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Dodgers: Could Los Angeles Start to Explore a Yu Darvish Reunion?

It’s a longshot, but it could happen.



Dodgers fans don’t have the best memories associated with Yu Darvish. His performance in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series will forever be a dark spot in the history of LA sports. That can sort of be forgiven since it turns out the Astros were cheating everyone out of playoff games in 2017.

Darvish left the Dodgers with a sour taste, taking a $126 million contract from the Cubs for 6 years. In the third year of his contract, Darvish finally found his groove. He pitched to a 2.10 ERA and the lowest walk rate of his career. He also struck out 11 batters 9 innings and finished with a career-best FIP.

Despite finishing 2nd in Cy Young voting, Darvish is among the Cubs’ veterans that could be moved this offseason. The front office has already let teams know that their players are available with a desire to lower payroll and build for the future. That’s where the Dodgers could step in and take advantage.

If anyone has the young talent to take Darvish out of Chicago, it would be the Dodgers. The only question would be whether they actually need him in their rotation. A rotation of Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, David Price, Yu Darvish, and Dustin May would be lethal.

Unfortunately, that would push guys like Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin to the bullpen. Most expect those two guys to pitch in the rotation long-term, but the departure of a few Dodgers bullpen pieces could make that more feasible. Urias has always been effective out of the pen and many view Gonsolin as having an elite reliever pitch mix. 

So, would the Dodgers be willing to take on Darvish’s roughly $60 million remaining on his contract? With aging stars like Kershaw and Price expected to contribute, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibilities. Darvish will be pitching his age 33 season in 2020, so it’s not like he’s young and fresh. It’s a longshot, but wouldn’t that be such a great story. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. I’m glad Darvish, Maeda, and Ryu all found success after leaving the Dodgers. This is especially true for Darvish whose career was almost destroyed by the cheating Astros. But the Dodgers won a world series without them. So everybody won. The Dodgers should stick with their starting rotation youth movement. They have one future HOF veteran who just had his best postseason ever, and a whole bunch of young studs. It’s a good recipe to repeat in 2021. If you want to go with a big name, big contract pitcher, go for Bauer. You can go for a short contract, which he prefers, and have by far the best starting rotation in baseball. Trade Price. Create some salary room. He sat out last year while Bauer was collecting his Cy. Let him have a permanent vacation.
    Bauer is probably leaning toward the Mets. It would be a disaster if he landed with the Padres. It would be a long shot for the Dodgers to get him. I’d still let Price go, and let the young guns have the stable starting rotation jobs that they didn’t really have last year.

  2. Yu Darvish? You’re kidding me right? No way we don’t need him we have to many young talented starting pitchers that deserve the opportunity to prove themselves.
    Congratulations to The 2020 World Series Champions LA Dodgers!!!
    Let’s Do a Repeat in 2021!!!

    • If you looked at the entire season, Buehler had health and control issues(postseason not included), May´s control was bad to say the least and didn´t go enough innings, Urias(aside from the postseason) had a mediocre season- 3.30 ERA and only went 6 Innings once, and Gonsolin- first 5 starts-0.73 ERA- Next 5 starts and Postseason- 4.88 ERA. We need Bauer, because Kershaw was our only Great starter this year, and the only one who pitched enough innings. Buehler has probably already reached his potential- 2019 seems like his peak-he will have more seasons like that, but will never finish past the top 5 for Cy young. And if we get Darvish, too, so much the better. May and Gonsolin need to go to the bullpen unless one of the other starters get hurt(they will).

  3. Bauer had a great year but he only pitched against the NL Central. Remember, both the AL Central and NL Central put the most teams in the post season but they were all knocked out in early rounds…Bauer’s numbers are great for 2020 but they are not indicative on how he would pitch at other divisions. Darvish has more of a track record. I would rather go Darvish short term than Bauer short term

  4. I commented before about Bauer. He has had FIVE years with an ERA at or above 4.18. Nope huge risk he returns to his norm. Darvish is a decent pitcher. But–we do not need either of these 2 guys anyway. WE JUST WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!! We have a lot of starting options. Hmm. We have Price back who is a solid #3 starter. Plus we have several high ceiling pitchers with World Series, playoff experience. Dustin May could be the
    real deal. And Gray is on the horizon. Stay the course! Turner-resign him. Extend Clayton and Corey. Look for a couple relief options.

  5. Good points, but I agree more with Jonmichael. I think we need to bolster both the starting and bullpen staff. While they have potential, I’m uneasy relying completely on May and Gonsolin (although they do have a spot IMHO). We need a top notch starter, and I’m not sure it’s Price. I think Darvish would be better than 2017, but not sure on the risk. I say give Bauer a short term deal and take the risk. It looks like he’s heading in the right direction and he’s not too old.

    • Good analysis. I agree. I like May and Gonsolin too, but they both faltered in the postseason. They will both be stronger in 2021. Urias earned the 3 spot. Price is totally expendable. If Bauer was acquired he would jump into the top 3 with Urias becoming the 4 guy. May and Gonsolin would be 5 and 6, and in the bullpen for the postseason. That would be a killer rotation, with a strong bullpen.

  6. I would have no problem bringing Darvish back as starter along with Buehler, Kershaw, Price, May, and Gonsolin as sixth at times out of the bullpen, and Urias as the closer, as long as he can get past the early wild 1st inning ineffectiveness we’ve witnessed in a few of his starts. If we can get what he gave us in the World Series game & out the game, untouchable closer.

  7. We won a WS with these starters and the young guns will only get better and Price is coming back. Put the money into the bullpen. We need a couple of late inning arms!

  8. As much as Dodgers were great in 2020, their “bullpen” games gave their fans heart attacks. Buehler and Kershaw have stable starting reputations. And as much as fans liked May, Gonsolin, Urias…when they started, they just didn’t give the same vibe as a top-of-the line starter as a Price or Darvish would have. If the financials work without giving a top prospect, I say give Darvish his chance for redemption

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