This one seems like a no-brainer as someone who must be re-signed. Based on his performance in 2017, starter Yu Darvish definitely has earned a contract extension. The Rangers will have to pay a high price tag, but Darvish is well worth it.
The four-time All-Star has been fantastic when healthy. The 30-year-old is arguably one of the best pitchers in the MLB, and is a fan favorite in Texas. This season Darvish is 6-7 with a 3.56 ERA in 18 starts.
In 2012 the Rangers signed Darvish to a six-year $56 million deal out of Japan. This off-season Darvish is going to easily double his original contract. An estimated deal for Darvish is likely six years $150 million this off-season.
Over the course of five MLB seasons Darvish is 52-37 with a 3.33 ERA and nearly 1000 strikeouts. The only thing that was held him back are injuries and Darvish looks healthy and ready to lead a rotation.
Giving $150 million to one player is a hefty price to pay, but if the Rangers want to win they will do it. A hometown discount is unlikely, but Darvish will give Texas an opportunity to make an offer. If Jon Daniels is serious about contending then he’ll re-sign Darvish.
The Rangers could still trade Darvish at the trade deadline and re-sign him in the off-season. It’s a business and if Jon Daniels feels he can score a good return on Darvish he’ll take it. It’s unlikely the Rangers go this route, but we’ll see where the Rangers are in the standings in a couple of weeks.