Tag Archives: Yu Darvish

Rangers Leave Door Open To Resigning Darvish After Trading Him

Seattle Mariners v Texas Rangers

Courtesy: Getty Images

Just because the clock said 3 p.m. didn’t mean the business day was finished. Not when you’re talking about the MLB trade deadline.

The best example of that was on Monday afternoon in Arlington.

At 2:50 p.m., Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish sent out a tweet that said “10min!!” At the time, it looked like the righty was staying in a Rangers uniform for at least six more weeks after word got out that the team was looking into trade options.

Then 3 p.m. hit and there was complete silence. Turns out that wasn’t exactly the case behind the scenes. A few minutes after the deadline had passed and the paperwork was sorted out at the MLB offices, Darvish and the rest of the baseball world soon found out he was heading west to Los Angeles.

“I’m got a phone call from my agent telling me it’s almost done right before 3 o’clock so I was mentally prepared for it,” Darvish said through his interpreter.

The Rangers sent their ace to the Dodgers in exchange for three minor leaguers, second baseman/outfielder Willie Calhoun, right-handed pitcher A.J. Alexy and infielder Brendon Davis. Calhoun was the Dodgers’ No. 4 overall prospect, Alexy was ranked at No. 17 and Davis at No. 27. Calhoun will report to Triple-A Round Rock while Alexy and Davis will be sent to Class-A Hickory.

The 30-year old was named an All-Star this season but did not pitch in the Mid-Summer Classic earlier this month. He was 6-9 with 4.01 ERA with 148 strikeouts in 22 starts this season while wearing the Rangers uniform. Outside of his last start against the Miami Marlins when he gave up 10 runs in a blowout loss, Darvish was solid on the bump. A big problem was that the offense didn’t have his back in most of the starts as he got very little run support.

Darvish arrived on the scene from Japan in style prior to the 2012 season when the Rangers won the bidding war and were able to sign him to a six-year, $60 million deal. Darvish became a fan favorite in Arlington and one of the best pitchers in the game with an arsenal that would leave you shaking your head. His stuff was, and still is, that nasty. He was the ace that Texas was looking for since the days of Nolan Ryan.

While wearing a Rangers uniform, Darvish was 52-39 with a 3.42 ERA. He also leaves Texas with 960 strikeouts and an 18.4 WAR in 122 starts. The organization felt like the days of Darvish in Texas was worth the money that was shelled out six years ago.

“He was outstanding when he was on the field for us,” said general manager Jon Daniels. “Pitched at a level that very, very few pitchers do. When he came over, this wasn’t just a new team. It wasn’t just a new free agent coming over from the coast. This was a new country, a new organization, a new culture, a new ball, a new mound, a new travel schedule, a new language, new teammates, you name it. He made every effort to assimilate.”

So now the days of the two aces is over for the Rangers, at least for the season. Lefty Cole Hamels owns that role all by himself. Darvish was scheduled to start on Tuesday night against the Seattle Mariners at The Globe but that isn’t happening now. Nick Martinez will likely get the start after being recalled from Round Rock.

Meanwhile, the rich got richer in L.A. with the addition of Darvish and the thoughts start to wonder on if this makes them the World Series favorites. The Darvish move allows the Dodgers, who have the best record in the majors, to not worry about rushing back their ace, Highland Park’s own Clayton Kershaw. The big lefty is recovering from back stiffness but has recently resumed throwing. Once he’s healthy, the Dodgers starting rotation will consist of Kershaw, Darvish, Alex Wood and Rich Hill.  That’s a legit staff.

Back in Texas, the Rangers spent the last couple of days adding talent to the system. Earlier in the day, they sent reliever Jeremy Jeffress back to Milwaukee for minor league pitcher Taylor Scott. On Sunday evening, the Rangers traded catcher Jonathan Lucroy to Colorado for the ever-popular player to be named later. Both were acquired a year ago as the Rangers were on their way to locking up a second straight division title.

The division is out of reach for the Rangers but the wild card is still in play, barely. Texas goes into Monday night 5.5 games back with time running out. Now on the optimism side of things, the Rangers did make a second half run in 2015 to win the division without Darvish, who missed the season due to Tommy John surgery. There are still plenty of players left from that 2015 squad and the feeling in the clubhouse is there’s still plenty to play for.

“We still have games to play and we are still in the fight,” said Rangers manager Jeff Banister. “Until they tell us we are not in a fight anymore, we are still in the fight. I relish the fact that some of this is going to go down as well as ‘the Rangers now are not part of the equation.’ Go ahead. You can’t measure what’s inside a man’s chest and what they are willing to play for and what they are willing to fight for.”

Back to Darvish, he is a free agent at the end of the season. With that being said, is there a chance that a reunion could take place in Arlington in 2018?

When asked, Darvish replied jokingly “I don’t think I’m ever coming back.” He was laughing at the time but you have to wonder how much truth there is to it. He was more serious about it when asked about it a second time around.

“It’s hard to comment on any of that right now, just going to have to wait and see,” Darvish said. “For example, if the Rangers offer me very low money, I’m not going to sign but I think I’m going to talk to all the teams available who’s looking at me and see what happens.”

Daniels isn’t completely ruling the reunion out after the season.

“We’ll see,” added Daniels. “We’ve got a long-term plan but things change. We very well could. Certainly he checks a lot of boxes in things we are looking for but right now he’s going to the Dodgers and we wish him well there.”

So, the era of Yu came to an end on Monday afternoon and now moves to Hollywood. However, Darvish appreciated his time in the Lone Star State.

“It’s been great. My teammates, my fans, I have nothing but appreciation for everybody here.”


Rangers Crush The Marlins Behind 2 HR From Joey Gallo

Miami Marlins v Texas Rangers

Courtesy: Getty Images

You can’t say the Texas Rangers aren’t making things interesting.

After being shut out Monday night, the bats came alive on Tuesday against the Miami Marlins at The Globe. Home runs make things fun and the Rangers had plenty of fun, sending a total of four baseballs into the outfield seats, two of those courtesy of Joey Gallo. When the smoke cleared, the Rangers walked away with the 10-4 win.

Texas fell behind in the first inning after Rangers lefty Cole Hamels gave up an RBI double to Christian Yelich. However, the answer was found in the second inning when Mike Napoli left no doubt and started up the Party at Napoli’s with a solo homer to left, snapping the Rangers’ 21-inning scoreless streak at The Globe in the process.

Gallo did his thing in the third when he took the first pitch of the inning and sent it to the upper deck in left to give the Rangers the lead. They tacked on a couple of more runs in that frame on a sac fly from Adrian Beltre and infield single by Jonathan Lucroy.

Then in the fourth, Gallo sent a missile that stayed inside the right field foul pole for his second homer of the night and 25th of the season, which leads the team.

“I just try to stick to my approach, my plan,” said Gallo. “Just been working really pretty hard with the coaches, everybody has and I think it’s starting to show now.”

Hamels took a 6-1 lead into the fifth before Yelich struck again, this time for a three-run homer to cut the lead to 6-4. The Rangers second ace kept the rest of the Marlins lineup in check by keep most of his pitches low. The only time he went high was to Yelich, who made the most of it. Hamels allowed four runs on six hits in six innings to move his record to 5-1 this season. He struck out five in the effort.

The Rangers opened it up after that, scoring four runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by solo homer by Rougned Odor.

“The hitters, they came through and really put up some good runs,” Hamels said after the game. “That’s always kind of nice. That really elievates some of the pressure and you can kind of step back and try to get to your gameplan and try to execute.”

Texas has now won four of their last five to move the record to 49-51. They currently sit three and a half games behind the second wild card spot. When Hamels arrived in 2015, he said he believed the Rangers were a playoff team. Texas would later go on a run to win the division. Even though the division is out of sights this time around, does Hamels still have that same playoff feeling?

“Of course, this is baseball,” replied Hamels. “You see things different every year and the unexpected always happens. If you always look at it, the wild card is kind of the team that usually goes further because they are the ones that have to battle the whole year. They didn’t have things handed to them.”

Wednesday is Darvish Day and it could be the final one in Arlington. Teams are interested in the other Rangers ace in Yu Darvish and the organization could make that move since he’s a free agent at the end of the season. In fact, during the postgame show, former Rangers pitcher and current analyst Darren Oliver had the solid take, saying he felt this would be the final start at The Globe for Darvish, who’s 6-8 with a 3.44 ERA in 21 starts this season. The next few days could get very interesting as the trade deadline approaches.

The series finale is Wednesday at The Globe. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.

* Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre went 0-for-3 with a sac fly. He remains seven hits shy of the 3,000 career hit milestone.