Dodgers Rumors: Yu Darvish “Unlikely” to Return to the LA
Per a report from Fanrag’s Jon Heyman, Yu Darvish is “unlikely” to return to the Dodgers next season.
Yesterday I wrote an article outlining the reasons why the Dodgers should stay away from re-signing Yu Darvish. You can read up on my argument here. Now as we get deeper into free agency we’re learning more and more that it is highly unlikely Darvish returns to LA.
Darvish was the prize acquisition at the July 31st trade deadline, but the deal did not goes as well as the Dodgers had hoped. Darvish wasn’t the lights out pitcher Andrew Friedman expected him to be behind Kershaw and pitched very poorly in the World Series.
Despite Darvish’s performance with the Dodgers, that isn’t the main reason why the front office isn’t bringing him back. As Jon Heyman pointed out in his article on FanRag, the front office has been very reluctant to spend nine figures on any player.
As I mentioned in my article yesterday, Darvish is projected to be the top arm on the market and will likely demand a contract upwards of $150M. I don’t see this front office committing that amount of money to a player on the wrong side of 30. Let alone a player that did not live up to expectations when they traded for him. At least when the Dodgers re-signed Rich Hill last season, he proved that he could be a valuable part of the team, that wasn’t the case with Darvish.
The Dodgers’ new regime is really set on cutting payroll so that they’re able to get under the luxury tax for the first time since 2012. Truth be told, with a young group of core players, there really is no better time to do it than now.
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Losing Yu Darvish would mean that the Dodgers essentially just gave away their prospects for a four-month rental. The big prospect that could hurt after not retaining Darvish is Willie Calhoun. But outside of that, the front office needed to show this city a greater sense of urgency by making a big trade. Just because the Dodgers didn’t win the World Series doesn’t make it a bad trade.
As fans, we tend to judge decisions based on results. That’s not fair and isn’t the right approach to take following a team. You have to love that the front office pulled the trigger to acquire a piece that they expected would increase their team’s chances of winning a title.
As far as Yu Darvish, he’s going to land on his feet. He’ll likely see receive the biggest contract of the pitchers available, that’s just not coming from the Dodgers. Now brings the question, what do the Dodgers do this offseason to replace him. Well, there isn’t a lot of front-level starting pitchers on the market, but if the Dodgers should look that direction, there’s Jake Arrieta.
Although that would cause a massive shift in the NL taking away the ace of another contending team, that doesn’t seem likely because of the payroll reason I mentioned above. Let’s not forget that last season the Dodgers signed Rich Hill anticipating he’ll be the number two behind Kershaw. Hill is still under contract and had a pretty good postseason.
But if we’re looking for some names available this free agency, I’d first look at Alex Cobb. Alex Cobb, Hisashi Iwakuma, Michael Pineda, and maybe even Doug Fister. Cobb has direct ties to Andrew Friedman. Iwakuma had a trade stopped to the Dodgers after a failed physical last year. Pineda is my favorite option as he’s young and has a live arm. Fister could be a mechanical project for Rick Honeycutt.
Next: Dodgers Should go All-In for Stanton
Whether the Dodgers make a move to bring in another arm, the Dodgers are still in good standing. They have a lot of depth at starting pitching. Alex Wood should return as a starter. Kenta Maeda will regain his spot back in the rotation. We also still have Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu. That’s not even mentioning Walker Buehler who made his MLB debut this year. We’ll continue to monitor the Dodgers free agency moves as we get closer to Winter Meetings.