Rangers Send A Message With Darvish Signing

With the signing of Yu Darvish just before the Wednesday deadline, it's clear now more than ever that the Texas Rangers mean business. They've been highly talented the last two seasons, but if this type of high profile signing is any indication we should begin to look at the Rangers just a little bit differently headed into 2012.

The reaction around baseball regarding the Rangers signing of Yu Darvish seems to be just as much about the aggressive direction the club is headed in as it has been about Darvish himself. Texas has absolutely added a very talented starting pitcher in the lanky right-hander, but the signing says a lot to their fan base and the league about how they intend to conduct their business in the near future.

The last two off-seasons for Texas have been very much about the players they've lost. Although they've acquired some very talented players in the process, they seem to be remembered for losing Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson. And, with some major decisions looming for them not too far down the road on other stars like Josh Hamilton, their signing of the Japanese star says a lot.

The Rangers do not have the revenue to continue to get into financial shootouts with teams like the Yankees and Red Sox, but they are proving they aren't shy about spending money. And, even if they do end up having to lose players like Hamilton, they are putting themselves in an enviable position in terms of stockpiling young pitching.

Darvish is just 25-years-old and is now locked up for six years. Lining him up with Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Neftali Feliz, and Alexi Ogando is looking like a promising proposition considering all of their ages and how relatively inexpensive they figure to be in the coming years. The bargain on those young starters will not last forever, but Texas has to be thrilled with the long term state of their pitching staff, particularly with other young arms like Martin Perez on the way.

"What they've done is set themselves up potentially for a long run of winning," said one scout. "You don't want to lose players, but with what their pitching might look like for a few years, they've just done a great job of building for the long term. They continue to produce from their farm system and if Darvish pans out they have him for awhile too."

It's this type of reaction that Texas seems to be getting for not just their signing of Darvish, but for their direction as an oganization in general. But, of course, praise can evaporate quickly if Darvish is a flop in the United States. By most accounts, however, not many talent evaluators seem to envision that happening.

"It would be surprising if he struggled," said one scout regarding Darvish. "There's a learning curve of course, but this guy has a big league frame and stuff that stacks up with frontline pitchers in the big leagues. The adjustment is never easy, but he looks like an arm who could succeed right away."

If that's the case, the Rangers just got a lot more dangerous in 2012. Again, though, this move is not just about 2012. It's telling us that Texas is here and is here to win potentially for a very long time.

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