This weekend, we heard that the Cubs were Yu Darvish’s preference, all else equal, and today, Jon Morosi arrives with even stronger phrasing.
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) January 29, 2018
Morosi sees the Cubs and Twins as the most involved on Darvish (which has seemed to case for a good long while now), with the Brewers hanging around but a tougher fit financially.
Morosi went on to say, via a source, that he believes the Twins will have to clearly win the bidding in order to get Darvish over the Cubs. If it’s close – even if the Cubs are slightly behind – the belief is Darvish will go with the Cubs. If the Twins don’t really step up in the next 48 to 72 hours, says Morosi, there’s a good chance Darvish is a Cub.
OK, so that last part feels more like informed speculation than something he’s heard, and I also think we would be remiss not to point out Morosi’s sources were telling him last week that a Darvish decision was “likely” to sign last week. That did not happen. Grains of salt are necessary here.
That said, Morosi’s report squares with the sense we developed over the weekend:
You can only take so much away from info like that without having to do too much speculating, but it feels like the situation is this: Darvish wants the Cubs, but lots of other teams want him, too. The offers from those teams are in the same range as the Cubs, or maybe a touch higher. So Darvish is holding out, wanting to go with the Cubs, but also wanting to get the offer up a little bit. Hence all the reports about the talks and the closeness of a decision and all that stuff. Maybe it really is close, but the sides are each kinda eyeballin’ the other at the five-yard line.
One other possibility we at least have to hold open: the Cubs’ offer to Darvish could be much lower than other offers out there. So, even as they might be his preferred destination, perhaps he’s not holding out for them to up an acceptable offer – perhaps he’s holding out hope that the Cubs will even get into an acceptable range. We don’t actually know whether they’re there or not, since we haven’t heard much of anything useful on what the Cubs are actually offering.
At this point, it would still not be a surprise to see Darvish sign elsewhere (and keep in mind, it’s not as if the Cubs are SOLELY locked onto Darvish, as they maintain interest in Alex Cobb and Jake Arrieta, too). It would, however, be a surprise to see Darvish sign elsewhere on a deal that immediately strikes you as far too light.