Any news is compelling news at this stage of the painfully slow MLB offseason, and it looks like there now is some direction as to where Yu Darvish, one of the top free-agent pitchers, will be headed.
Darvish reportedly has a list of five teams he would entertain signing with, including (in no particular order): the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Jeff Wilson.
Each team presents a pretty unique case and fit for Darvish.
The Astros, of course, most recently saw Darvish when they shelled him in both of his outings with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. The Cubs would be enticing if Jake Arrieta does sign elsewhere, thus leaving a pretty large hole atop the rotation for a team that is expecting to contend.
New York signing the 31-year-old would be frightening for the rest of the league, as he would bolster a rotation that’s complementing a stacked offensive lineup. Minnesota, on the other hand, was a Wild Card team that certainly would benefit from the addition of Darvish.
The Rangers, his former team, sound like more of a formality, according to Wilson.
However, what the Pittsburgh Pirates elect to do with starter Gerrit Cole likely will impact Darvish’s market. He has been highly courted by the Yankees via trade, but the 27-year-old reportedly was targeted heavily by the Astros on Wednesday. Should Cole land with either of those teams, they’d all but certainly be out on Darvish.
Darvish likely will command a lot financially, but the implications for all five teams of forking over the cash would provide a valuable bump in pitching.