Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Yu Darvish’s arrival in the U.S. signals yet another instance of baseball insiders and fans either salivating over or doubting the talents of an incredibly hyped foreign star.The Texas Rangers certainly hope Darvish is worth the $100 million plus they paid to have him come stateside.
He could pan out like Ichiro or flame out like the last highly-priced Japanese pitcher to make the jump, Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Hideo Nomo is probably best known for introducing U.S. baseball fans to the wacky wind ups of Japanese pitchers, but he had three 15 win seasons. He's also the only pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter at hitter friendly Coors Field.
South Korean pitcher Chan Ho Park turned five good seasons as a Dodger into a ridiculous $65 million contract from the Texas Rangers. He ceased being productive from then on out.
Livan Hernandez came over from Cuba and got everyone in Miami excited about baseball. He was named the 1997 World Series MVP for the Marlins.
Ichiro Suzuki certainly lived up to the high expectations and then some. He won both the MVP and Rookie of Year awards his first season and later broke the all-time single season hits record that had stood for 84 years.
The Yankees gave Kei Igawa $20 million over four years. He hasn't pitched in the majors since 2008 and has a career ERA of 6.66 in 70 pro innings.
It was a huge surprise when the small market Cincinnati Reds gave Aroldis Chapman a $30 million deal. The lefty phenom has been great out of the bullpen and is being groomed into a starter for 2012.
In five seasons as a pro in Japan Yu Darvish hasn't had an ERA above 1.88. If he's half as good, the Rangers will be ecstatic with their massive investment.
With Darvish off the market, 26-year-old Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is the talk of all MLB execs lately. The five-tool player is expected to garner interest from a bevy of teams and reach an asking price of at least $40 million.
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