As noted by Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, right-hander Yu Darvish is scheduled to make his first MLB start on April 9 at home against the Mariners.
The Rangers revealed their season-opening rotation on Thursday, pegging Colby Lewis for Opening Day (April 6) against the White Sox. He will be followed by Derek Holland and Matt Harrison in that three-game series vs. Chicago before Darvish kicks things off against Seattle. Neftali Feliz will go fifth.
Darvish agreed to a six-year, $60 million contract in January after the Rangers paid a $51,703,411 posting fee to the Nippon Ham Fighters for his exclusive negotiating rights. The 6-foot-5 hurler posted a 1.44 ERA and 276/36 K/BB ratio in 232 innings last season in Japan. He has a 3.00 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 10/7 K/BB ratio in nine Cactus League innings this spring.
The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.
Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.
Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.