The Rangers won the silent auction-style bidding for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish, and if they can negotiate a deal with him over the next month they'll pay over $50 million in compensation to his Japanese team.
This was almost a necessary move for the Rangers. They've lost their top pitcher (C.J. Wilson) to their most-competitive division rival (the Angels), and that same rival also signed the best free agent position player (Albert Pujols). Yu Darvish is said to be one of the most polished pitchers to come out of the Japanese league, and he's mastered a variety of pitches.
If history has taught us anything, it's that Japanese pitchers can be fantastic in their first few years in the big leagues. Hideo Nomo started the All Star game in his first season and Daisuke Matsuzaka was 18-3 in his second season. That's what the Rangers need right now if they're going to compete with the Angels. Of course, history also tells us that those Japanese pitchers don't last. I don't know if it's a case of MLB hitters figuring out their odd delivery and pitches, or if it's just fatigue (an MLB season is considerably longer than the Japanese season), but very rarely do these Japanese pitchers find success after their third or fourth season.
So, what's everybody's prediction for Yu Darvish and the Rangers? Will he be enough to get them their third consecutive AL pennant?
like you said he'll have a couple good years then fall off. I would of rather had wilson who was there best pitcher for awhile! I think then angels will over taken them if they can add a few more free agents or resign players.
Unlike Dice-K and Ichiro, Darvish is just peaking in his career. At only 25, he still has 10 good years left in him if he keeps healthy.
agreed, he still even has work to do to improve his game. Nomo and Dice-K were what they were going to be when they landed in the states. Go Mariners!
Having lived in Japan for a couple of years, and having watch Darvish pitch in person, I have to say he's quite a different animal to a pitcher like Dice-K. I would say that Darvish has a lot more speed, and I would argue plays with more finesse. He's also much taller, which increases his mound presence.
What I'm trying to say is: I think he'll do just fine.
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