Remember the Daisuke Matsuzaka hype back in 2006 when everyone thought he invented some new pitch called the "gyroball" that defied space and time? Remember when the Boston Red Sox boasted the highest negotiation bid at $51 million, ended up signing him, and he wound up just being a normal Japanese guy who wasn't any better than John Lackey?
Yeah, so you can understand our skepticism when it comes to Yu Darvish, the newest pitching sensation to possibly hit Major League Baseball. We're not saying he's no better than John Lackey -- that would make the team who literally paid millions of dollars to simply talk with him pretty stupid -- we're just saying we hope he's worth it.
The Texas Rangers are the lucky team to have won the bid to the rights to negotiate with the half Japanese-half Iranian star this weekend to the tune of a record $51.7 million. C.J. who?
Darvish, a tall and lean 25-year-old Olympian right-hander who's the ace of the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan, has 30 days to accept a contract from the Rangers. If they can't work something out, he will return to Japan for the 2012 season and the Rangers would be refunded the posting fee.
So you must be wondering what on earth is so special about Darvish that makes simply negotiating a contract with him worth almost $52 million? We are too. That is a disgusting amount of money. However, he's considered the best pitcher in the land after posting five consecutive seasons of an ERA under 2.00, including last season when he he went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA and struck out an incredible 276 in 232 innings. All of this with the capability to throw 95-mph heat and a sneaky slider.
So, he's probably worth the money. But how much is Texas willing to spend on top of that? It will be very interesting to see how his presence would affect sports gambling on sites like SportsbookBonus.com, where if you're looking for the best sportsbook sign up bonus out there, they’ll have you covered. And you won't need to spend $51.7 million just to sign up.
Ever since seeing Darvish pitch in the 2009 World Baseball Classic for Japan, I can't help but be reminded of a whirling dervish when I hear his name. I believe we'll call him Whirling Darvish if he moves to Arlington... which by the way, couldn't be any more opposite of Japan.