Since Masahiro Tanaka signed with the New York Yankees earlier this week for $155 million over a seven-year deal, the talk has all started and the natural comparisons are happening between he and Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish, Tanaka's countryman and training partner.
Darvish's deal with the Rangers, posting fees aside (that's a whole other story), is a six-year deal worth $56 million, which is nice, but obviously nothing like the deal Tanaka just got from the Yankees two years after Darvish signed with Texas.
So who's better? Well, most people will tell you Darvish is, and you won't get much argument. Tanaka is very good and has the capability of being a solid No. 2 pitcher in the league for a while, but Darvish is a transcendent ace — a title only truly bestowed upon 10 pitchers in all of baseball.
The guys at Baseball America released scouting reports on both this week, but these aren't your average scouting reports, they're reports given at the time the player left Japan. So for Tanaka, it's current. For Darvish, it's two years old, and you know he's exceeded his lofty expectations since coming over from Japan.
The reports gave Darvish the edge in fastball, slider, curveball, delivery/physical and overall while giving Tanaka the edge in splitter and command/control.
If the projected reports end up being true in the long run, the Rangers will have gotten themselves a pretty huge bargain. Heck, they already have.