It's over and done with and finished, and Yu Darvish is officially locked in as a member of the Texas Rangers organization.
Per numerous sources on Twitter, the Rangers have agreed to terms with Yu Darvish this afternoon on a six-year, $60 million deal that could potentially pay out another $10 million in bonuses (per Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan); financial specifics of the deal beyond that reported framework have not yet been disclosed, however. Darvish, his representatives Don Nomura and Arn Tellem, and the Rangers had until 4:00 p.m. CST this afternoon to formally agree to terms on a deal, and seemed to cross the finish line in the last couple of hours, with multiple reports indicating in the final hour that an agreement had been reached, and the remaining delays were simply a matter of crossing the t's and dotting the i's.
Combined with the $51.7 million posting fee, we're looking at a total commmitment of $111.7 million over six years with the potential to cross the $120 million threshold -- an eventuality that would be most welcome if it were to actually pass, as the activation of those bonuses would very likely only come about if he were both healthy and productive. And seeing as how a healthy and productive Darvish has the potential to be a perennial All-Star with elite-level upside, I would like nothing better than to see this deal end up being maxed out in value.
[Update: The deal is reportedly a five-year deal with a sixth-year player option, and not six guaranteed years. If the deal is heavily backloaded, it may be that the sixth-year player option could pay out enough to make it worth Darvish's while and compel him to remain in Texas even if he could fetch a larger guaranteed deal on the open market after five years. Otherwise, that player option isn't likely to work to the Rangers' advantage: if he's good, there's a strong chance that he'll exercise that opt-out clause and leave Texas after five years, and if he's a disaster, there's a strong chance he'll remain in Texas for that sixth year.
Meanwhile, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is reporting that the deal actually guarantees Darvish $56 million, with the ability for him to make up to $4 million in bonuses. It's not immediately clear which report between Passan's and Wilson's is correct on the matter of Darvish's potential bonus money, though I imagine that's one of the things that will end up being clarified in the next 12-24 hours. Maybe.]
With Darvish now safely in the fold, the Rangers can craft their starting rotation from some combination of Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando, Matt Harrison, Neftali Feliz, and Darvish, with the likelihood being that Ogando will be moved back to the bullpen to accommodate the off-season additions of Feliz and Darvish to the rotation. Even with that being the case from the outset of the season, though, it may be that the Rangers end up turning back to Ogando -- and possibly Scott Feldman, as well -- as starters more than once during the 2012 season as a means of protecting guys like Harrison and Feliz from fatigue-induced breakdowns. Darvish is talented, supremely talented even, and that's a precious and wonderful thing ... but he also adds depth, and depth may very well end up being one of the deciding factors that puts Texas over the top next season.
For now, though, we find ourselves in the terribly enviable position of being able to celebrate both what is right now and what could be not very long from now. We're all itching to see Darvish take the hill for the first time during that opening homestand, but don't lose your grasp on the good feelings of right now in your excitement for the future. Enjoy it all and soak it all in, because we probably won't always be this lucky.