I’m sure some Texas Rangers’ fans will find this conversation a bit premature.
But when you consider the epic disaster the 2014 season has been, the Rangers need to start planning for the future. And there’s no more critical building block for the future of this franchise than Yu Darvish.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be pitching in Arlington.
OK, OK, I know – that’s a jarring statement, so just take a moment to regroup … it’s alright, I can wait … OK, are you ready to continue?
Here are the facts as we know them.
Darvish is under contract with the Rangers through 2017, but can opt out after 2016 if he either wins a Cy Young in the next three years or places top two in the Cy Young voting twice over the next three years. Both seem like reasonably achievable goals, so let’s go off the conceit Darvish will be a free agent after the 2016 season.
At that point, Darvish will be 30 years, 3 months old – that is two months older than Detroit Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander was last year when he signed his contract extension, which was eight years for $202 million (when the vesting option is included). Keep in mind, contract values don’t go down as the years go on – so by the time we get to the end of 2016, I believe it will take an eight-year, $248 million contract to keep or (for another team) gain Darvish’s services.
Think $31 million per year is ridiculous? Keep in mind Tigers’ pitcher Max Scherzer recently turned down a contract offer worth $24 million per year.
So, would the Rangers be wise to make such a deal with Darvish?