Seemingly in the midst of a rebuild, the Minnesota Twins were often linked to trade rumors that would have further pushed the organization down a new path. Brian Dozier was at the center of the speculation, often linked to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Trade talks reached an impasse and Minnesota ultimately stood pat while Los Angeles pivoted to acquire Logan Forsythe from the Tampa Bay Rays. Meanwhile, the Twins saw a remarkable turnaround in 2017, finishing 85-77 and reaching the American League Wild Card Game.
It was an 26-game improvement from the previous year, and now the club appears poised to build on the momentum generated.
According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, the Twins are interested in signing Yu Darvish or another top starting pitcher who is on the free-agent market:
The Minnesota Twins are said by sources to be considering a run at one of the big free-agent starters available after their amazing success story last year.
They are thought to be considering even the very top guys – Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb – as they look to improve off their surprising 2016 playoff team.
Jake Arrieta and Darvish are widely viewed as the top starters available. Alex Cobb, who spent last season with the Rays, is third and somewhat hindered by being extended the one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer.
Darvish, who is entering his age-32 season, went a combined 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA, 3.83 FIP and 1.16 WHIP with the Dodgers and Texas Rangers. He was 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in nine starts for Los Angeles.
They acquired the four-time All-Star at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline with the hope he would help propel the club to their first World Series championship since 1988. Darvish closed out the regular season on a high note after refining his mechanics and delivery.
That success carried into the National League Division Series and Championship Series, but he allowed a combined nine runs (eight earned) and recorded just 10 outs in two World Series starts.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman indicated this week the team has some level of interest in potentially re-signing the right-hander.