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Texas Rangers win negotiating rights to Yu Darvish

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I honestly didn't believe any team would go this high with their bid given the current economic situation in the US and the recent performance (or lack of) of other Japanese players who made the jump, so that shows how much I know. :D

Perhaps making it to consecutive World Series and losing has got the Rangers feeling a little pressure and thinking that they are just one piece away from winning it all. Now the "fun" begins as they try to hash out a contract with Yu and his people. Tellem has started things of by saying nice things about the team and the fans but I imagine he's gonna ask for multiple years at 10+ mil per year behind close doors. Texas will probably give 'em what they want; otherwise why make such a bid at all.

Look forward to seeing Darvish pitch in the AL next year.

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Texas Rangers bid a hefty sum, around $51.7 million, even more than BoSox with Dice-K. Where is now seems everybody suddenly getting all these monies (not too long ago, the Rangers were under MLB administration).............

But it may be to Darvish's benefit because if there's someone he has to listen to, it's Rangers co-owner Nolan Ryan. If one thinks one is the special one, standing in front of Nolan Ryan's accomplishments would quickly dispel that specialness. Maybe Dice-K would've also benefited if he has a Nolan Ryan that he can't but listen to.

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Gomen, lemme fix that formatting:

Using his ZiPS projection system, Dan Szymborski projected Yu Darvish's next five seasons with the Texas Rangers.

Year...W....L...ERA...BB...K.....WAR

2012...13...7...3.62...46...169...4.5

2013...13...7...3.55...44...167...4.7

2014...13...7...3.52...42...163...4.6

2015...12...6...3.54...39...153...4.3

2016...11...6...3.46...38...150...4.3

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Reported elsewhere, the posting was $61 million. Contract will be I think five years at $12 million plus per year minimum. So Rangers are out at least $120 million for Darvish for five years. Amazing.

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Not to knock anyone having fun trying to forecast the future -- baseball is supposed to be fun, after all -- but the thing about pitcher annual stat projections is that all of the seasons kind of look alike. If there were truly any pitchers with three consecutive seasons of 13-7 and an ERA within one-tenth of a run in all of major league history, I'll eat my hat. Me, I'm just excited to see what Darvish will do in real life!

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The 25-year-old Darvish, considered the best pitcher from Japan to try to play in MLB, has posted five consecutive seasons of a sub-2.00 ERA. His best season came last year, when he went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA and struck out 276 in 232 innings.

If Yu doesn't live up to his billing, which is possible, what do you expect when the media in America write things like the above (from Yahoo! Sports). How can he be the "best" when he's only been playing in the pros for a few years? Ridiculous, IMHO.

Then again, he may continue to blossom under the tutelage of someone like a Nolan Ryan - truly one of the best pitchers ever.

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Some reports say Darvish is looking for 5 years, $75 million, average $15 million per year............. which he likely won't get (Dice-K "only" got 6 years, $52 million, average less than $9 million per year, and they know how that panned out).......... but ya never know nowadays (when CJ Wilson signed for ace money..... to be the Angels' No. 3 starter).

Nevertheless, it'll still cost the Rangers over $100 million overall, which would make it hard for them to retain all their core star players who become free-agents starting after 2012 season (though they have a good farm system, so they may afford the risk). Whether this huge bet works out for the Rangers, nobody would know for a few more years (just ask the BoSox).

Anyways, if the Rangers and Darvish reach a deal, here's a few things Darvish has to watch out:

1.) It's hot outside in the Texas summer months, especially day games.

2.) There's a homerun jet stream to right field in Texas Arlington Stadium (good for lefty batters - Darvish is a righty). The Rangers team has the biggest difference between home HRs vs. away HRs.

3.) Darvish will be facing Albert Pujols and Ichiro a lot (though both had down-years last season, and thus maybe on the decline trend).

4.) He'll be pitching fewer innings per start, but will pitch in 4 days rest, instead of 6 days rest in Japan.

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And lostrune 2, he will be pitching for a Nolan Ryan team, which doesn't want to baby pitchers and wants them out there every 5th day. Not sure if Darvish will be able to handle the work load. I read where Ryan would like to return to a 4 man staff, as he believes pitchers have to pitch and all this pitch count crap is doing nothing but making pitchers weak, and injury prone. I must say though I am really disappointed that Toronto didn't win the right to negotiate with Darvish, there will be hell to pay in Toronto now, after blowing this!

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Michael... I agree that he won't be babied... but I believe he will be more than capable of the workload... I always thought Texas would be the best team for him because of Ryan... take Kazuhiro Sasaki and Daisuke Matsuzaka as examples... the Mariners didn't like Sasaki's training and warm-up methods as they believed it to be too much... but there wasn't much they could do about it since the team was controlled by a Japanese owner... long story short, he flourished in his four seasons (well, his last season has its question marks)... as for Matsuzaka, Boston refused to let him stay on his usual routine, he publicly complained about it... this one is kind of a catch-22 considering the amount of money invested in him... but I really believe that had he been able to maintain his normal routine and exercises like Sasaki, he would have been more successful... Ryan will let Darvish maintain his training ways, and he will help him get adjusted to MLB... being from Seattle, I hate this... but as a baseball fan, I can't wait to see how Darvish does under Ryan's watch...

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And one more, to continue from above:

5.) Being in the AL West division, all 3 of Texas' division opponents are way over in the west coast. Darvish has to get used to not only long-distance travel but also across not 1 but 2 timezones in many trips. (Ichiro, being in the northwest corner Seattle farthest from everybody else, got used to the long trips; kudos to him, but at least he shared the same timezone in the west coast.)

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Michael... I agree that he won't be babied... but I believe he will be more than capable of the workload... I always thought Texas would be the best team for him because of Ryan... take Kazuhiro Sasaki and Daisuke Matsuzaka as examples... the Mariners didn't like Sasaki's training and warm-up methods as they believed it to be too much... but there wasn't much they could do about it since the team was controlled by a Japanese owner... long story short, he flourished in his four seasons (well, his last season has its question marks)... as for Matsuzaka, Boston refused to let him stay on his usual routine, he publicly complained about it... this one is kind of a catch-22 considering the amount of money invested in him... but I really believe that had he been able to maintain his normal routine and exercises like Sasaki, he would have been more successful... Ryan will let Darvish maintain his training ways, and he will help him get adjusted to MLB... being from Seattle, I hate this... but as a baseball fan, I can't wait to see how Darvish does under Ryan's watch...

Actually, I think if Matsuzaka would've played closer attention to the Red Sox training staff he would've avoided a lot of the arm trouble he ended up having. It was because he kept following the his "old" routine that he ended up overthrowing a lot during his off seasons and just kept adding unnecessary wear and tear to his arm. Throw in his participation in the WBC which kept him out of most of the 2009 Spring Training and also his unwillingness to be upfront about his physical condition with the Red Sox or Team Japan during that 2009 WBC and it was no surprise that he had arm troubles that year. He did some incredible things as a HS player and young pro, but he refused to adjust his training schedule as he got older and his body just couldn't seem to handle it as well as it once did.

Sasaki was a relief pitcher, not a starter. The demands placed on his body were much different than the ones that Matsuzaka had to deal with. Some relief pitchers may never throw more than 50 innings a season whereas a starter might get close to 200. A lot of things can get covered up, even poor training methods, when you only might have to face a batter or two every couple of games or so.

Personally, I think it would do Darvish good to get over to Texas as soon as he can after he signs. Get over there to the Ranger's trainers and other staff so that they can find out what he usually does and help him begin his adjustment to the Majors as quickly as possible.

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He'll have to make quite an adjustment to the weather! I wish him well but he'd better be sturdier than the blokes Japan's sent to bowl for the Americans thus far!

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I don't really follow baseball but... a) at 25 isn't he old? b) as a pitcher at 25 in Japan, aren't people worried about injury c) He's arrogant as all hell d) didn't he say he wouldn't play in the US e) who gets the kids in the divorce? We all know he can't keep it zipped up. f) Why does any US team care since most Japanese "heavy weights" recently aren't producing??

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yeah, too bad Toronto didn't get this.. I may have been inclined to go to some Blue Jay games this summer

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Actually, I think if Matsuzaka would've played closer attention to the Red Sox training staff he would've avoided a lot of the arm trouble he ended up having. It was because he kept following the his "old" routine that he ended up overthrowing a lot during his off seasons and just kept adding unnecessary wear and tear to his arm. Throw in his participation in the WBC which kept him out of most of the 2009 Spring Training and also his unwillingness to be upfront about his physical condition with the Red Sox or Team Japan during that 2009 WBC and it was no surprise that he had arm troubles that year. He did some incredible things as a HS player and young pro, but he refused to adjust his training schedule as he got older and his body just couldn't seem to handle it as well as it once did.<

"actually, I think"? ... anyways, thats what the internet news will tell you... that's what the Boston media will tell you... and it's misleading... I won't disagree with the 2009 unwillingness to be upfront about his physical condition, that was a mistake and he took responsibility for it... but he did indeed change his routine... he was forced to train the way that Boston's coaches had prepared for him from the very start... he did not overthrow by his standards, but by Boston's standards... the "wear and tear" argument has been overused and never proven... he adjusted his training schedule many times, still is... but it's still not to the level when he was with Seibu (and it won't be now)... now, had he been able to train with his standards from the get-go, makes you wonder what kind of condition he would have been in during the 2009 WBC (he was quite fine after the 2006 one)...

Sasaki was a relief pitcher, not a starter. The demands placed on his body were much different than the ones that Matsuzaka had to deal with. Some relief pitchers may never throw more than 50 innings a season whereas a starter might get close to 200. A lot of things can get covered up, even poor training methods, when you only might have to face a batter or two every couple of games or so.<

thank you, John Madden... now, how many relievers do you know of that throw over 50 pitches in the bullpen before going to the mound?

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"actually, I think"? ... anyways, thats what the internet news will tell you... that's what the Boston media will tell you... and it's misleading... I won't disagree with the 2009 unwillingness to be upfront about his physical condition, that was a mistake and he took responsibility for it... but he did indeed change his routine... he was forced to train the way that Boston's coaches had prepared for him from the very start... he did not overthrow by his standards, but by Boston's standards... the "wear and tear" argument has been overused and never proven... he adjusted his training schedule many times, still is... but it's still not to the level when he was with Seibu (and it won't be now)... now, had he been able to train with his standards from the get-go, makes you wonder what kind of condition he would have been in during the 2009 WBC (he was quite fine after the 2006 one)...

1) Matsuzaka changed physically during his last few years in Japan. (I watched him in person at the Seibu Dome many times.) He became heavier gradually and his "stockier" build seemed to inhibit his mechanics to a degree. He lost consistency with his velocity and the movement on his FB. When he showed up for his first training camp with Boston, they were disappointed with his conditioning from the get-go. Yes, they had a different throwing program in mind, but that had nothing to do with him keeping his waisline in check and doing more conditionining.

2) Prior to the 2009 WBC, and coming off the 2008 campaign that saw him with some shoulder concerns, the Red Sox wanted him to follow an offseason program mainly designed to strengthen his shoulder. Matsuzaka followed HIS WAY to prepare for the WBC, disregarding the instructions from his employer that invested $103 million in him. Someone with knowledge of baseball, and Dice-K in particular, could see that he did not throw the ball free and easy with good velocity in the tournament, although he helped Japan win in March. He did it HIS WAY, not the Red Sox way, and ended up with an arm in worse shape than before.

3) Sasaki did fine in the majors for a few years, after the BayStars tried to ruin him by pressuring him to pitch hurt his final year, including the All-Star series when it was clear he needed time off-at a minimum. Sasaki started to show the elbow wear-and-tear again his last year in Seattle and this, along with his family situation falling apart because of his playboy lifestyle, forced him to give up his last year in the U.S. for a more lucrative 2-year deal with the BayStars, and he pitched like a has-been to wrap up an otherwise stellar career.

4) Nolan Ryan did not pitch 200 innings til his age 25 season. Darvish has built up his IP over the years to a point that he should be fine in the majors going every 5 days and making 30-32 starts a year. In fact, I expect Darvish to throw a good number of CGs each year, and not just because he will be pitching for Texas.

5) Darvish will be at least a good MLB starting pitcher. He may very well be one of the elite starting pitchers in the game. It will be fun to watch.

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With division rivals LA Angels getting Pujols and taking the Rangers ace Wilson away from them, Texas had no choice but to go for a big name/power. I'm not sure if Darvish can live up to the hype though......I'm an Oakland Athletics fan who is resigned to watch Oakland vie with Seattle for last place in the division next year:(

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Rangers lost pair of aces in the last two years. Despite a serious effort, the Rangers were unable to re-sign ace pitcher Cliff Lee following the 2010 season. They made it back to the World Series anyway and were within one strike of winning it all before the St. Louis Cardinals rallied to take the trophy. Then the Rangers lost their latest ace, C.J. Wilson, with the AL West rival Los Angeles Angels this month. Nolan Ryan knows pitching and likes Darvish's makeup and Rangers have plenty of money to spend. In late 2010, the Rangers' final offer to Lee was for six-years, $138 million ($23 million a year) with a vesting option for the seventh year. The Phillies got him for five and $120M. The Rangers need Darvish to compete with the Angels. Hopefully, Darvish is not another Barry Zito with toxic long term contract.

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Patrick HattmanDec. 21, 2011 - 01:31AM JST. Nolan Ryan did not pitch 200 innings til his age 25 season. Darvish has built up his IP over the years to a point that he should be fine in the majors going every 5 days and making 30-32 starts a year. In fact, I expect Darvish to throw a good number of CGs each year, and not just because he will be pitching for Texas.

Compare to Darvish, what held Nolan Ryan back was his wildness, and used to walk alot of batters in his youth. Same with Sandy Koufax, the greatest lefthand pitcher, like Nolan Ryan never pitched over 200 innings until age 25. I don't expect Darvish to throw good number of CGs. The Rangers will carefully restict his pitch count to 100-110 per game and probably end up going 6-7 innings per game. C.J. Wilson made 34 starts in 2011 and completed ony 3 games. Seasons in MLB is 25 percent longer than Japan Baseball.

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Whoa! Some serious cash!!! I thought USA was in a recession? I guess not. What does surprise me is how teams in USA seem to have a lot more cash when Japan as a country ( not government) does have more or less the same amount of cash. The market is bigger in the States but I do wonder why they seem to be able to afford much more than Japanese teams.

Darvish pitched in WBC and it did not bother him. In the final his fast balls were clocked at 101 miles. I do not think he throws that fast but he was coming with some serious velocity against Korea. There are lots of obstacles for Darvish, it will be interesting to see how he will cope with the new challenges.I agree with people who say Darvish is better than Matsuzaka. Darvish will need to cope with a lot more traveling, a longer season and more home run hitters. In Hokkaido, he could hang a slider and the batter would get a base hit off him, in the States they'll drive it into the stands. As long as he got his placement, he should be all right. He got good stuff.

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@tmarie, I'll bite since your comments were a little over the top.

"at 25 isn't he old"

Nope, just getting started if his arm stays healthy. His soon to be mentor Nolan Ryan was striking out batters into his forties, as was Randy Johnson, not to mention current Japanese players Saito, Kudo (?) and many others in MLB and NPB.

"he's arrogant as all hell"

I actually like that display of attitude with the fist jab and shout when he strikes out an opponent. Fighting spirit.

"didn't he say he'd never"

At that time in his career, with things in prove in NPB, he probably felt that way. Times change, new opportunities come around, and he has a change of heart. Hey, maybe the dude is human...and if that includes not keeping it zipped for the rest of his life, so be it.

"Why does any U.S. team care?"

Their goal is to win games, so they hire scouts to scan international games for the most talented players. Most teams would have been scouting Darvish as soon as he broke into NPB since he made such a big splash in the Koshien high school tournament.

Even the recent heavyweights who disappointed had their good seasons. People run down Matsuzaka all the time, but that 2007 season was still an amazing performance (was it an 18-3 record?) leading up to World Series victory. That's is what teams like the Rangers are dreaming about when making a high bid on Darvish. Still, you do have a point that most bids are much lower because of decreased expectations--look at the $2.5 that got the Brewers exclusive negotiation with Aoki.

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corrections:

"things to prove in NPB"

Bid for Aoki was $2.5 million.

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Rangers are two time zones away from the rest of their division. That's enough to put anyone off. Japan only has 1 time zone. While the Rangers put a lot of money, there is no guarantee from Darvish that he will sign. Darvish was pitching in pitcher friendly Sapporo Dome a huge field with a high fence where as the park in Texas I hear is pretty small therefore hitter friendly, also in Sapporo he was pitching with a greater defense than the one he will be pitching for in Texas.

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also in Sapporo he was pitching with a greater defense than the one he will be pitching for in Texas

This is not true. Darvish will be the beneficiary of playing with plenty of talented players like Andrus, Kinsler, Young, Hamilton, Napoli/Torrealba, Beltre etc. Don't even try to compare the overall athleticism and skill in the field between the Rangers and Nippon Ham.There will be many good defenders on the field at all times, backing up a top-notch pitching staff that with the addition of Darvish could be one of the AL's best.

there is no guarantee from Darvish that he will sign

This is technically true, but the Rangers will pay what is necessary to get Darvish under contract. It's even more important after losing C.J. Wilson to the Angels.

And don't underestimate the importance of the Rangers having players like Koji Uehara and possibly Yoshinori Tateyama around to aid in Darvish's transition to American life and MLB's brand of baseball.

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