Working around the clock in the days leading up to the 5pm EST deadline to reach an agreement, the Rangers and Japanese Starting Pitcher Yu Darvish have agreed to a six year, $60 million contract.
Darvish, a 25 year old right-hander, has been the staff ace of the Nippon Ham Fighters for the past five years with a career record of 76-28 and a 1.72 era.
Rangers manager Ron Washington has already announced Colby Lewis will be the Rangers opening day starter with or without Darvish, a move that could change if the club also adds veteran right hander Roy Oswalt to the rotation.
The addition of Darvish also means one member of the Rangers current rotation will move to the bullpen; most likely Alexi Ogando unless the Rangers fail to add another left hander to the bullpen through a trade or free agency making Matt Harrison the likely pitcher to move to the bullpen.
The Rangers continue to talk to left handed reliever Mike Gonzalez who has expressed an interest in returning to the team.
Where Texas goes from here is still up in the air.
Wide speculation has the club talking to Prince Fielder about a long term deal in the wake of Josh Hamilton's contract demands.
Fielder may have started off as a Plan B this offseason in case the club failed to sign Yu Darvish but considering Hamilton's demands are so far out of the Rangers comfort zone, the club may look to Fielder to give the club the most powerful lineup in baseball this season and replace Hamilton starting in 2013.
Fielder has reportedly made it clear to the Rangers they are his preferred choice and considering the Rangers recent history at first base, Texas may be the best fit for the slugger.
Prince, of course, is another article for another time.
For now the Rangers can enjoy going into spring training with a much better pitching staff than they started 2011 with.
A rotation of Darvish, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and Neftali Feliz is much stronger and a bullpen with Alexi Ogando, Mike Adams and Joe Nathan could be the lights out bullpen the Rangers didn't have at the beginning of the season last year.
One Yu Darvish countdown has ended and another begins; the countdown until Darvish makes his first start in front of a sellout crowd at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in April.
One of many sellout crowds to watch these retooled Rangers who once again have an American League Championship to defend.