The overnight rumor that rightly titillated folks had the Chicago Cubs interested in Texas Rangers righty Yu Darvish, one of the best pitchers on the market, albeit one who is a free agent after the season.
Although it does make sense for the Cubs to continue their due diligence on all available pitchers, and although their recent winning streak (today notwithstanding) does make a rental slightly more attractive, paying a huge prospect price for the top rental arm doesn’t immediately strike me as the best use of resources right now. If the Cubs keep winning, and/or develop an obvious hole in the rotation? Well, maybe. Even then, it’s not as if the competition for Darvish wouldn’t be significant, and the Cubs no longer have the best pieces to deal with.
In any case, Jon Morosi, who filed the initial report, added an update:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 21, 2017
So, then, it’s about what you’d expect: the Cubs are interested (because why not?), but a pricey rental starter is not the ideal fit for the Cubs. Things would have to fall just right for a deal between these teams to make sense right now. Maybe it comes with the addition of Jonathan Lucroy, since the Cubs do have a need at the backup catcher spot.
That said, there’s an additional hurdle here:
— Jim Bowden (@Jim_BowdenSXM) July 21, 2017
So, if for whatever reason Darvish did not want to come to the Cubs – or any other team on that list – he could dictate the market a bit. I tend to think, on a rental, where it decouples him from draft pick compensation and puts him on a contender, the odds are good that Darvish will go where the Rangers decide to send him. Moreover, I wouldn’t expect the addition of the Cubs to the list to necessarily be about his desire not to go to the Cubs or Chicago. Sometimes, it has to do with leverage, taxes, or other things that don’t always actually block a trade.
For tonight, Darvish is pitching like a guy completely unconcerned with trade rumors – or who wants to pitch himself off the team:
Yu Darvish with 26 swinging strikes through 7 IP, including 16 on 4-seamers, 2nd-most by anyone this year (Robbie Ray, 18, 5/30) pic.twitter.com/rIXs1aqezV
— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) July 22, 2017
As of this writing, Darvish has thrown eight innings with 12 strikeouts and just 1 walk, although he has allowed three solo homers.