Examining the Yu Darvish contract
Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Posted on June 25, 2014 at 10:48 AM
With the way the season has progressed in Arlington, the quiet whispers of what will happen with Yu Darvish is making the rounds at water coolers and on radio. The contract of Yu Darvish has interesting performance clauses that allow him to opt out after the 2016 season if he attains certain achievements, and after Masahiro Tanaka signed a $155 million contract this past off season, Darvish appears underpaid. The contract he signed before the 2012 season seemed to be hefty in money at the time, but with the inflation rate in Major League Baseball it doesn't appear that way any longer.
There has been talk about how much Darvish will command after his contract expires or he opts out. The Rangers would obviously be better off having Darvish on the mound every five days being that he is an ace and perrenial Cy Young contender. Looking at his contract, his ability to get out of it could come quicker than most imagine.
Darvish originally signed a 6 year/$56 million dollar deal with incentives that could bring it to $60 million. The breakdown is as follows:
2012: $5.5 million
2013: $9.5 million
2014: $10 million
2015: $10 million
2016: $10 million
2017: $11 million
The clauses that allow him to opt out are performance based and revolve around Cy Young voting. When the contract was signed it looked as if Darvish may not ever reach these, but as time goes on it almost seems like a lock.
Darvish can opt out if he reaches these goals:
1) In the first five years, if Darvish wins the Cy Young in one year and finishes in the top three in one of the other years.
2) If Darvish finishes 2nd in the Cy Young in one year and finishes in the top three in voting in two additional years.
In 2013 Max Scherzer won the American League Cy Young Award. Second in the voting was, you guessed it, Yu Darvish. Yu has already started chipping away at the performance clauses in his contract. As Darvish continues to march towards accomplishing these bonuses, the pressure to get Darvish extended becomes intense for the Rangers' brass. How much will Darvish command? That is up for debate, but he won't be cheap.