What are the odds that Yu Darvish opts out?


YUUUU!!! Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

January 18, 2012.  What a great day for Texas Rangers baseball!  No, the playoffs didn’t run long that year…nor was it quite Spring Training time yet.  But it was Yu Darvish Day; the way that fateful Wednesday should forever be known.

Your Texas Rangers are currently wrapping up the third season of the 6-year, $60 million deal that Darvish inked that day.  So where do we stand?  It’s early, but will Yu stay a Ranger after this deal?  Could he opt out?

While Darvish is currently on the disabled list, he has once again been a bright spot for a team that only has a couple of bright spots to offer.  (Hi Adrian Beltre!)  The club ace has an ERA slightly above 3 at the moment, is averaging 11.3 strike outs per 9 innings, and made an All-Star team appearance to boot.  Not bad, eh?

It’s a little frightening though that Darvish’ injury is elbow inflammation.  While The Dallas Morning News reported that a long DL stint from Darvish could save the team some cash, I guarantee that nobody wants to see anything majorly wrong with Yu’s elbow.

So what about that opt out?

Darvish has a clause in his contract that allows him to opt out of the final year of his deal, the 2017 season, if he:

A.  Wins the Cy Young Award one season, and finishes in the top three or four in the balloting in another season; in any of the first five years of the contract.

B.  Finishes second in Cy Young voting one season, and in the top three or four in the balloting in two additional seasons.

Crazy talk right?  I mean, who could do that?

Well, it’s not so crazy when you remember that Yu finished 2nd in the Cy Young vote to Max Scherzer last year.  And that was only his 2nd year in the Big Leagues!  He’s just getting started.  It’s at least interesting to entertain the thought, am I right?  If anyone is capable of winning a Cy Young or at the very least finishing in the top vote-getters multiple times, it’s Yu Darvish.  The guy’s a beast.

Should we be in full-on panic mode?

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Well, that leaves us at a tie.

But, I’m still going to tell you not to panic.  For one, if  Yu wins a Cy Young, that probably means that your Texas Rangers are WINNING GAMES.   For two, who wants to leave a winner?  The truth is, while many athletes play for the almighty dollar, most of them want to WIN.  CHAMPIONSHIPS.  And Darvish has shown that he’s a fierce competitor.

Of course, that works both ways.  If we have a couple more seasons like this 2014 campaign, you gotta think Yu is out the door.  Maybe he won’t be able to opt out, but he’ll sure as heck be counting the days until the end of the 2017 season.  Why wouldn’t he?

So that’s it.  That’s our key to keeping YU:  winning.  You listening, JD?

Oh, be sure to set a reminder for January 18, 2015 so you can wish everyone a HAPPY YU DARVISH DAY!

133 down, 29 to go.

Your Texas Rangers are 52-81.  Ack.