Record of the Day
Most money given to a Japanese player: Yu Darvish, $54 million.
The Rangers agreed to terms with Japanese superstar Yu Darvish on a deal worth a guaranteed $54 million that could fetch up to $58 million with incentives. The Rangers already dished out approximately $51.7 million for negotiating rights. That means the Rangers will pay approximately $110 million for the Japanese ace.
Free Agent Signings
Rangers agreed to terms with Japanese superstar Yu Darvish (18-6, 1.44 ERA, .185 BAA for Japanese League, 2012 age: 25) on a six-year, $54 million deal (plus up to $4 million in incentives).
Reds agreed to terms with Ryan Ludwick (13 HR, 75 RBI, .237 AVG, 1 SB, 2012 age: 33-34) on a one-year deal.
Phillies signed Joel Pineiro (7-7, 5.13 ERA, .311 BAA, 2012 age: 33) to a minor league deal.
Diamondbacks resigned Joe Saunders (12-13, 3.69 ERA, .266 BAA, 2012 age: 31) to a one-year, $6 million deal.
Astros signed Jack Cust (3 HR, 23 RBI, .213 AVG, 0 SB, 2012 age: 33) to a minor league deal.
Reds signed Dioner Navarro (5 HR, 17 RBI, .193 AVG, 0 SB, 2012 age: 28) to a minor league deal.
It came down to the final hours, but the Rangers finally signed Japanese superstar Yu Darvish. He throws a nasty curveball and overpowering fastball, while his 6'5" frame intimidates hitters. After debuting in 2005, the 25-year-old from Osaka pitched seven years in the Nippon Professional Baseball League, winning 93 games for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. After posting a 3.53 ERA in 14 games, the nasty Darvish pitched in his first full season in 2006, going 12-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 25 games. He had a breakout year in 2007, shutting down the league with a 15-5 record and 1.82 ERA in 26 games, completing 12 of them. It would be the first of five straight seasons he would post an ERA below 1.90. He was 16-4 with a 1.89 ERA in 2008, then posted his best season yet in 2009. In 23 games, he was 15-5 with a 1.73 ERA. He won only 12 games in 2010 despite a 1.78 ERA, but 2011 proved to be sensational. In 28 games, he was 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA and 276 K's in just 232 innings for the Fighters. Darvish also tossed six complete game shutouts while walking only 36 batters. Over his seven-year career in Japan, he was 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA in 167 games.
The Phillies signed Joel Pineiro to battle for the back end of the rotation or take on a long-relief role. Pineiro had most of his success with Seattle, where he pitched from 2000 to 2006. His best year was 2002, where he was 14-7 with a 3.24 ERA in 37 games (28 starts), winning the Mariners MVP. He was 16-11 with a 3.78 ERA in 32 starts in 2003, but injuries caused him to miss part of 2004 and it took him until 2009 to finally regain the dominant form he had shown in Seattle. Pitching for the Cardinals, Pineiro was 15-12 with a 3.49 ERA in 32 starts in 2009. The Puerto Rican native was signed by the Angels in 2010 and was 10-7 with a 3.84 ERA in 23 starts. He missed more time to injury last year and could not duplicate his previous success. Now 33, it will be interesting to see if he rebounds in 2012 or if he is no more than a long reliever now. Over his 12-year career, Pineiro is 104-93 with a 4.41 ERA in 335 games (263 starts).
Tigers catcher Victor Martinez tore his ACL and will likely miss the entire 2012 season. This likely puts the Tigers in a position to pursue free agents like Carlos Pena or Johnny Damon.
Red Sox signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a one-year, $8.05 million deal to avoid arbitration.
The arbitration deadline passed and many great players like Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, and Michael Morse will head to hearings.
Teams followed in this update: Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves
If your team is not included, please leave a comment.
HR: home runs. RBI: runs batted in. AVG: batting average. SB: stolen bases. ERA: earned run average. BAA: batting average against. K's: strikeouts. WPCT: winning percentage