While the early days and weeks of the offseason were filled with anticipation and build up to an eventual Giancarlo Stanton trade and Shohei Ohtani decision, the proverbial MLB hot stove has been without much fire.
It comes as somewhat of a surprise considering the likes of Jake Arrieta, Lorenzo Cain, Yu Darvish and Eric Hosmer were among those to reach free agency. But in that same breath, teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers have worked to shed salary in effort to remain below the luxury tax threshold this season.
For Darvish, he’s received reported interest from the Chicago Cubs, Dodgers, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers.
According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the 31-year-old is mulling over signing all but the Dodgers:
And, according to a baseball source, the Rangers are one of five teams that Darvish is considering, along with the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins.
That Darvish would not be considering a reunion with the Dodgers comes a mild surprise. He expressed a strong desire to re-sign with the team in the wake of subpar performances in the World Series.
Of course, an explanation could be as simple as Los Angeles not extending themselves financially to remain competitive in securing Darvish’s signature on a new contract. It’s unclear if the club has met with Darvish or his representatives this winter.
It’s believed the Astros, Cubs and Rangers have met with the free-agent right-hander. Although the Twins may not be part of that group, they’ve publicly made it clear that Darvish is their top target and don’t view a meeting as being necessary.
Heading into the offseason, Darvish was projected to sign one of the more lucrative contracts. But considering pitchers are roughly one month from reporting for Spring Training, reality may ultimately not meet expectations.