Jan 192012
 
  • Thursday Morning Changeups   Yu Gotta Believe!If Yu ever had a doubt, Yu failed to trust in JD…6 years, $60M.  Yu Darvish is a Texas Ranger.
  • This is a monumental signing for the Rangers, representing well more than, but most importantly, bringing on board the potential ace of the pitching staff.  It’s about the Rangers taking the next step…which was a Texas-sized step…in solidifying themselves as an aggressive organization willing to spend smart money to compete and put a winning team on the field.
  • Jon Daniels - ”We saw a guy that we felt was built to pitch innings. It’s a classic pitcher’s build. He has a real commitment to his conditioning and work ethic and a lot of intangibles that lend him to pitch a lot of innings at a high caliber for a long period of time.”
  • Nolan Ryan - ”There’s a lot of unique things about Darvish.  Obviously his body type, his size, his durability, I think his feel for the baseball, the fact that he’s as comfortable throwing his breaking ball as well as his fastball and to me that he has several really quality pitches. I think, when you look at him, you realize pretty quick that he is special.”
  • Arn Tellem (one of Yu’s agents) – “The Rangers, more so than any other club, showed not only a scouting interest in Yu but also really developed a relationship with him.  There was an intimate connection between Yu, his family and the Rangers organization that was a positive going forward. It’s also a great team that is intent on taking the next step, and with Yu, hopefully they can achieve that goal. Yu is excited about helping them get there.”
  • Farsad Darvish (Yu’s Dad) - ”You are talking about [a] different culture. It would be nice to give it a little time and don’t judge things so fast. I know Yu will find his way. I think the fans are looking forward to the team getting another chance at the World Series, and I really hope Yu can be a member when they get there.”
  • Keith Law of ESPN – “The Rangers’ fallback options weren’t quite as dire, but I’d rather pay Darvish whatever it takes to get him under contract than sign the best remaining starting pitching option, Edwin Jackson, for four years and $40-odd million.”
  • Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas – “It took years of scouting, a gaggle of frequent flier miles, a face-to-face meeting in Arlington between Darvish and Rangers personnel a few weeks ago, a recruiting video and gallons of coffee. Oh, and a willingness by ownership to send a check for $51.7 million to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters to go along with the $60 million they’ll be sending to Darvish.  The Rangers need to be right about his one.”
  • Thursday Morning Changeups   Yu Gotta Believe!

    Matsuzaka & Darvish Stats from Japan

    Joe LeMire of CNNSI – “Perhaps most compelling is that Darvish’s career ERA (1.99) is better than best single-season ERA (2.13) Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka had in Japan before coming to the major leagues in 2007.  There is too much hang-up on the recent failures and middling successes of recent Japanese starters in the majors — Matsuzka with the Red Sox and Kei Igawa with the Yankees, to name two recent examples — as Darvish is a very different pitcher.”

  • Evan Grant did a good Q&A related to the Yu signing here.

In non-Yu news, if there is such a thing today:

  • Several sources have reported that it’s doubtful that the Rangers will pursue free-agent slugger Prince Fielder at this point and Jon Daniels’ comments from yesterday’s press conference were in line with this belief – “After going through this process, I’m intimately familiar with our budget.  It’s very unlikely.”
    Just keep in mind that JD has an excellent poker face, and even if the Rangers were wrapping things up with Prince at that moment, he wasn’t going to tip his hand.
  • Rangers SS Prospect Jurickson Profar was ranked as the #2 SS prospect by MLB.com for 2012.  Profar just continues to get better and has some loft expectations in terms of his potential.  He represents a strong trade chip or the future at the shortstop position for the Texas Rangers.  We’ll track his progress closely in 2012.
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