Yu Darvish: Rangers Pitcher Will Never Live Up to Huge Contract and Posting Cost

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 23:  Relief pitcher Yu Darvish #11 of Japan throws a pitch against Korea during the finals of the 2009 World Baseball Classic on March 23, 2009 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Japan won 5-3 in 10 innings.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

And just like that, Yu Darvish has become the $111.7 million man.

Well, sort of.

Darvish has agreed to a deal with the Texas Rangers. Here are the details, via Richard Durrett of ESPN:

Darvish has agreed to a six-year deal worth $60 million just prior to Wednesday's 4 p.m. CT deadline.

The agreement comes 30 days after the Rangers won the right to negotiate with Darvish and his representatives, Don Nomura and Arn Tellem, by submitting a record $51.7 million posting bid. The club will now send the Nippon-Ham Fighters that payment and Darvish will come to the United States to pitch in the big leagues for the first time.

Unless Darvish becomes the next Roy Halladay or Justin Verlander, it's hard to imagine he'll ever live up to the $111.7 million he's costing the Rangers.

Think about it in these terms for a moment—for $77.5 million, they could have potentially returned C.J. Wilson for the next five years and had another $34.2 million to throw toward Prince Fielder if they were so inclined.

Of course, it's hard to not get a little excited at the prospect of what the 25-year-old Darvish could do. In five seasons with the Nippon Ham Fighters, he was 76-28 with a 1.72 ERA and 0.89 WHIP, threw 50 complete games and compiled 15 shutouts.

But good grief, $111.7 million for a player you've never judged against Major League hitters is a huge risk, one it seems hard to believe Darvish will alleviate by becoming an instantaneous ace.

There are so many factors to consider in the move. How long will it take for him to adjust to living in a new country? Will he struggle against Major League hitters? Will he feel the pressure from the Rangers fanbase to succeed after costing the team so much money?

All eyes are going to be on Yu Darvish the first time he steps on that mound. Become a star, and we'll call the Rangers front office brilliant.

Anything less, and it will probably be looked at as a foolish move.

Good luck, Yu.


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