Yu Darvish has narrowed his list of suitors to five or six teams (depending on who you ask), and we have them ranked from least likely to most likely.
Last week, free-agent right-hander Yu Darvish revealed a list of five teams who would be finalists for his services on a long-term deal. The teams named outright as finalists were the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins. Darvish, who has been a fairly open book when it comes to reporting on his own free-agent case, chimed in on Twitter that the Los Angeles Dodgers are also in the hunt to retain him after last season’s trade.
The Astros have seemingly removed themselves from the Darvish sweepstakes by trading for Pittsburgh Pirates starter Gerrit Cole. That leaves five teams left in the hunt, and each has varying levels of incentive to pay up for the 31-year-old from Japan. Even coming off the worst year of his MLB career and an absolute clunker in Game 7 of the World Series, Darvish is still a highly-desirable pitcher who can carry a rotation when he’s on.
While the four-time All-Star continues to mull over his offers and suitors, we have them all ranked from least likely to most likely.
5. Minnesota Twins
The exceedingly slow offseason has made it possible for small-market teams like the Twins to stay involved with some of the bigger free-agent names. Minnesota shocked the world by making the AL Wild Card Game last year, one season removed from losing over 100 games. With Jose Berrios looking like a young Johan Santana and Ervin Santana providing the steadying, veteran presence, the Twins do have a championship-caliber rotation in the making, but they are still an arm short.
The Twins have only handed out one nine-figure contract in team history, and that went to keeping homegrown Joe Mauer. Santana has their largest free-agent contract, and that was under $60 million. It is interesting that Darvish is willing to consider pitching for a smaller-market team that is not a lock to contend for the World Series next year. While it’s nice that the Twins are showing a level of aggression this winter, they will have to overpay to convince Darvish to come to Minneapolis. That’s just not going to happen.