Yu Darvish – Texas Rangers – Signed through 2017
When the Cubs traded for Aroldis Chapman last year, they knew it was one of their only needs in their run at a championship. This season, it’s not as easy. What was a weakness for most of the year–the rotation–has been excellent to start the second half. The strength–the bullpen–has looked less impressive than it had earlier in the year. And the offense? When you aren’t playing from behind, it makes things easier. So where do they need the help at most?
Darvish has been an All-Star in four of his five seasons (Missed 2015 after Tommy John). With a career WAR of 19, Darvish has been at the least, a dependable starter. His career record of 52-38 doesn’t stand out, but his 3.32 ERA does–especially since he’s spent his entire career in the American League. His strikeout totals are down from last year (11.8 to 9.7), but his WHIP (1.118) and his BB/9 (2.9) are below his career average.
Some don’t want another rental
Here’s the rub for most. He’s a rental. When you look at Chapman, people were fine with it. We gave up a lot, but we got a guy that helped us win the World Series. But when I look at the comments on social media, many don’t want another rental. They want a player under team control–like Jose Quintana–to help rebuild what’s expected to be a rotation that will lose Jake Arrieta and John Lackey.
The Rangers could very well do what the Yankees did last year. Trade Darvish for prospects, then outbid everyone and re-sign him next year. Then they rebuild the system and get Darvish back. But the question is if the Rangers even WANT to deal him. It may take the “perfect” deal to blow them away to make the deal.