Five years ago today, the Texas Rangers signed Yu Darvish.
It was a momentous day for the club, who a month earlier won the rights to negotiate with Darvish by bidding $51.7 million.
Was it worth it?
Statistically speaking, no question it was. When healthy, Darvish has been one of the top pitchers in the majors.
He’s 46-30 with a 3.29 ERA in a 100 career starts for the Rangers. Darvish missed the last month and a half of 2014 and then the entire 2015 season after having Tommy John surgery. He returned to the rotation in May and went 7-5 with a 3.41 ERA in 17 starts in 2016. Those are very respectable numbers, especially considering he was returning from TJS.
His best season was in 2013, when he went 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA in 209 2/3 innings. He led the league with 277 strikeouts and had a 5.8 wins above replacement (WAR) rating. He’s made three All-Star teams and received Cy Young award votes in two seasons, including a second-place finish in 2013.
If there’s an obvious misgiving about Darvish’s tenure, it’s stamina and health. If he’s on the field, he’s one of the best pitchers alive.
Over parts of four seasons, Darvish is averaging the following for a full 162-game season: