On December 19th when the Texas Rangers posted a $51.7 million dollar blind bid for the rights to negotiate with Japanese Pitcher Yu Darvish. The speculation soon began in the media, was this cost to the franchise going to be worth the risk. The Majors are littered with stories of pitchers coming over from Japan and failing miserably. So, the questions soon started, is that too steep to pay just for negotiating rights.
As soon as the negotiations started, it was clear that Darvish was going to be all in and wanted to get a deal done with the Rangers. On January 18th, a deal was announced and The Rangers had agreed to pay Darvish $60 million for six years. That meant the Rangers were in for $112 million on an unknown in Major League Baseball. The Franchise sold the deal as a something spectacular and thought for sure it would pay off.
Darvish would make his first Major League start on April 9th, and while it started off rocky, every start since then has been good. He has been so good, he was just recently voted in by the fans as the last All Star. He has pitched in 16 games so far and is currently 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA, which is better than most “experts” would have guessed when it was announced he was coming to Texas. Not only has he proved to be a great acquisition on the field, he has become a fan favorite when he starts in the Ballpark.
We are just now hitting the All Star break and it is looking like Nolan Ryan and John Daniels have hit this one out of the park. If Darvish is able to perform about the same, as he has to this point then he will be one of the best pitchers on the staff and be close to winning 20 games for the year. Most experts would have said if he can give you 15 solid wins, then he is worth the price. Obviously winning 20+ games in his first full season in the MLB will be an amazing feat.
Darvish was one of the best pitchers in Japan, it is looking like he is expecting to have the same type of success here. But Darvish didn’t come over here as a superstar, he has accepted his role as a rookie in the clubhouse. He has become just “one of the guys”. You can’t call the Darvish experiment a total success right now, but you can say it is on the right track.Please be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook