Top free-agent starter Yu Darvish is considering signing with the Yankees, Cubs, Rangers, Astros and Twins, a source told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Darvish has drawn interest from New York, Chicago, Houston and Minnesota over the last month. As for Texas, there is a natural soft spot for Darvish, as Wilson said Darvish“ loves the area and loved his time” playing for the Rangers for four-and-a-half seasons before being traded to the Dodgers at the non-waiver deadline in 2017. After the trade, Darvish helped Los Angeles get to the World Series by winning games in both the NLDS and NLCS, but had two disastrous starts in the Fall Classic, including Game 7.
Darvish posted a 10-12 record with a 3.86 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 209 strikeouts over the course of 186 2⁄3 innings.
However, Wilson believes that signing with the Rangers is ”wishful thinking” because the club is not inclined to add top-of-the-line free agents since it is still rebuilding and has signed low-cost players to fill in the gaps for now. In addition, the Astros appear to be going after Pirates ace Gerrit Cole on the trade market, leaving the Yankees, Cubs and Twins as the most likely destinations for Darvish to go.
The Cubs met with Darvish back in December and would like to have someone anchor their rotation if they don’t bring back ace Jake Arrieta, who is also a free agent. The Yankees like Darvish and are serious about their pursuit of him, but they want to sign him for a price that can help them stay under the luxury tax threshold. The Twins have made it known that Darvish is a big priority, but will they be able to out-bid the other clubs for him?
UPDATE: The Dodgers remain a possibility for Darvish, who would apparently consider a return to Los Angeles. Darvish added a mystery team to his list of suitors with this tweet, which suggests the National League Champs.
I know one more team is in. https://t.co/exxubGP7Qo— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) January 11, 2018