HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 12: Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers throws in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on August 12, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
You want your players to be successful and be in the discussion of league-wide awards.
Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish was definitely good in 2013, posting a 2.83 ERA and leading the modern world in strikeouts with 277. On Tuesday, Darvish was named one of three finalists for the American League Cy Young Award, along with Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma and Detroit's Max Scherzer.
So yeah, it'll be nice to see Darvish get recognized, as he's now a lock to finish in the top 3 of the voting and will become only the second Rangers pitcher to finish in the top 3. Ferguson Jenkins finished second in the voting in 1974.
But it could mean Darvish's time as a Ranger will be cut short. The Japanese sensation, who just finished his second big-league season, is a bargain for the Rangers, signed through 2017 at just a grand total of $56 million — an unworldly bargain for a guy that's going to be an ace every year.
But, if he finishes in the top 4 once before 2016 and wins the award another year, he can void the final year of his deal to become a free agent after the 2016 season instead of after the 2017 season. He likely won't win it this year, as Scherzer is the favorite, but he is guaranteed a top 4 spot. You'd have to think someone like Darvish is going to get himself a Cy Young at some point, so this could be the beginning of an early exit from Texas.
Of course, Darvish could choose to re-sign with the Rangers whenever that day comes and this will all be a moot point, but it's something to pay attention to.