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Who will sign Yu Darvish? Ace takes another meeting

The prospect of Darvish joining the defending World Series champions presents plenty of intrigue

Yu Darvish.

Yu Darvish. | AP

Yu Darvish's market appears to be heating up, as the four-time All-Star has met with potential suitors on consecutive days. On Tuesday, one day after meeting with the Cubs, Darvish reportedly convened with the Astros, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

The Astros have not confirmed the report.

The prospect of Darvish joining the defending World Series champions presents plenty of intrigue, notably in that he made his last two outings against them in Games 3 and 7 of the Fall Classic, lasting only a combined 3 1/3 innings and giving up nine runs.

In the immediate, Darvish would round out the top of what would be a loaded rotation with Dallas Keucheland Justin Verlander, to go with a combination of Lance McCullers Jr., Charlie Morton, Brad Peacock and Collin McHugh. The Astros captured the title thanks in large part to its starting staff.

The free-agent righty would also give Houston long-term stability, as Verlander is 36, Keuchel will be a free agent after 2018, both Morton and McCullers showed struggles last year and McHugh has battled significant injuries.

Darvish, 31, is a 56-42 with a 3.42 ERA and 11 strikeouts per nine innings over parts of five seasons and is arguably one of the game's top pitchers. In September, he became the fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach 1,000 strikeouts, in both innings (853) and games (134). He will be entering his second full season removed from Tommy John surgery, and went 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA in 2017.

The righty acknowledged his meeting with the Cubs in a tweet, saying his encounter with Chicago president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer went well. Darvish did not use an interpreter in his 3 1/2-hour meeting, according to the Associated Press, as he attempts to improve his English. The Cubs are still seeking another starter this offseason, and have already signed Tyler Chatwoodto occupy their fourth or fifth rotation spot, depending how the rest of their personnel moves shake out.

Darvish has also drawn interest from the Twins, and some have speculated a possible reunion with the Rangers, with whom he signed as an international free agent in 2012 and spent his first four-plus seasons. Heyman also says the Mariners and Phillies have been speculatively linked to the right-hander.

MLB.com | By Daniel Kramer

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