Yu Darvish won't help Japan on its quest for a third consecutive World Baseball Classic championship.
Darvish issued the following statement on his decision:
"After much deliberation, which has included a lot of consultation with my coaches and trainers, I have decided that I will not play in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. This was a very difficult decision for me as it is always a tremendous honor to represent my native country of Japan. I greatly enjoyed being a part of the 2009 Championship ballclub and I will be supporting this year’s team as they look to defend their title. There are many very talented players in Japan and I am confident this team will uphold Japan’s great tradition in this event.
"Given my substantial workload over the last few seasons and the numerous changes I’ve endured in my move to the United States, I have decided with my team of advisors that getting ample rest is the most important thing for me right now as I prepare for the 2013 season. My ultimate goal is to help win a World Series with the Texas Rangers and to share that accomplishment with the great baseball fans in Japan. I look forward to next season and am excited about our chances of winning.
"I thank everyone for their understanding with my decision."
The Rangers said they supported Darvish's decision.
"He made an outstanding transition in his first year in Major League Baseball and we look forward to another strong season from him in 2013," the team said in a statement.
Darvish went 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA in 29 starts in his rookie season last year.
-- Drew Davison