Yesterday’s last-minute Yu Darvish swap represented perhaps the most dramatic move of deadline day for a host of reasons. It not only broke after the deadline itself, but represented a major shift for the Rangers and left the Dodgers with another ace on a loaded pitching staff. While the trade doesn’t really impact the picture in the NL West — the Dodgers were seemingly running away with things without him — it could well change the complexion of the postseason.
The rights to employ Darvish over the next few months — but, mostly, to have him for the NLDS (and, the Dodgers hope, beyond) — came at a cost. Just how much that’ll sting is debatable and perhaps also largely remains to be seen. While the Dodgers held onto the prospects they evidently cherish most (Alex Verdugo and Walker Buehler), they gave up an intriguing, near-majors hitter in Willie Calhoun while also sacrificing two high-upside youngsters in A.J. Alexy and Brendon Davis.
It doesn’t make much sense to approach a deal like this by contemplating which side “won;” after all, they were both in very different positions. The Rangers essentially decided they did not need Darvish through the end of his contract, since a postseason run was unlikely. And the Dodgers took quite the opposite position, with a willingness to sacrifice pre-MLB talent to add the established hurler.
Instead, given the organizations’ varied approaches, it seems worth polling the MLBTR readership for grades on the deal from the perspective of each side. First, the Rangers: do you think the return will prove significant enough to justify the lessened possibility of a Wild Card, any (perhaps minimal) reduction in the potential to re-sign Darvish, and the draft compensation (a choice at the end of the second round) that would have accrued had Darvish declined a qualifying offer and signed elsewhere? (Link for app users.)
And for the Dodgers … was it worth giving up Calhoun and more for a starter on a team loaded with them? Ought these or other players have been used to acquire a better left-handed relievers than those (Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani) that were acquired? Etc. (Link for app users.)