Since that dark day when our homegrown C.J. Wilson signed with the rival team, and took the best hitter we might have personally witnessed in Albert Pujols with him, the talk from every pundit, local or otherwise, was about how the Rangers perhaps didn't have the funds to strike back. A true warning shot from Anaheim would just have to be suffered as it appeared suddenly too expensive to muster a riposte.
It wasn't just unfounded worry that fueled our suspicions. We heard from local writers about how the Rangers were going to focus on internal extensions instead of having their hand forced to make a big splash. We heard from national writers about how the Rangers might have less cash flow than everyone in baseball was expecting.
Upon the day all bids were due for Yu Darvish -- a talent scouted heavily by the Rangers and a long-rumored Plan A target -- we even heard that the team might not place a bid altogether lest they have to find the cash to pay for the postage.
Guess what? The Rangers lie. The Rangers sandbag. The Rangers smokescreen. The Rangers deceive. Sometimes the Rangers even monetarily do what it takes to get the guy they want. And, if Darvish pitches in Major Leagues in 2011,--Surprise!--it will be as a Texas Ranger.
All about Yu:
Jeff Passan broke the news that the Rangers had won the bidding. And you're getting this whole paragraph from him because man am I impressed with how the front office handled this:
This is a bonanza signing for the Rangers, a stunning rejoinder to the Los Angeles Angels' $331.5 million Albert Pujols-C.J. Wilson perfecta. Just when the two-time defending American League champions looked vulnerable, they sandbagged their way into the posting auction, let the world believe the Toronto Blue Jays had placed the high figure on Darvish and ended the process having spent more money than on any previous posting by about $600,000.
- Ken Rosenthal enthusiastically writes about the Rangers going all in for Darvish.
- Scott Miller says "new superpower" Rangers are rolling the dice on Darvish.
- Anthony Castrovince writes that the Rangers are going big but also going brave.
- Richard Justice thinks the Rangers have made a worthy gamble on Darvish.
- Gambling terms!
- Paul White wrote an article on the Rangers winning the negotiation rights to Darvish for USA Today. I'm linking it because it has the worst Yu pun I've seen yet: "A Texas Yu-step"
- Jonah Keri wrote an interesting piece on what Darvish could be. It is from a couple of days ago when people were still assuming the Blue Jays were going to win the bidding.
- In an ESPN Insider article, Dan Szymborski takes a look at Darvish's potential value over the next several seasons if he pitches for the Rangers.
- Back in early November, Keith Law ranked his top 50 free agents. Though technically not a free agent, Darvish ranked third on his list behind Pujols and Prince Fielder. Law: "He is built like an ace, with ace stuff ..."
- CNN/SI's Cliff Corcoran takes a look at the history of pitchers migrating from Japan to MLB and ponders how Darvish might fare.
- T.R. Sullivan reports on the Rangers winning the bid on Darvish and has quotes from a fairly animated and probably very satisfied Jon Daniels. The guy flew all the way out to Japan, after all.
- Anthony Andro echoes Sullivan's piece but notes that Daniels was pleased that the ownership group opened the purse strings to allow him to make a run at Darvish.
- Drew Davison notes that Daniels found the news to be "very exciting." He anticipated excitement for the following: 1. The Organization. 2. The Fans. 3. The Community.
- Never fear, though. Gerry Fraley is here to poop in your punch bowl. Fraley's blog post is titled, "Like C.J. Wilson, Yu Darvish doesn't hide his personality" just to prepare you for when the DFW media takes to disliking to him.
- J-JT writes that the bid shows that the Rangers are now a big-market team who wants to win.
- Richard Durrett writes that, with all the gambling jargon being thrown out there on Darvish, it's never wise to bet against the Rangers these days.
- In none-Yu-ings, Durrett has quotes from Daniels about how the Rangers still intend to explore long-term deals with "the core."
- 'Duk over at the Big League Stew writes about the Rangers' winning the bid while keeping their poker face throughout the process. He links to LSB, so I thought it would be nice to return the favor.
- Paul Swydan at Fangraphs writes about the Rangers potentially pulling off the feat of getting younger while maintaining, or potentially improving, the quality of their rotation.
- Japanese baseball enthusiast Patrick Newman of the NPB Tracker has a few bullet-pointed thoughts on the Darvish posting results.
- Our beloved rival Jeff Sullivan has his thoughts on the Rangers winning the rights to Darvish.
- You should read Joey Matches' "Yu Darvish Apocalypse Live Chat" archive over at BBTIA. It is a rollicking adventure.
Oh man, just watch this seven minute video of Yu Darvish highlights. Watch it all.