Yu Darvish Rangers: Inking Japanese Star Ends Rangers' Quest for Prince Fielder

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIJanuary 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. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

With the joy that's sure to come from the Rangers signing Yu Darvish, there also has to be an element of sadness. For all intents and purposes, the Rangers locking Darvish up means that Prince Fielder will not be slugging balls for the Rangers.

According to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, the Rangers spent more than $111 million to bring Darvish in. Realistically, they don't have the kind of payroll to bring in both Darvish and Prince. Remember, this team was 13th in MLB in payroll in 2011, so they're already spending a fair amount of money on players. 

Mark J. Miller of Yahoo! Sports said in no uncertain terms that the team would not bring in both Darvish and Fielder. So, with Darvish locked up, the debate is ended. But was it the right move?

In a word, no. The Rangers have now spent a lot of money on Darvish, and he's locked up for six years. Traditionally, that's a terrible model to build a team around. You don't spend that kind of money on pitching, or commit that many years. All you have to do is ask the Giants if Barry Zito's contract was a good one. 

And unlike Zito, Darvish is not proven at the major league level. Zito was an All Star and Cy Young Award winner before he went to San Francisco. Darvish doesn't have that kind of résumé. Darvish was a good pitcher in Japan, but the career of Daisuke Matsuzaka in Boston shows that that proves nothing. 

Fielder is a proven stud. He's a power hitter, and that's the last thing to leave a hitter. In the American League he would also be able to stay fresh as a DH for a few games. 

Prince is a guy that consistently brings 35 homers and 100 RBI every season. In Texas' lineup, there would be plenty of protection and men on base to keep those numbers up. 

The Rangers shot themselves in the foot with this move. If there was a way that they could bring both players in, it would be a different story; but that's clearly not the case.

Texas spent too much money on an unproven commodity that at his best will only help you win one out of every five games. In doing so, they passed up on a man who would reliably impact the team in a positive way for years to come.