Texas Rangers make Christmas splash with Kohei Arihara deal

The Texas Rangers acquired a late Christmas gift, signing Japanese righty Kohei Arihara to a two year deal.

President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels and new GM Chris Young’s busy offseason continued on Christmas Day, as the Texas Rangers agreed to terms with Japanese right-hander Kohei Arihara on a two-year deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of the The Athletic.

As reported earlier today, Arihara was narrowing his decision down to three teams and landed with the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers are no strangers to the NPB or the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, from whom they acquired Yu Darvish in 2012.

The two-year deal given to Arihara will be worth roughly $6 to $7 million in total, as reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN.

Because of the posting agreement, the Rangers have to pay roughly 25% in fees to the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. According to Evan Grant, that would be around $1.5 million going to the Fighters.

The Texas Rangers’ signing of Kohei Arihara appears to benefit both sides.

Talk about affordable.

This is a great deal for the Texas Rangers and Kohei Arihara, as it fills needs for both parties.

For the Rangers, they acquire the services of a 28-year old starting pitcher who can eat innings while providing much needed depth to a young pitching staff.

For Arihara, he gets to come to the United States and pitch in a brand new ballpark for two seasons, and possibly more if he pitches well.

Above all, this deal represents tremendous value for Texas, as quality innings eaters are typically at a premium in MLB free agency, usually costing in excess of $20+ million per year in average annual value.

Arihara has great stuff, and is only two seasons removed from a 15-8 record with a 2.46 ERA in 24 games, with 161 strikeouts in 164 1/3 innings.

Additionally, the 28-year-old pitched well in 2020, pitching to a 3.46 ERA in 20 games for the Fighters in 2020, with 106 strikeouts in 132 2/3 innings.

Kohei Arihara is exactly the kind of Christmas present the Texas Rangers needed this year and has put the cherry on top of an already great 2020-21 offseason.