The Texas Rangers need to decide if they should overpay pitcher Yu Darvish this offseason.
Texas Rangers righty Yu Darvish will be a free agent this winter and general manager Jon Daniels may need to overpay him. The short answer is that Daniels won’t have to, but probably will anyway.
A piece by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports was published last night and in it, the 2017 free agency class was discussed. Passan stated that “If you want a great free agent pitcher, the years and the dollars are going to be excessive,” and that could certainly apply to Darvish.
Darvish, 30, is earning $11 million this season, the last of a six-year, $60 million deal he signed with Texas prior to 2012. He is 6-5 on the year with a 3.35 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 94 innings. His WHIP is an impressive 1.13 and opposing hitters are batting just .206 against him.
Darvish has also gone 52-35 with a 3.30 ERA in his MLB career and will reach the 1,000 strikeout milestone later this year. He is a three-time All-Star and finished second in AL Cy Young Award voting in 2013. He missed all of 2015 with elbow surgery but has shown no signs of breaking down since returning last season.
All of those numbers indicate that Darvish, despite the fact that he will turn 31 in August, will easily command a contract worth well north of $100 million. A great deal of that depends on if the Rangers keep him all season, what with Texas currently ranking 2nd in the AL West and 11 games behind the Houston Astros and one game out of the top AL Wild Card spot. His contract is such that he could just as easily be traded at the deadline and get Texas some prospects in return.
But assuming that the Rangers keep Darvish all year long and get to the negotiating table with him come winter, overpaying him may be their only option even if they don’t need to. Darvish and Jake Arrieta are the only big-name starters on the open market next winter, but it wouldn’t at all be a surprise if Darvish still commanded a deal at or close to $200 million over at least seven years.
Either way, given his success in MLB, he will be well worth the price.