I'll repeat that-- $51.7 million (a record bid).
That's the amount the Rangers have to pay Darvish's Japanese team, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, just for the rights to negotiate with him. If they sign Darvish to, let's say, a 5-year - $50 million contract, it means that they would have to shell out over $100 million for a pitcher who has not proven he can get the job done in the major leagues. I'm no expert, but couldn't they have aggressively gone after C.J. Wilson (a proven major league winner) and saved themselves 30 million bucks?
This same frenzy happened in 2006 when then-Japanese sensation Daisuke (Dice-K) Matsuzaka wanted to bring his talents to America. The Boston Red Sox put up a then-record $51.1 million bid for the supposed-Second Coming of Cy Young and went on to sign him to a 6-year, $52 million contract. For $103.1 million, the Red Sox have gotten 49 wins and a 4.25 ERA out of Dice-K in 5 seasons so far. So the Red Sox shelled out over $100 million for a pitcher that is averaging a little under 10 wins a season. Go figure.
But if the Rangers experience buyer's remorse in the future, they can just ask another bid-frenzy team, the New York Yankees, for advice on how they got over their Hideki Irabu and Kei Igawa nightmares.