Minutes after the Monday's non-waiver trade deadline, baseball insiders received word that the Texas Rangers traded Yu Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers for three minor leaguers.
The Dodgers sent 22-year-old infielder/outfielder Willie Calhoun, 19-year-old right-handed pitcher pitcher A.J. Alexy and 20-year-old infielder Brendon Davis to Texas for the Rangers' ace. All three are highly-rated minor-league prospects; not the Dodgers' top-ranked prospects, though many had doubts those top prospects were ever on the table.
Calhoun is batting nearly .300 with 23 homers for the Dodgers' AAA affiliate in Oklahoma City. Alexy had a 3.67 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 19 starts for the Dodgers' A team while Davis is batting .245 on the same team.
The Rangers were "confident" they'd be able to move their ace by the end of the day, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale. It appears they submitted the trade in the final minutes before the 3 p.m. deadline.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were originally on the list of teams with reported interest in acquiring Darvish. MLB Network's Jon Morosi tweeted that they have had scouts watching his last few starts.
The Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant tweeted that the Rangers were scouting Dodgers outfield prospect Alex Verdugo last week, though the Dodgers proved unwilling to move him. Verdugo is Baseball America's 35th best prospect.
The Houston Astros, New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs were among the other teams with rumored interest in Darvish.
The Cubs and Indians — who faced off in the 2016 World Series — were among the 10 teams on Darvish's limited no-trade clause in his contract per Bowden.
The Dodgers made the most sense as a destination for Darvish. Despite owning baseball's best record, the team is approaching 30 years without a World Series title and wanted to add another top starting pitcher to pair with their Highland Park grad, Clayton Kershaw — currently on the disabled list — heading into the postseason.
The 30-year-old Darvish is due to become a free agent after the season. The Rangers were only planning to consider trading him if they felt they would be unable to re-sign him in the offseason, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.
In his 22 starts with the Texas Rangers this season, Darvish had a 4.01 ERA and 148 strikeouts against 115 hits and 45 walks in 137 innings. He is 6-9 overall, but 0-5 with a 5.81 ERA over his last eight starts, giving up 10 runs in his last outing.