There’s been plenty of talk surrounding a reunion involving Yu Darvish. The free agent righty is still unsigned and the Rangers were one of a handful of teams that appeared to be in the mix. However, general manager Jon Daniels has hinted that the Rangers don’t plan on throwing a lot of money at starting pitching in the free agent market as they look to trim down the payroll. The idea really became solid over the weekend after signing veteran pitcher Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal.
However, the aspect of Darvish and a reunion could still be in the works. Just not in Arlington.
There might be a chance that he returns to the Los Angeles Dodgers after all. Three-time Cy Young Award winner and Highland Park native Clayton Kershaw appears to like the idea.
“Obviously, I’ve made my sales pitch, so we’ll just see what happens,” Kershaw recently told The Orange County Register. “We don’t talk about like what offers he’s gotten or anything like that. I don’t want to pressure him too much.”
Darvish and Kershaw have been working together in an off-season throwing program in Dallas. They’ve had plenty of time to talk things over.
The Dodgers could be faced with the same dilemma as the Rangers involving the budget. The payroll stood at around $243.7 million last season. The Dodgers seem to be on board with the idea of falling below the $197 million competitive-balance tax threshold for the first time since 2012. Right now, they are estimated to be sitting around $17.4 and $20.4 million under. Signing Darvish could possibly do some damage to those plans.
If the numbers do work out, would Dodgers Nation welcome the push for Darvish to rejoin? He won four regular season games after being acquired in the deal with the Rangers at last year’s trade deadline. However, Darvish was hit hard by the eventual champion Houston Astros in both Games 3 and 7 of the World Series. Both of those games were the shortest outings of his career.
The Cubs, Twins and Brewers are also rumored to be in the hunt for Darvish, depending on what day of the week it is. These things change on a daily basis. One thing is for sure, spring training is less than two weeks away and Darvish is one of many big free agent names without a home at the moment.
Sounds like Kershaw wouldn’t mind the Dodgers bringing Darvish back into the fold for another shot at the World Series, even if it means flying past that tax threshold. When a future Hall of Famer talks; it can make a difference.
Darvish says he wants another shot at the World Series to redeem himself. The Dodgers could give him that. The only question is whether the dollars make sense for both sides.