Posted on July 21, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
The Texas Rangers have let it be known in recent days that they are open to trading ace Yu Darvish prior to the trade deadline. If that’s the case, Darvish would immediately become one of the best starting pitchers on the trade block. Oakland’s Sonny Gray is another frontline starter who could be moved, although Darvish is different because he is set for free agency this winter. Nevertheless, picking up Darvish as a rental would be a huge addition for any contending team. Here’s a look at what teams could end up acquiring Darvish at the deadline.
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Astros – 25%
The Astros would love to add a starting pitcher, especially after Jose Quintana ended up with the Cubs. Houston may be less bothered by the fact that Darvish is a rental than some of the other teams in contention. It’s unclear how the Rangers feel about helping an in-state and intra-division rival. But for a team like the Astros, adding a pitcher like Darvish at the deadline could put them over the top.
Brewers – 10%
If nothing else, the Brewers have done their due diligence on Darvish. It’s hard to envision them paying a high price for a rental player, although they do have the prospects to do so if they want to. It would be a surprise if the Brewers paid the price to get Darvish, but not impossible.
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Cubs – 20%
Even after landing Quintana, the Cubs are looking for more pitching. Obviously, they would prefer a player who will be around next season. But after getting Quintana, perhaps they can live with adding a rental player like Darvish. Chicago still has a lot of work to do just to get into the postseason, so there’s some level of pressure on them to make a move.
The Dodgers can’t be counted out of any trade discussion. In fact, Los Angeles may actually prefer Darvish to Gray because he’s a more established veteran and has some playoff experience. There’s nothing concrete linking the Dodgers to Darvish right now. But it’s hard to envision them not doing something big before the deadline.
Nationals – 5%
The Nationals can be viewed as a dark horse for Yu Darvish. Washington would like to add another starter with Jose Ross lost for the season. Darvish would also give them four starters they can count on when the postseason rolls around. Of course, the Nationals aren’t looking to trade away any of their top prospects, and it could take at least one big name to land Darvish.
Yankees – 10%
The Yankees are another team that would prefer a pitcher like Gray who’s under contract beyond this season. However, the Bronx Bombers appear to be serious about making a playoff push after a blockbuster deal with the White Sox to add Todd Frazier and solidify their bullpen. New York has more than enough prospects to satisfy the Rangers in a trade for Darvish, so don’t count out the Yankees.
Not traded – 15%
The Rangers have not said for sure that they want to trade Darvish. A hot streak in the 10 days before the deadline could put them in the thick of the wild card race. They may also hang onto him with the hopes of signing him to an extension or even making him a qualifying offer. It’s not a done deal that Darvish will be moved, but at this point, the Rangers may be wise to move him.