Free agency has moved much slower than usual this offseason, particularly on the starting pitching front. Spring Training is just a month away and the two biggest names on the market, Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta, remain unsigned.
There seems to be more interest in Darvish, as contending teams such as the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers have all been linked to him in recent weeks.
On Wednesday, it was reported that Darvish’s list was down to five teams, with all but the Dodgers being named.
But Darvish himself took to Twitter to refute that, indicating one other mystery team is still in the running:
I know one more team is in. https://t.co/exxubGP7Qo
— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) January 11, 2018
With Darvish not being linked to any other teams this offseason, it is possible and likely that the team he was referring to is the Dodgers. According to Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times, Los Angeles indeed is still in the mix to potentially re-sign Darvish:
Yes, my understanding is the Dodgers are still in the mix, despite the financial hurdles. https://t.co/9FancGItI4
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) January 11, 2018
Darvish pitched well for the Dodgers after being acquired at the non-waiver trade deadline, although he faltered at the worst time possible. His two subpar outings — both losses — in the World Series were a big reason the Astros went on claim a championship.
Despite the struggles, Darvish expressed interest in re-signing with the Dodgers at the conclusion of the season. So it would make sense that he’s not ready to rule out that possibility quite yet.
Whether or not the Dodgers would be willing to hand out the type contract that Darvish is seeking remains to be seen. They have made it clear that they plan to remain below the luxury tax threshold for the 2018 season.