Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger
Rangers’ general manager Jon Daniels said. “We said all along that if we could upgrade our club we would do so, and this gives us a few more pieces to play with.” Daniels continued, “We have a lot of respect for the Angels and the other clubs in the division, we’re not taking anything for granted.”
“He’ll make every one of our pitchers better,” Ron Washington said. “Today is a great day for the Texas Rangers organization.” He added, “I was surprised, the Yankees were in the bidding, and when you’re in the bidding with the New York Yankees, you don’t usually win.”
“It was a watershed moment for the franchise,” assistant general manager Thad Levine said.
The Rangers were in the chase the entire time, and they had a shot, but once it was open for business- a favorite emerged. And it wasn’t the Rangers. A few weeks passed and all the talk was about the favorite, and how the Rangers will try, but likely fall just short.
Justin Smoak, Blake Beavan, Manny Lawson and Josh Lueke brought swagger, confidence and more talent to the Rangers through the Cliff Lee trade.
There were a few “imminent” and “close” deals for the Mariners to mull over, but alas it was Justin Smoak, the Rangers top prospect, who Seattle was holding out for.
You probably remember where you were when the Rangers landed Cliff Lee, and you will also remember where you were at when the Rangers won the bidding for Yu Darvish.
When the news reached to the clubhouse, that the Rangers acquired Lee, everyone erupted to a state of celebration, likely higher than they had celebrated some wins that year.
It was a defining moment, everyone knew that Cliff Lee was the post-season slayer and he would get the Rangers to the “Promised Land”, which at that time was just October baseball. It ended up much more, much sweeter.
We blinked, and Lee raced out of our lives, to Philadelphia. But, we all have a special place in our hearts for where Cliff took us, that fall.
The Yu Darvish winning bid is very different and it is very much the same. Yu is 25, Cliff was 32. Darvish doesn’t have a firm grip on the English language. Cliff is fluent. Yu will likely be here for 5-6 years. Cliff was here for 5-6 months.
“This gives us a few more pieces to play with.”
Landing Darvish, means the Rangers, surrendered no draft picks and no prospects- just yen, lots and lots of yen. This cannot be understated. If you have the choice of possessing lack of payroll flexibility or lack of prospects; every time you work with lack of funds, and milk the prospects.
“Work with lack of funds, and milk prospects”, that sounds like the 2010 Rangers. The same Rangers that were willing to give up extra prospects, to take less payroll, because they were on baseball welfare.
“We have a lot of respect for the Angels; we’re not taking anything for granted.”
The 2012 Rangers won’t be on baseball welfare, they’ll be tighter with money, but they won’t be the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Southern California of the West Coast. No. They won’t be those Angels.
Every move JD makes is calculated and each ripple effect measured. Yu Darvish would be a Blue Jay if it was going to upset the ability to contend for championships going forward.
Whatever number JD set for the bid was the right one. If he lost, it was the right bid. If they won, it was the right bid.
“Today is a great day for the Texas Rangers organization”
The Rangers will have guaranteed sell-outs every fifth day, for Darvish starts. They will become a global team, and the posting fee will quickly be out of the red.
Roster-wise, Alexi Ogando is the man that is likely to be sent to the bullpen. Structurally, he is a risk to breaking down over 200 innings, if he can make it that long. He has a violent delivery, which just screams ‘put me in the bullpen, or call Dr. James Andrews’. I would assume the Rangers would rather make the first call- to the pen.
Financially, it would be assumed that the Rangers won’t make a push for Prince Fielder. That’s not say they won’t still be connected to Fielder, until he signs elsewhere. No one knows what JD’s next move is, he could be interested in Fielder, it wouldn’t surprise me if they did sign him. Furthermore, Scott Boras, Fielder’s agent will be drumming up interest for every possible team, including the Grand Prairie Air Hogs, if they got the coin.
JD’s ability is like Josh Hamilton’s in batting practice, you are amazed, but you’re never surprised by what he can do.
The Rangers have been looking at locking-up the ’core’ of the team, its unknown how this will affect future negotiations, but surely it will bring more reservations with each deal, particularly pitchers like Matt Harrison and Derek Holland. There isn’t as much pressure now, but there’s also not as much money now.
I doubt Darvish will pitch Opening Day, I assume that will be Colby Lewis’ job to lose in Surprise, Arizona. However, I don’t think it’s out of the question for him to be the Game 1 starter, taking us to new places, unfamiliar to Rangers fans.
“A watershed moment for the franchise.”