The Texas Rangers have begun to explore the trade market for starter Yu Darvish, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Now five games below .500 and six teams back in the AL Wild Card race, the Rangers are headed toward the deadline as sellers with Darvish, Andrew Cashner, Jonathan Lucroy, and Martin Perez as possible departures.
Darvish, 30, is owed close to $5 million for the rest of the season and will hit the free agent market at the conclusion of the 2017 season. The right-hander is 6-8 with a 3.45 ERA in 125.1 innings this year, though his 9.4 K/9 is a step down from his career-average 11.0 K/9 mark. Although he's only a rental piece, Darvish is one of the more intriguing names on a weak starting pitching market headlined by Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray.
MLB.com's Jon Morosi reported Friday morning that the Cubs have checked in on the Rangers' ace, who are still pursuing rotation depth after acquiring Jose Quintana last Thursday. Chicago has revitalized their season after a 6-0 start to the second half, and now sit just one game behind the Brewers for the NL Central lead. While the Cubs' farm system took a serious hit in the Quintana deal, Darvish's rental price should keep the Cubs in play for a potential deal. Morosi mentions both the Yankees and Dodgers as probable pursuers as well.
With ten days left before the deadline, the Rangers face make-or-break series against the Rays, Marlins, and Orioles that could dictate the volume of their activity on July 31st. For more on where the Rangers stand, here's our Patrick Karraker with a full deadline preview.