With the offseason winding down, many of the games top free agents have yet to sign. Yu Darvish is no exception. The 31-year old is one of the biggest names on the market, and arguably the top pitcher available. It was reported on Wednesday that five teams are in on Darvish, the Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Astros, and Twins. Darvish himself was quick to point out that another team is in the mix.
I know one more team is in. https://t.co/exxubGP7Qo
— ???????(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) January 11, 2018
This creates a big question, who is the mystery team? The logical answer is the Dodgers. They traded for him at the deadline in 2017, and he pitched well during the regular season. He also found success in the NLDS and NLCS, before having a nightmare World Series. It was later revealed that the reason for his struggles on the biggest stage was a problem that has haunted him more than once. He was tipping his pitches.
While many only remember his struggles, Darvish has electric stuff and is still capable of being an ace caliber pitcher. The biggest holdup for the Dodgers regarding Darvish isn’t his pitch tipping, it’s the money he’ll command. Yu is likely to bring in at least $20 million annually in a new contract, and to put it simply the Dodgers are on a budget. If they manage to move Matt Kemp’s contract, then they’ll have enough for any free agent in this class. They still may not pursue any however, because they could want to save for the monster 2018 free agent class.
If Darvish doesn’t come back to Los Angeles, the most likely option seems to be the Rangers. Yu played most of his career in Texas, and enjoyed a lot of success. The Rangers love Darvish, but had to trade him to accelerate their rebuild. It would be quite the consolation if they were able to get him back. Only Yu really knows who the real favorite is.
With the 5 listed teams and a mystery team in the mix, it could still be a little while until he makes a decision. While this would be uncommon many years, it seems to be the current trend. With pitchers and catchers set to report in just a month, his negotiations could even spill into Spring Training before there’s a resolution. He will ultimately base his decision on the best situation for himself, as every team will likely offer him a handsome sum of money.
Where do you think Darvish will sign? Let us know in the comments!
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