As expected, the Rangers have reached a deal with Yu Darvish on a contract that is being widely reported as a 6 year, $60 million deal, but which is apparently a little more complicated than that.
It does appear to be a six year deal, but the sixth year is either a player option or is a year that Darvish can opt out of, the difference seeming to be simply one of semantics. Jon Paul Morosi just tweeted this in regards to that sixth year:
Source: Yu Darvish must hit certain high-end award levels in order to opt-out of his contract after five years.
Obviously, it depends on the "high-end award levels," but it sounds like, if Darvish does pitch well enough to opt out of that fifth year, the Rangers will have more than gotten their money's worth out of Darvish by that point.
Darvish will reportedly wear #11, his number in Japan, but he is apparently not going to start on Opening Day, as Ron Washington has already stated that he expects Colby Lewis to be his Opening Day starter. Reasonably, the Rangers appear to want to give Darvish a chance to experience the major league game in uniform but as a spectator before throwing him out there.