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Rangers, Yu Darvish Must Come To An Agreement

The deadline for the Texas Rangers and Yu Darvish to reach a contract agreement is Wednesday at 4 p.m. CT. It's been believed all along that negotiations would last until deadline day, and here we are at deadline day. Both sides must realize that they need each other, and that an agreement is not only in the best interest of each party, but imperative.

Especially for the Rangers.

Texas' rotation even without Darvish is plenty respectable, as the Rangers figure to trot out Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando and Neftali Feliz. The Rangers have lost two lefty top of the rotation pitchers the last two years via free agency, and to date, haven't replaced either.

Last year, they coped just fine without Cliff Lee. This year, though, they need Darvish to help offset the loss of C.J. Wilson.

Every one of the starting pitchers currently in Texas' rotation has warts: Lewis had home run problems, Holland was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Ogando ran out of gas and had a poor second half, Feliz hasn't started in two years and Harrison has enjoyed success in just one of his four years at the big league level. Of course, all five of those pitchers have considerable potential as well, but it's certainly no guarantee, given their track records, that they put together consistent seasons in '12.

We don't know how Darvish will fare against MLB hitters. He probably won't ever be a top five or ten pitcher in all of baseball, but it's perfectly reasonable to expect that he could slot in comfortably at the top of a rotation.

Having Darvish in Texas certainly helps hedge the Ogando and Feliz bets. I do believe that Feliz will succeed as a starter, but there are certainly going to be speed bumps along the way, and having a solid top of the rotation certainly takes some pressure off the back end. Darvish helps solidify that top end.

In all likelihood, the Rangers and Darvish will come to an agreement prior to the 4 p.m. deadline. If they don't, though, the Rangers may be kicking themselves come July for letting Darvish slip away over one year and a few million dollars.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.