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January 11, 2012

Washington, Lewis believe Darvish can succeed

The Rangers have until 4 p.m. next Wednesday to sign Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish. As is usually the case in baseball situations with a deadline, the negotiations are expected to go up to the last minute.

Darvish visited the Metroplex last week, and manager Ron Washington had the opportunity to meet Darvish. Washington has also watched game video of the 6-foot-5 ace.

"His abilities are just as good as the abilities we have here," Washington said. "The whole key, if we end up signing him, is for him just to be Yu Darvish. We’re not expecting him to put us on his shoulder. We’re not expecting him to do anything special."

Colby Lewis resurrected his career in Japan and pitched against Darvish, winning their only head-to-head matchup. Lewis said that Darvish, a premium strike-thrower with a fastball that hits 95 mph, already possesses the key element for big-league success.

"If you're able to throw strikes, pound the strike zone and get guys out, it doesn't matter what league you play in," Lewis said. "He has overpowering stuff, especially in that league. That was the big thing that stood out to me, his fastball command."

-- Jeff Wilson


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