Darvish deal a no-brainer for Rangers 

January, 18, 2012

The Texas Rangers signing Yu Darvish to a deal that is reportedly worth a guaranteed $60 million over six years is the least surprising development of the year, as both the Rangers and the Nippon Ham Fighters (Darvish's old team) faced unappealing BATNAs (best alternatives to a negotiated agreement).

Darvish would have had to return to Japan, to a club that wasn't happy to lose out on a $51.7 million posting fee, for a salary probably closer to his $6 million salary from 2011, only to face the posting system again next offseason. He's already shown he's the best pitcher in Nippon Professional Baseball, so there's no challenge for him in returning there. The Rangers' fallback options weren't quite as dire, but I'd rather pay Darvish whatever it takes to get him under contract than sign the best remaining starting pitching option, Edwin Jackson, for four years and $40-odd million.

Keith Law

ESPN Senior Writer