Texas Rangers: What To Expect From Yu Darvish In 2017
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish is entering the final year of his contract. His tenure with Texas has been a roller coaster due to a number of injuries. On January 18, 2012, Darvish signed a six-year contract worth $60 million and he hasn’t had as much success as we thought he’d have. 2017 is his golden opportunity to prove himself.
His overall record is 46-30 in 100 starts. His resume includes the American League strikeout leader in 2013, three consecutive All-Stars from 2012-2014, and he holds the record of 1.000 in career fielding as a pitcher. He’s 0-2 in the postseason.
On March 17, 2015, Darvish underwent Tommy John Surgery and missed the entire 2015 season. He began 2016 on the 15-day disabled list. Darvish made his return on May 28 against Pittsburgh in a winning effort. He finished 2016 with a 7-5 record in 17 starts. On August 24th, against the Cincinnati Reds, Darvish homered for the first time in his career, thus becoming the first Rangers pitcher to blast a homer since Bobby Witt in 1997. Not bad for a pitcher that is coming off Tommy John surgery.
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Tim Cowlishaw suggests trading Darvish along with Rougned Odor to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw. As great as it would be to have Kershaw play in Texas, I don’t think acquiring Kershaw would be the way to go.
Cowlinshaw describes Kershaw as L.A.’s, “statistically, the best pitcher of the last 50 years.” He’ll be making over $30 million each year in the next four years. It would certainly take a lot more than just Yu and Rougie to get Kershaw. And with the salaries of Shin-Soo Choo, Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Cole Hamels and Prince Fielder in 2017, I don’t think Texas can afford it.
I expect 2017 to be a decent season for Yu. But, honestly, all I can say is, “we’ll see.” We’ll have to see how he does during Spring Training and we’ll see if he can stay healthy. The pitching rotation is the biggest concern for Texas this off-season. If 2017 turns out to be a disaster for Yu, I expect that he’ll be set free like Derek Holland.