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It’s Finally Official: Yu Darvish Signs With Texas

Yu Darvish
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

After a month of constant negotiations, the Texas Rangers have finally landed their own version of Daisuke Matsuzaka. As today’s 5pm deadline drew near, the Rangers finally reached an agreement with Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, a six-year deal worth around 60 million dollars, including 56 million dollars of guaranteed money.

When asked about Darvish’s contract on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels noted that the Japanese ace can opt out of his deal before the sixth and final year if he hits two different performance clauses involving Cy Young Award voting. Daniels said that if Darvish can at least win one Cy Young and finish in “the top 3 or 4 in voting” during any other of the first five years in the deal, he can then opt out. Another wrinkle is if Darvish finishes second in balloting 1 year, and then in the top three or four in 2 additional years.

Daniels went on to say:

He wanted five years and were weren’t going to do that for a variety of reasons. It was important to him to at least have the possibility of being free. If he finishes in the top three or four of the Cy Young three out of the five years, we probably got our money’s worth.

While playing in Japan last season, the 25-year-old Darvish went 18-6 with a league-best 1.44 ERA and 276 strikeouts. He only walked 36 batters in 232 innings. Scouts have raved about Darvish’s fastball command and what some say is a seven-pitch repertoire, which includes about everything but a changeup.

Darvish was in Japan when news broke about his MLB deal. Darvish returned to his homeland for offseason training after his first and only visit to Texas two weeks ago. The Rangers will formally introduce Darvish on Friday night.

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