The situation was framed somewhat differently just last night by MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, though perhaps it’s just another way of stating the same takeaway. As he has it, the Rangers are leaning against a trade unless the club falls apart over the final week or is “overwhelmed by an offer.”
It seems, then, that Texas is informing rivals not only that Darvish can be had, but also that he won’t be moved unless the Rangers receive an offer that meets their surely lofty standards. That sets the stage for an interesting, multi-party game of chicken between the Rangers and potential suitors. But it also perhaps reflects mostly a continuation of a typical deadline standoff, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News suggests on Twitter.
The organization is surely justified in holding out for a big return on Darvish, rather than simply auctioning his services to the highest bidder. After all, the team would not only be waving the white flag on contending in the current season — despite a still-wide-open AL Wild Card race — but would be sacrificing the ability to recoup draft compensation by extending Darvish a qualifying offer. (Plus, perhaps there could be at least some impossible-to-quantify impact on any efforts to re-sign the star hurler.)