With pitchers and catchers due to report for Spring Training in one month, what’s been a slow offseason may soon gain some steam. Remarkably, the likes of Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish remain available, and so too are position players such as Lorenzo Cain, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer.
Heading into the winter, Darvish was projected to sign a six- or seven-year contract that would stand as one of the more lucrative deals a player received this free agency. While a deal has yet to come to fruition, he’s received reported interest from a slew of teams.
The Minnesota Twins have perhaps been the most aggressive, openly identifying Darvish as their top target. The Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers have also been linked to the right-hander.
Darvish was said to have met with multiple teams over the past few weeks. According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Dodgers recently joined that group:
The same source that revealed the teams still in on Darvish said that the Dodgers, who acquired him from the Rangers at the trade deadline and saw him fall apart in the World Series, met with the right-hander last week.
A previous report indicated Darvish had a list of five teams he was considering signing with: Astros, Cubs, Rangers, Twins and Yankees. He soon after confirmed the Yankees submitted a contract offer, but indicated the reported seven years and $160 million was inaccurate.
Considering the Dodgers’ goal of getting — and remaining — below the luxury tax threshold this season, a reunion with Darvish might not be a likely scenario. But the longer he remains a free agent, the more it works in the Dodgers’ favor of potentially coming to terms on a team-friendly contract.
The 31-year-old went 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA, 3.38 FIP and 1.15 WHIP in nine starts for Los Angeles last season. He was stellar in the postseason, until poor outings in the World Series that are believed to have been a result of tipping pitches.