Japanese baseball superstar Yu Darvish has signed a contract to play for Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers.
The Rangers signed the 25-year-old right handed pitcher to a six-year deal worth $60 million on Wednesday. They will also pay a posting fee of about $51 million to his old team, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.
The son of an Iranian father and a Japanese mother, Darvish was the most highly sought-after international player in several years. He spent the last five years dominating batters in Japan's Pacific League, where he has achieved near legendary status.
While Japanese baseball players have had mixed success making the transition to the U.S. league, many analysts predict that Darvish's large build, aggressive demeanor and varied pitch selection will translate well to the majors.
Darvish's contract is larger than that of fellow Japanese pitcher Daisuke ((pron DICE-kay) Matsuzaka, who signed a $52 million six-year deal with the Boston Red Sox in 2007.
Through last season, 38 Japan-born players have appeared in the major leagues. The most successful has been Ichiro Suzuki, who has had little trouble making the transition to Major League Baseball pitching since signing with the Seattle Mariners in 2000.
... Payvand News - 01/19/12 ... --