The starting pitching market has largely been at a standstill this entire offseason, as many teams are waiting to see where the top arm, Yu Darvish, will land before turning to Plans B or C.
Despite pitchers and catchers set to report to Spring Training in less than a week, Darvish doesn’t seem to be in a rush to make his decision. He recently was said to have several five-year contract offers on the table.
Part of the reason Darvish has yet to sign with a team could be because of a desire to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who may be searching for ways to shed salary in order to re-sign Darvish while staying below the luxury tax threshold.
The price to sign Darvish will not be cheap, though, as according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knucklebball, Darvish recently turned down a five-year, $110 million offer:
Darvish, who playfully hinted at interest with clever tweets only a couple weeks ago, has been thought to be getting closer to a deal in each of the preceding couple weeks, with none to be had. One team source suggested they offered $110 million over five years, and was surprised to be told “thanks, but no thanks.”
Darvish is believed to be looking for a contract in the neighborhood of the seven-year, $175 million contract that Stephen Strasburg recently signed with the Washington Nationals.
Teams have been reluctant to give long-term deals this offseason, as other than Lorenzo Cain’s five-year $80 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, no player has signed a contract longer than three years.
Darvish is about to enter his age-31 season, and with him already undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2015, the five-year offer may be the best that he gets. It is possible that he winds up accepting it once more light is shed on if the Dodgers have interest in bringing him back or not.