Though pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in less than a week, the historically slow free agent period has continued on. A glut of notable players remain on the market, including Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish and Eric Hosmer.
Darvish entered the winter with expectations of signing the largest contract, and that still holds true. He is reportedly seeking a deal in the neighborhood of Stephen Strasburg’s seven-year commitment with the Washington Nationals.
Over a half-dozen teams have expressed interest in signing Darvish this offseason, including the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers.
According to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, the Twins have formally made an offer to Darvish and are viewed as one of the more aggressive teams to sign him:
“I am told the Twins have finally, after many months of conversations, have finally made Yu Darvish an offer. I’m told it’s not a six-year offer. I’m led to believe my multiple sources it’s a four- or a five-year offer. I don’t sense the Twins are willing to go to six years, but who knows. Maybe in the end if they are told, ‘Hey, you can get Yu Darvish but you have to add on another year,’ maybe they will rethink their position. But as of now, I can tell you the Twins are one of the teams to make a formal offer to Yu Darvish. … Bottom line, the Twins are remaining aggressive. A source close to Yu Darvish told me the Twins are being as aggressive as any team.”
Darvish is said to have multiple five-year offers on the table, and the Twins could very well be one of the teams that extended him such a deal.
Minnesota has been in the hunt for a frontline-caliber starting pitcher to help push them over the hump in 2018, and Darvish would certainly fit that profile.
The right-hander has made it clear that he’d prefer to stay with Los Angeles, though significant hurdles remain. The club has prioritized staying beneath the $197 million luxury tax threshold, so in order to consummate a signing, they’d have to clear further salary from the payroll.