As Spring Training nears, Yu Darvish could be a logical fit for several clubs looking to upgrade the front end of their starting rotations. The 31-year-old right-hander posted a 3.86 ERA in 31 starts between the Rangers and Dodgers in 2017, helping Los Angeles reach the World Series.
Darvish boasts a career 3.42 ERA and 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings across five seasons. The four-time All-Star reportedly has several offers on the table, with the Cubs, Twins and Brewers among the front-runners to sign him.
Twins make formal offer to Darvish
The Twins have reportedly submitted a formal offer to Darvish, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. Terms of the offer are not yet known.
MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported Tuesday that Darvish has multiple offers worth more than $100 million. If the Twins' offer is in that range, it would be the largest ever extended by the organization.
Minnesota's rotation was dealt a blow Tuesday when projected Opening Day starter Ervin Santana underwent surgery on his right middle finger. He's expected to be out 10-12 weeks, and the Twins were in the market to add another starter even before losing their ace.
Darvish has been one of Minnesota's top targets this offseason, and last month, he named them among his six finalists. Minnesota general manager Thad Levine has ties to the free-agent hurler from their time together with the Rangers. -- This report was first posted on Feb. 7.
Cubs poised to make serious run at Darvish
Among the three teams most prominently connected to Darvish in recent weeks, the Cubs seem to be in the best position to land the four-time All-Star, notes USA TODAY Sports. Darvish has been waiting to see if the Dodgers or Yankees will clear payroll space to try to sign him.
Darvish reportedly has multiple five-year offers on the table. Assuming that sitting out the 2018 season while waiting for the Dodgers or Yankees to clear payroll space is not an option, the USA TODAY report suggests the Cubs, who have reached the National League Championship Series in each of the past three seasons -- and won the World Series in 2016 -- are the most attractive destination among the remaining trio. -- This report was first posted on Feb. 7.
Darvish drawing interest, weighing options
Darvish isn't a victim of a lack of interest. A slow market hasn't stopped Darvish from teasing fans with hinting, cryptic tweets regarding his free agent status all offseason.
One of those came after a lunch with Rangers president of baseball operations and general manager Jon Daniels, with whom Darvish maintains a strong relationship after spending his first four and a half big league seasons in Texas. The Rangers, though, are not considered favorites to sign Darvish, according to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.
"All along, I've felt like this was not the year -- for a variety of reasons -- that we were going to be in at the top of the market," Daniels told Morosi recently. "We tried to be aggressive in identifying some pitchers we liked, but we were spreading out resources."
That still leaves a variety of potential suitors, all with big aspirations heading into 2018.
The Twins may have added motivation after learning that ace Ervin Santana will miss 10-12 weeks following a right middle finger injury. The Brewers seem intent to add a pitcher at some point, but may do so by trading from their outfield surplus. Many expect the Cubs to make a splash, and Chicago has engaged significantly with Darvish this offseason.
The Phillies have also checked in, according to MLB Network Insider Ken Rosenthal.
It all adds up to a still very unclear picture of where Darvish will land, and for what price. -- This report was first posted on Feb. 7.