Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 1/18/12
ARLINGTON, Texas It took until the final hour ofthe negotiating period, but the Texas Rangers finally have the starting pitcherthey've been coveting for years. Texas agreed to terms with Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish on a six-year dealWednesday afternoon, just ahead of a 4 p.m. deadline to get the agreement done.Darvish will earn 60 million over six years, but has the ability to opt outafter five. Plus, Texas still has to pay the 51.7 million posting fee to theHokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters for Darvish. It's money the club believes is well spent for a pitcher it believes can be aNo. 1 starter. "It's not fair for me to say I see him as the No. 1, but he certainly hasthe potential," club president Nolan Ryan said. "I don't want to putthat kind of pressure on him, but he's very unique." Darvish, 25, will have his introductory news conference Friday at RangersBallpark in Arlington. Based on his resume alone, the expectations figure to besky high. The two-time Pacific League MVP is 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA. He's thebiggest star in Japan and the Rangers hope he slides right into a rotation thatwill be looking to guide Texas to a third-consecutive World Series trip. While hell get his introduction in Texas Friday, the Rangers already knowplenty about Darvish. "We saw a guy we felt was built to pitch innings," Texas generalmanager Jon Daniels said. "It's a classic pitcher's build. He has a realcommitment to his conditioning and work ethic. We think he can pitch innings ata high caliber for a large amount of time." Where he slides into the Texas rotations remains to be seen, but his newteammates are excited about the addition. "We're glad to have him on board," left-hander Derek Holland said."We've got another pitcher for the rotation. Hopefully it works outbecause we're excited to have him as part of the team. What I've seen ofhim so far is very impressive." While the Rangers were impressed enough to make a huge financial commitment toDarvish, the feeling was mutual. Darvish wanted the Rangers to win the postingfor him because of the way they treated him and his family. The fact Texas hasbecome a baseball power didn't hurt matters either. "The Rangers, more than any other team, showed great not only interest inscouting him, but a lot of personal time in developing a relationship with himover the last couple of years through all their scouts that visited him inJapan," Darvishs agent Arn Tellem said. "There was an instantconnection between Yu and his family and the Ranger organization that enduredthrough these negotiations." As good as Darvish was in Japan, the Rangers still feel he can get better. Ryan said working withpitching coach Mike Maddux will be a bonus. Darvish, who can throw as many asseven pitches, also will have a chance to refine his pitching repertoire withTexas. One thing the club doesn't want Darvish to do is come in thinking he has to bethe savior for the rotation. Texas already has four starters who reached doublefigures in victories last season. That may be the only real obstacle Darvish has. "We're just looking for him to come into spring training, get in a routineand do what he does," Daniels said. "We're not looking for a savior.Just by the nature of this process, the international side of it, the attentionthat's going to be on it, there are going to be some expectations that come withthat. We're certainly not going to add to that."
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