The Rangers are putting out feelers with other organizations to gauge interest in star righty Yu Darvish, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. While Texas isn’t yet ready to pursue a trade, per the report, it seems the club’s recent skid has put that option firmly on the table.
While there’s still plenty of uncertainty, the news is still notable. Darvish, after all, would represent the only clear impact rental starter on the market. Other top potentially available arms on expiring contracts include Trevor Cahill, Marco Estrada, Jhoulys Chacin, Jeremy Hellickson, and Jaime Garcia (who may be en route to the Twins).
If the 30-year-old is indeed made available, the Rangers would surely command a rather steep price. He wouldn’t be eligible for a qualifying offer from an acquiring team, so there’s no real value beyond the present season (apart from laying some groundwork for a possible free-agent pursuit), but Darvish could significantly impact an organization’s run to and through the postseason.
Over his 125 1/3 innings this year, Darvish has delivered a 3.45 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9. That’s not the kind of elite performance he delivered prior to undergoing Tommy John surgery, but still represents top-level performance — particularly in the current run-scoring environment.
Darvish is throwing as hard as ever and generating swinging-strikes at near-typical levels. Any long-term health concerns are out the window. And with just $11MM owed to him over the course of the season, he’s quite affordable for his performance level.
Presumably, just about any organization currently seeking rotation help would need to consider the Japanese ace. Some clubs will still prefer controllable hurlers, most notably Sonny Gray, but the market is otherwise starved for top-end starters that would be expected to represent significant upgrades for a hypothetical postseason rotation.