Thirty-day window to negotiate a deal begins now.
Whether you rank Darvish above or below Matt Moore as a prospect, there's little doubt who has more bargaining leverage.
Personally, I think it's above Texas needed to make. Their club is built top win now and that goal had been placed at risk by the Angels off-season moves. Of course, that's easy for me to say since I'm not paying what I estimate will be a total commitment of between $111 million and $126 million to sign Darvish.
As to Darvish and what how he will perform, a few points:
(1) I think too much has been made, generally, of struggles by Japanese pitchers in the MLB, first and most importantly, because the sample size of pitchers is too small. Then consider that the two most-compared pitchers in that tiny sample size, Nomo and Dice-K, had an inure history before jumping to MLB while Darvish has none.
(2) The tiny sample of Japanese pitchers is especially misleading in the case of Darvish. Dice-K is 6-feet tall. Nomo was 6' 2' Both were of typical size for a Japanese pitcher. Darvis is 6'5" with a wide frame. He is half-Iranian and his body isn't typical of Japanese pitchers. His build share a lot more in common with Justin Verlander than with Dice-K. -- both Verlander and Darvish are the same height and the latest weight I could find for Darvish is 220 -- 5 lbs less than Verlander.
(3) A link showing Darvish striking out 100+ batters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMkKk8s0CFI
(4) No pitcher is risk-free but I would think Darvish carries less risk than most because of his size and track record pitching without injury.
(5) I expect Darvish will establish himself as a solid #1 starter and anchor the Ranger rotation.