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January 18, 2012

Rangers sign Yu Darvish

The Rangers and Yu Darvish agreed to a multiyear contract Wednesday afternoon only moments before the 4 p.m. deadline to sign the coveted Japanese star. A press conference with team officials is expected this evening, and another introducing the right-hander will likely be held in a couple days.

Darvish will join the reigning American League champions on a six-year deal worth approximately $60 million, a final total that is less than many were expecting when negotiations opened 30 days ago. The Rangers will pay a $51.7 million posting fee to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters within four business days.

A group of club officials, led by general manager Jon Daniels, negotiated at Rangers Ballpark with agents Arn Tellem and Don Nomura the past two days to bring the process to its conclusion. The contract is only slightly more valuable than the six-year, $52 million deal Daisuke Matsuzaka signed with Boston in February 2007.

That deal included several contract perks, such as flights to Japan paid by the Red Sox and a support group. The Rangers will have a support network, including an interpreter, in place for Darvish.

Most scouts believe that Darvish is a better prospect than Matsuzaka was four years ago. Darvish, who turns 26 in August, went 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA in his career in Japan. At 6-foot-5, he is a power pitcher with a fastball that clocks at 95 mph but also has a wide variety of off-speed pitches that he can command.

"He knows how to manipulate the baseball," Rangers manager Ron Washington said on Tuesday.

Darvish will join a rotation that will include probably Opening Day starter Colby Lewis, Derek Holland and Neftali Feliz. Alexi Ogando and Matt Harrison could land in the bullpen, though Ogando's strong relief showing in the postseason makes him a more likely candidate.

 -- Jeff Wilson


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Why are the Red Sox paying for flights?

Wow! The Ballpark just got very crowded. Single game tickets are going to be at a premium

You have got to be kidding me... Why spend 111.7 million dollars for this unproven "gamble" when they could have brought in 3-4 proven pitchers at that price. I only hope Jerry Jones isn't on his scout staff. ^-^

Don't know how good he will be. I have to assume that all the scouts who have looked at him know what they are talking about. Does not mean his stuff will translate to MLB but the upside seems tremendous. He is on the books for 10 million a year, which is quite a bit less than C.J. and can possibly allow a bit more offseason action from the Rangers...cough...Prince Fielder and Roy Oswalt...cough

@Rangers Homer: Better do some more math son. The Rangers paid 51.7 million up front to negotiate for him and then sign him to a 60 million dollar 6 year deal. That translates into roughly 18.62 million per year for this guy. Like I said. For this kind of money we could have signed 3 to 4 proven major league pitchers or at least 2 proven starters.

Thank you for the math lesson but I was referring to the luxury tax. Don't know if the Rangers will ever hit it but if they do, it is a huge hit. I am pretty sure the posting fee the Rangers payed does not count towards this tax, only the 10 million a year, hence my math. Now if people who have a lot more money than me want to throw it around and pay a large posting fee...well all power to them. Will it factor in on how much they pay for other free agents, who knows. Let's see how it plays out.

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