. Wilson earlier this off-season in free agency to the Angels. Although it will be interesting to see how Darvish handles himself against MLB pitching, most of the baseball world projects his future to be incredibly solid with the numbers he posted in Japan. Darvish, 25, had a 1.44 ERA in 28 games last season and struck out 276 batters. Not to mention, it was his fifth straight season posting an overall ERA under 1.90.
In the small sample size Darvish has had against MLB hitters, he’s done very well. In international play, he pitched for Japan’s national team in the 2008 Olympics and 2009 World Baseball Classic and was very impressive. He is 6-foot-5, 220 pounds and has a seven pitch repertoire that includes everything but a straight change-up.
This is a big move by the Rangers. Not only do they have a solidified role at the top of the rotation, but also still have firm experience at the 2-5 slots as well with Colby Lewis, Alexi Ogando, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison.
Now, with rumors floating the Rangers would sign Prince Fielder if this Darvish move fell through, the question thus remains, where will Prince Fielder end up this late in the off-season? But that of course is another topic for another day. Today is a day for the Rangers.
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