Yu Darvish faced enormous pressure after being traded to the Dodgers. Not only was a top prospect, Willie Calhoun, in the deal but he also had the task of helping the Dodgers get back to the World Series for the first time since 1988. Despite the pressure, Darvish did his job and was an integral part of the Dodgers reaching the World Series.
That’s when things went wrong for Yu. In his first start of the World Series, his command was noticeably off and he struggled badly. Things didn’t get any better when he made his second start, which came in game 7. Darvish would allow 8 earned runs over his 3.1 innings pitched. It was revealed later that Darvish was tipping his pitches which contributed to his poor performance. One thing many people fail to realize is that Darvish was far from the sole reason the Dodgers didn’t win the World Series. In game 7, where Darvish has a rough outing, the Dodgers were shutout. Despite his struggles, he was not the reason they lost the series.
After the World Series meltdown, many didn’t expect the Dodgers to bring Darvish back. Despite this, the Dodgers have reportedly met with Darvish about a potential reunion. If there was any doubt before, Justin Turner made it clear that the Dodgers’ players want Yu back as well. He was recently a guest on SportsNation and he discussed wanting Darvish back as a Dodger.
He’s an unbelievable pitcher. He went out against Arizona in the first round and absolutely dominated them. He pitched against the Cubs and dominated them. He’s a big part of the reason why we got to the World Series. To point him out and say we don’t want him back, we might not have been there if it wasn’t for him.
Darvish only allowed two runs over 11.1 innings in the first two rounds of the postseason, as Turner said, he dominated. There is still the concern over Darvish’s pitch tipping, but that’s fixable now that the coaching staff knows about it. The Dodgers do have concerns about the luxury tax, but it can be worked around if they want Yu back.
The Dodgers biggest hurdle at this point is the other teams also pursuing Darvish. It was revealed recently that Darvish is considering 6 teams, including a mystery team. Over the weekend it was revealed that the Brewers have made an offer to Darvish. Perhaps they’re the mystery team Yu hinted at.
The #Brewers have reportedly made an offer to free agent Yu Darvish.
— Intentional Talk (@IntentionalTalk) January 22, 2018
On Monday, Jerry Crasnick tweeted that Darvish has a five-year offer, but it’s unclear from which team. He also noted that the Dodgers are still in on the right-hander.
Yu Darvish has at least one five-year offer on the table, according to a source, but nothing yet has enticed him to take the plunge. It's uncertain if the years or the $$ are the hangup — or both. #Cubs, #Twins, #Rangers, #Dodgers, #Brewers are all believed to be in the mix.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 22, 2018
The Dodgers may be the least likely to give Darvish a long-term contract of the bunch. With their immense pitching depth, and guys like Julio Urias, Walker Buehler, Mitchell White and countless others on the horizon their need for a long-term solution is less pronounced. However, the short-term need is there. With Urias recovering from shoulder surgery, and guys like Buehler and White relatively unproven a team with championship aspirations cannot rely on their potential contributions.
Spring training is drawing ever closer, with pitchers and catchers reporting in about 3 weeks. Darvish could hold out into spring training, but it’s unlikely. Will Justin Turner voicing his support for bringing Darvish back be enough to push the front office into high gear? Only time will tell, but we should get a decision soon.