Rangers: How Yu Darvish could be key to luring Shohei Ohtani


There’s no question the Texas Rangers are all-in on this Shohei Ohtani thing, but successfully attracting him may come down to Yu Darvish.

Whether you’re a Texas Rangers or any other MLB team fan, you have no doubt heard of Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani, the best player to come out of Japan since…basically forever, is making the move to MLB. Where he goes is anyone’s guess at this point.

What we know is that virtually all teams are interested in the 23-year old phenom. Shohei Ohtani projects as both an ace pitcher as well as an all-around hitter. He’s the complete package which is why so many refer to him as “the Babe Ruth of Japan”.

The Rangers have made no secret of their desire to bring him to North Texas. He’s been listed as the primary target before the 2017 season even began. When the season started going poorly, the focus on Ohtani only increased.

Now, with the courtship at full steam, It’s decision time for Ohtani as where he’ll hang his hat the next few seasons. Will it be on one of the coasts; Somewhere with a significant Japanese population and loads of marketing dollars? Or will it be somewhere else; May be a team with a young nucleus that could be contenders for the next few years?

Do you love the Rangers? Join us and write a weekly column!

The Rangers are hoping the answer is none of the above.

The Texas Rangers are rebuilding in all ways: They are in the process of both rebuilding their minors as well as rebuilding their majors. They need to shed contracts AND build a roster. All while reloading their pool of prospects. So why would a guy like Shohei Ohtani pick a team like the Rangers?

Yu Darvish, that’s why.

No, you didn’t miss anything. Yu Darvish has not been signed by the Rangers. He’s still a player they traded away this past summer. And he’s still a free agent on the market.

More from Texas Rangers

But Yu Darvish’s endorsement may be more important than his presence. Consider this: if the actual presence of Yu Darvish would have secured the addition of Ohtani, you can bet your sweet donkey the Rangers would have re-signed Darvish. Even if that meant overpaying.

That’s because even if it took $25 million per year at $125M+ total, it would be totally worth it if it meant adding a talented player like Ohtani on the cheap for the next five seasons.

Overpay for one and underpay for the other all while filling needs???? What’s not to love?

But the Rangers didn’t so they must know that Yu Darvish’s endorsement is indeed more important than his presence. In fact, trading Darvish may have done considerably more good than harm. Darvish got a chance to see, first hand, how the grass looked once he got to the other side.

Based on comments it’s clear Darvish appreciates Texas more now, having been to the other side. And since Darvish and Ohtani are longtime friends, you can bet Darvish has dished on what it’s like around the league.

Next: The best way to lure Ohtani to Texas is THIS

Yu Darvish isn’t going to broker a deal between Shohei Ohtani and the Rangers but he is a major influencer in the decision making process. When you weigh what all the other teams are bringing to the table, it’s hard to see what the Rangers really offer. Their best chance at luring Ohtani may be their intangibles and no better person to make the case than Yu Darvish.