After Yu: Rangers caught in middle, moving on without pitching ace
When Yu Darvish arrived in Texas from Japan in 2012, the Texas Rangers were coming off consecutive World Series appearances.
As was expected with his celebrated entrance then, Darvish is now pitching for a World Series contender. Except it’s out on the West Coast for the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers and not in Texas, where the ace never won a post-season game and wasn’t even part of winning a playoff series.
With a third straight AL West title long out of reach, and the push for one of the American League’s two wild-card spots becoming ever more difficult with each loss, the Rangers got three minor league players for the pitcher they spent more than two years scouting and
more than $107 million to acquire.
After completing a trade with the Dodgers only minutes before Monday’s non-waiver deadline, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was asked if he felt Darvish was worth it — the
time, $56 million in salary and more than $51 million they had to pay his team in Japan.
“I do, on a variety of levels. But ultimately he was outstanding when he was on the field for us. Pitched at a level very, very few pitchers do,” Daniels said. “He got hurt and that’s the nature of the game . ... But he produced an extremely high level when he was here.”
Darvish was 52-39 with a 3.42 ERA in 122 starts for Texas. Coming off Tommy John surgery, he was 6-9 with a 4.01 ERA in 22 starts this year, including 0-5 in his last eight outings.
The Rangers got no immediate help after dealing Darvish, who this year was an All-Star for the fourth time in the five seasons he played. Darvish had elbow surgery and missed all of 2015, when Texas made a late push to an AL West title in manager Jeff Banister’s first season after the midseason addition of lefty Cole Hamels.
When the Rangers lost Hamels’ debut exactly two years ago Tuesday, they were eight games back in the AL West. They were four games back in the wild-card chase, with four teams between them and the second spot.
In this January 2012 file photo, new Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish walks onto the field as members of the media line up to take pictures after a news conference at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.