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Yu Darvish rumors: Texas Rangers, Darvish and a contract extension

Yu Darvish likes being a Ranger, the Rangers like Yu Darvish...could a contract extension happen?

MLB: ALDS-Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Yu Darvish rumors: The Texas Rangers and Yu Darvish are “planning to speak” about the possibility of a contract extension, according to Jon Heyman, though Heyman says the Rangers probably wouldn’t match the 7 years, $175 million that the Washington Nationals gave Stephen Strasburg.

The Darvish market is difficult to gauge, especially given that he’ll be hitting the market at the same time as Jake Arrieta and Masahiro Tanaka. Buster Olney notes that more and more teams are getting leery of long-term deals for starting pitchers in their 30s, noting that of the four free agents who signed big deals in the 2015-16 offseason — Zack Greinke, David Price, Jordan Zimmerman and Johnny Cueto — only the Giants, who signed Cueto, would likely stick with the existing deal rather than get out of it.

Jesse Spector takes a look today at the comparison of the Strasburg contract to what Yu Darvish might get, and suggests that a shorter term deal with a higher average annual value might make more sense for the Rangers. Of course, if that’s the case, one could reasonably believe that Darvish would be able to get at least that same deal in the open market in the offseason, barring injury.

I have a hard time wrapping my mind around what sort of extension would be palatable to both Darvish and the Rangers right now -- or, for that matter, what sort of contract Darvish would get as a free agent this offseason. He’s such a unique case, in terms of his stuff and repertoire being as good as anyone in baseball, the split of his time between the majors and Japan, the Tommy John surgery (and the other more minor physical issues he’s dealt with).

I have no idea what he should get. At the same time, I also know I don’t want him pitching for another team next year.