This year, they have done it again, with the signing of New Zealand international Mitchell Santner, who is currently ranked the world number one in the format.
I hadn't considered him for the role, which will see him playing as one of our T20 players, as well as in the second half of the summer's four-day cricket, because I was sure his current status would see him return to Worcestershire. He did very well there last summer and will doubtless do the same for us in that format.
Having just turned 26, he is a genuine spinner of the ball and his control has seen him concede under seven an over in T20 cricket, where he is also a very handy batsman. With two first-class centuries to his name and a Test average of 25, he can claim to be a genuine all-rounder, something that Tahir could, of course, never do. The development of his 'carrom ball', spun between his thumb and middle finger, has created quite a stir, as can be seen in the clip below. Though not new, the grip similar to that used by Australians Jack Iversen and John Gleeson over the years, the delivery has come back into fashion through Ajantha Mendis (below) and Ravi Ashwin.
He will also add much to the side as a brilliant fielder, so this can very much go down as a coup for Derbyshire, certainly for the T20, where a man who can save runs in the field wins matches, without question.
My only concern is that his best first-class bowling is 3-51 and with an average of 46 he has some work to do to attain the status of the short form game. My guess is that we will be aiming to blast sides out with seam and having a proven international player to, at the very least, keep it quiet at one end will be of great value as the summer progresses. So to will a player, at seven or eight, who could make a match-defining score. Perhaps 'Mitch and Critch' could be our spin bowling masterstroke later season.
We will see. We have had mixed experience with our Kiwis. While John Wright and Martin Guptill were great successes, it can safely be said that the jury is still deliberating on Hamish Rutherford, Jimmy Neesham and Neil Broom.
It would be nice to see Santner making it all square and his arrival makes the fast-approaching summer a compelling thought.
All we need now is confirmation of John Wright's return, together with the signing of Martin Guptill, and I might just head for Asda and buy some Kiwi fruit to celebrate...
Here he is dismissing Aussie captain Steven Smith, with a more conventional slow left-arm delivery.
Well done Derbyshire. And welcome to God's Own County, Mitchell Santner.
Now, let's hear your thoughts...