As everyone knows by now, the Texas Rangers signed Yu Darvish yesterday to a six-year, $60 million contract, plus a $51 million posting fee. Rob Neyer at Baseball Nation has a good rundown of how Darvish compares to other Japanese pitchers who have made the transition to the North America. I was starting to write a similar piece, but I saw what Rob wrote and I decided not to waste my time duplicating the same information.
"Yu Darvish has the performance, he has the pitches, and I think he might be the Rangers' staff ace this season. I certainly think he'll rank among Hideo Nomo, Hiroki Kuroda, and Daisuke Matsuzaka at their best. Which would make Darvish, if he doesn't get hurt, well worth the Rangers' $19 million-per-season investment. And unlike Matsuzaka before he joined the Red Sox, Darvish has never really been hurt."
I have to agree with that. I think the chances are quite high that Darvish will be as good as everyone expects, a genuine ace.
If I was going to give Darvish a prospect grade, he would be a Grade A. However, given his age and experience level in Japan, I really don't see Darvish as a typical "prospect." In my mind, this is more like a major league free agent signing, and certainly the Texas Rangers farm system does not deserve credit for "developing" Darvish.
Including the posting fee, the Rangers spent over $111 million to sign him. Do you think that's too much to pay, even for a guy who should be/could be a number one starter?