UPDATE (11:15 AM): ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick hears differently than Sullivan, reporting that Rangers general manager is open to moving Darvish “for the right deal.” His interpretation of the facts may just be different than Sullivan’s, though he does offer a report that is more optimistic about the chances of getting a deal done.
Either way, netting Darvish in a trade will take a high price, and clubs know that. Texas keeping their ace is not a bad fallback option for the club, either.
ORIGINAL: The Rangers are “strongly leaning” toward keeping starter Yu Darvish through Monday’s trade deadline, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. Sullivan reports that the club would only trade Darvish if they are overwhelmed with an offer or fall out of contention with another losing streak.
Texas, which currently sits 3.5 games out of the second wild card spot in the American League, is one of about four teams on the buy/sell fence in the AL. The Rangers have been streaky since the All-Star break, winning two before embarking on a 5-game losing streak and sweeping the Rays in Tampa Bay this weekend. Texas lost to the Marlins on Monday and will take on Miami and Baltimore before the deadline Monday.
Darvish, a free agent at year’s end, has already been linked to the Yankees, Dodgers and Cubs, all of whom are contenders with interest in adding starting pitching. He would be by far the best starter available on a weak market for rotation rentals, especially with other options like Jaime Garcia and Trevor Cahill already off the board.
Texas’ preference to hold onto Darvish would allow them to contend this season and would likely increase the club’s chances of re-signing their prized righty after the season. The Rangers are considered the favorites to sign the 4-time All-Star on a long-term deal.
Darvish, 31 in August, owns a 3.44 ERA in 21 starts this season.