The competition for free-agent pitcher Yu Darvish was reportedly down to four, maybe five, teams Wednesday. Then Darvish made it five, maybe six, with one tweet.
Darvish put a mystery team into the mix after the Fort Worth-Star Telegram reported the Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Astros and Twins are the clubs Darvish is considering. (The Astros are in the “maybe” column, as the Star-Telegram noted, because of their rumored near-trade for Pirates ace Gerrit Cole.)
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I know one more team is in. https://t.co/exxubGP7Qo
— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) January 11, 2018
So which team is lurking? Yu is keeping that a secret. That means it’s time to guess (in an educated manner, of course).
Dodgers: Darvish pitched well for LA (World Series aside) after it acquired him last summer. The Dodgers would be the logical choice most winters, but they’re fighting to stay under the luxury tax threshold this offseason and the average annual value of a Darvish deal would put them over.
Phillies: The Fightin’ Phils reportedly have been in pursuit of a big-name starter as they try to get better quickly. Darvish (career 3.42 ERA, 11.0 K/9) will make them better.
Brewers: Like Philly, Milwaukee wants to upgrade its rotation, and it has been in the Darvish rumor mill before, but general manager David Stearns is trying to temper expectations. “We’re always looking to get better. We remain interested if the right opportunities are presented to us,” he said last week, per the Journal Sentinel.
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Nationals: Washington wants to add to a strong starting group, but Darvish isn’t represented by Scott Boras. That’s a problem.
Cardinals: St. Louis needs an arm, but it also needs a bat or two, too. It seems more likely the Redbirds will tap their farm system for pitchers rather than spend big for one.
Mariners: Seattle regularly is lumped into speculation about Japanese pitchers (see: Ohtani, Shohei most recently). This piece will do the same.
So now we wait to see whether Deal Team 6 is uncovered, or Darvish just wanted to add Twitter followers.