It has been a very slow offseason, and there are still plenty of free agents on the board. Fortunately, one top FA may sign soon.
This offseason hasn’t really been one to remember. It has felt like paint drying, to be honest. There is less than a month until spring training and there are a lot of guys unemployed. So something needs to happen — and fast. Also, the rumor mill is running rampant with free agent speculation. Where will the star pitchers sign? Well, there is some clarity on Yu Darvish.
According to Jon Morosi, the right-hander is expected to sign this week. A team in discussions with him is the Minnesota Twins. This isn’t really surprising as the team needs a staff ace and a veteran presence to mentor the young arms. There are certainly other teams interested in his services other than Minnesota. The Milwaukee Brewers are a team that has reportedly offered him a contract.
The Texas Rangers are also a fit as long as they don’t sign Lorenzo Cain. The problem with the outfielder is that he is held down by draft pick compensation. Texas would have to give up its second-round pick, as well as international bonus money, making it a waiting game at the moment. A resolution on the Darvish situation should speed up signings around the league.
With that said, Yu Darvish is a dominant starter to have in your arsenal. In 2017, the right-hander tossed a 3.86 ERA in 186.2 innings. He is a workhorse that has a plethora of pitches. Although his strikeout rate was down (10.08), Darvish had the second lowest walk rate of his career (2.80). One other major theme was him tipping pitches in the World Series, so that could be a big factor as teams contemplate signing him.
The Dodgers made the big trade for him at last year’s trade deadline, but they are a team that could be waiting in the weeds. Also, the Cubs are apparently in active talks with him too. Ultimately, Darvish is the one in the driver’s seat. The Yankees offered him a deal as well, but communication was an issue.
Teams will not lose a draft pick if they sign the Japanese right-hander, so that alone should peak teams interest considering Jake Arrieta costs one. Furthermore, Darvish is a bit younger and has more quality innings in the majors. Whoever gets him will be acquiring a top-flight starting pitcher with ace stuff. Like all premier free agents, clubs will have to back up the truck for him.