If Yu Darvish never wears Dodger Blue again, what will end up your lasting memory of him in a Los Angeles uniform? It’s unfortunate, but most fans won’t remember his final three regular season starts and first two of the postseason (one in the NLDS and NLCS each) that were nothing short of dominant. It will be his two World Series starts against the Astros that sticks in the memories of most forever. This is reasonable to expect, with him failing to record six outs in game seven of the World Series and going into the history books with a loss that night.
But according to a report, Darvish is open to a return to the Dodgers. This is the latest from Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times:
My understanding is that Yu Darvish has made clear he would like to return to the Dodgers, and part of the delay in his free agency is related to waiting to see if the team can move some of the money. The Dodgers have explored scenarios for moving useful but (theoretically) extraneous assets such as Yasmani Grandal, Logan Forsythe and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Given the fact that those players are still Dodgers and Darvish is still a free agent, you can guess how the market has reacted to this gambit by the front office.
This was in response to a question asking if part of the reason Yu Darvish is taking so long to sign is due to the fact that he’s hoping the Dodgers can shed enough payroll to absorb his cap hit.
In the contrary to what may be popular belief, it seems the majority of Dodgers fans would welcome Darvish back with open arms as part of their rotation. Over the weekend, the Dodgers Nation twitter account held a poll that revealed some interesting results:
Do you want Yu Darvish back in the Dodgers Pitching Rotation this upcoming season?
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) January 15, 2018
So what can we deduct from this? Is it that Dodger fans are more warm and cuddly than other fan bases. Well probably. But Dodger fans know what comprises a winning team. When you have the potential to bring back a 31-year old pitcher with ace upside and slot him as your number three, you do it.
Darvish has never posted an ERA above 4.00 in a full season and has been an All-Star in all four seasons that were injury free since his big league career began.
For one wondering what his teammates think of a potential return – Clayton Kershaw probably has the authority to speak for the majority. Kershaw has reportedly been throwing with Darvish all offseason, and his flag is in the ground with where he stands on sharing the rotation with him in the future:
Kershaw suggested Friday that he wouldn’t mind if the Dodgers blow past the competitive-balance tax threshold to re-sign Darvish, who is a free agent.
“Obviously, I’ve made my sales pitch, so we’ll just see what happens,” Kershaw said during a community-service event at Alhambra Park.
“We don’t talk about like what offers he’s gotten or anything like that. I don’t want to pressure him too much.”
There are some perceived barriers to Darvish being able to write another chapter in his Dodgers storyline. It seems the reoccurring theme with any Darvish return to the Dodgers story is that the Dodgers must shed payroll to do so. McCullough mentioned several players the Dodgers have explored moving to do just that, but are yet to find anything viable.
If you’re the General Manager of the Dodgers, do you do what it takes to bring Yu Darvish back? If so, who would you move and for what?
I know the 2018 Dodgers are going to be good with or without Yu Darvish. But there is a good part of me that wishes for his return that writes a much happier ending of some sort. Who says that a flag that flies forever can’t run hand-in-hand with that?
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