It’s an update! A real Yu Darvish update! Long reported as the Cubs’ top free agent target (although I still tend to think the Cubs would be happy with any of Darvish, Jake Arrieta, or Alex Cobb if they came at the right price), top free agent starting pitcher Yu Darvish has reportedly narrowed the list of teams he’s considering to … five.
Which, I mean, wasn’t he already down to these five? The Cubs, Astros, Yankees, Rangers, and Twins. I suppose there was that one random Cardinals rumor, but for the most part, if you had to pick the teams in on Darvish based on the rumors, you already would have known about those five teams.
So, while it’s an update, it’s not much of one.
Actually, I’m being unfair, because the report from the Star-Telegram out of Dallas does also indicate that, “If all things were equal, Darvish would sign with the Rangers first.” But, financially speaking, things are not expected to be equal, so it’s unlikely the Rangers wind up re-signing Darvish.
If the Astros (or Yankees) land Gerrit Cole, that will take them out of the running, and it sure seems like – despite today’s hiccup – Cole will be traded to one of them at some point. That could leave the Cubs competing primarily with the Twins (small market) and Yankees (trying to stay under luxury tax cap) for Darvish. It doesn’t mean the Cubs will definitely land him, but it’s a good spot to be in, and all the more reason for the Cubs to remain patient on Arrieta and Cobb, not leaping to increase any offers they may or may not have already made.
I’m still cautiously keeping an eye on the Yankees, though. If they can find a way to trade Jacoby Ellsbury and save some money, I’m going to assume they’ll be going straight after Darvish at that point. Alternatively, if Darvish’s price tag falls into the kind of bargain range the Cubs are hoping to get … well, then perhaps Darvish suddenly isn’t so out of reach for those Yankees, the Rangers, and the Twins.
UPDATE: I have no idea what Darvish means by this, but it makes me chuckle nevertheless:
Yu Darvish is either confirming this report, refuting this report, or thinking aggressively about dinner plans. pic.twitter.com/70rrPBLmLm
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) January 11, 2018
UPDATE 2: Well, he answered my half-joking question:
I know one more team is in. https://t.co/exxubGP7Qo
— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) January 11, 2018
WHAT TEAM IS IT, YU!?!?!?
Like we said up top, there was a rumor connecting the Cardinals to Darvish, and they’d certainly make sense (both because they have the money and the need, and also because it could put a little pressure on the Cubs). You could certainly make an argument for a team like the Angels or a team like the Phillies, and the Dodgers are probably willing to be a “yeah, we’re still hanging around” team. So, in that context, it makes sense that there might be a sixth team that is “in.” Heck, there might be 10.