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Rangers ink Darvish to 6-year, $60m deal

Associated Press / January 19, 2012
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Yu Darvish is coming to America to pitch.

Japan’s best pitcher and the Rangers agreed before yesterday’s deadline to a $60 million, six-year contract. In addition to the salary, the Rangers will pay a posting fee of about $51.7 million to pay to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League.

The deal came at the end of a 30-day negotiating window that began Dec. 19 when the Rangers’ bid to negotiate with the pitcher was accepted. Had a deal not been reached by the deadline, Darvish would have remained with the Fighters and Texas would have kept the posting fee.

When the deal was reached in Texas by his agents Don Nomura and Arn Tellem, the 25-year-old Darvish was home in Japan, where he returned for offseason training after his first and only visit to Texas two weeks ago. The Rangers plan to formally introduce Darvish tomorrow.

Darvish had a 93-38 record with a 1.99 ERA over the past seven seasons in Japan. The 6-foot-5-inch righthander was a two-time Pacific League MVP and a five-time All-Star. He led the league in strikeouts three times, in ERA twice, and won two Gold Gloves.

The deal surpasses what Daisuke Matsuzaka got when he left Japan and signed with the Red Sox just more than five years ago. Dice-K got a $52 million, six-year deal and the Red Sox also had to pay a $51.111 million posting fee that was the highest for a Japanese player before what the Rangers bid for Darvish.

When Ichiro Suzuki used the posting system in 2000 to get to the major leagues, the Mariners won with a bid of about $13 million, then signed him to a $14 million, three-year contract.

Darvish, the son of an Iranian father and a Japanese mother, went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA last season in Japan, when he made the equivalent of about $6 million. He had 276 strikeouts to lead the Pacific League.

Moyer, Rockies agree

Jamie Moyer has agreed to terms on a minor league contract with an invite to the Rockies’ spring training, pending a physical. The 49-year-old lefthander didn’t play last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow. Moyer has played 24 seasons, starting with the Cubs in 1986. He went 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA for Philadelphia in 2010. Moyer is 267-204 with a 4.24 career ERA . . . Rockies pitcher Drew Pomeranz said he is no longer facing a misdemeanor disturbing the peace charge. The lefthander was arrested on Oct. 14 in downtown Oxford, where he played college baseball for Ole Miss. Oxford Municipal Court would not confirm the charges had been dropped . . . Outfielder Jack Cust agreed to a $600,000, one-year contract with the Astros after getting released by the Mariners and Phillies last year. Cust has 105 homers, 323 RBIs, and 819 strikeouts in 670 games . . . The Mariners signed veteran lefthander Oliver Perez to a minor league contract with an invite to major league spring training . . . Former umpire Marty Springstead was found dead in his Florida home Tuesday. He was 74. He was an AL umpire from 1966-85. Obituary, B12.

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