Yu focused on elbow, not contract

Yu focused on elbow, not contract

DALLAS -- Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish is approaching free agency, but he doesn't seem too worried about it.

"It's not about my contract," Darvish said at Friday's Texas Rangers Awards Dinner. "Coming back from Tommy John [surgery] for the second year, I want to see how my body reacts and how I do. ... Show what kind of pitcher I am."

General manager Jon Daniels said he has had a couple of conversations with Darvish's agent about the right-hander's contract, but nothing serious. Daniels is still focused on putting together his ballclub for 2017, and contract extension talks -- if they take place at all -- usually get serious in Spring Training. Adrian Beltre agreed to a two-year contract extension at the end of Spring Training last year.

Darvish is in the final year of a six-year contract he signed on Jan. 18, 2012. The original deal was worth $56 million, beyond the $51.7 million posting fee the Rangers paid to win negotiating rights.

"I am really grateful to the Texas Rangers for giving me that contract," Darvish said. "They have taken care of me really well. I want to show the Texas Rangers what I can do and they were right in giving me that contract."

Darvish was 39-25 with a 3.27 ERA in 83 starts for Texas in 2012-14 before missing all of '15 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He returned last season to make 17 starts, going 7-5 with a 3.41 ERA.

"The first three or four years, I think I had to make some adjustments," Darvish said. "Last year I started feeling more a part of the team. I've been able to make adjustments and feel more comfortable."

The Rangers are hoping he will be comfortable, at full strength and at the top of his game for 2017 going into his free agency year.

"After the season, my elbow felt fine," Darvish said. "I've started throwing and it feels good. It's going great."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.