Well, it’s not a signing, but at least, in the wake of last night’s big Brewers moves, we have something of a meaningful update on Yu Darvish’s free agency.
According to Jon Heyman, while nothing may have changed since the AP reported that the Cubs were in “active talks” with Yu Darvish earlier in the week, sources believe the Cubs are the favorite for Darvish. They assume, all things equal, Darvish would pick the Cubs over the field (Twins/Brewers/Phillies/Yankees).
Of course, all things may not be equal – the Cubs can almost certainly afford/be willing to pay more than any of those teams – but maybe that’s what’s holding things up. Maybe the Cubs know they’re where Darvish would prefer to go, so they’re keeping their bid right in line with whatever the next highest offer is. In that case, you can see why there’d be something of a stalemate. (All of this could very well apply to Alex Cobb’s situation, too.)
Meanwhile, about those Brewers – did last night’s maneuvering make them more likely to land a big-time arm like Darvish (on the thinking that adding a big starting pitcher now is critical), or less likely to land a big-time arm like Darvish (because funds were used up)?
Well, Ken Rosenthal has heard from sources that, after the addition of Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain (which pushed their Opening Day payroll up from $63M last season to about $90M this season), the Brewers are likely out on Yu Darvish … and even a lesser pitcher like Alex Cobb would be a stretch to fit in the budget.
Needless to say, that would be yet another good sign for the Cubs, who seem to be competing seriously with one team (the Twins) for three pitchers (Darvish/Arrieta/Cobb), with a bunch of other teams hanging around primarily in hopes of picking up a bargain. Failing to land one of those three, at this point, seems nearly impossible. But, you know: this offseason.
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.