It has become apparent that the biggest prize in the trade market is in Arlington right now: Texas Rangers star pitcher Yu Darvish. It is also becoming increasingly likely the Rangers will trade him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
The availability of Darvish is and has been a huge topic of debate lately, as the Rangers have remained on the peripheral of the American League wild-card race. However, it has not stopped interested teams to attempt to ramp up negotiations, and the Rangers are starting to become more serious about selling their ace pitcher.
The favorites for Darvish’s services right now are the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Yankees, and the Houston Astros. Darvish’s 10-team no-trade list doesn’t include any of those three teams. According to Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network, the list includes the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Oakland A’s, Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays. It is very possible for Darvish to consider one or more of those teams, though he would not have to make that type of call considering the top three perceived pursuers are not on the list.
Darvish is believed to be the top target of the Dodgers, since there are concerns about the health of their staff ace, lefty Clayton Kershaw. The Yankees would be the second target they are looking at, with Sonny Gray at the top of their list. The Astros, even with Dallas Keuchel and that amazing staff, have kicked the tires, and wonder if the Rangers would trade Darvish to an in-state rival.
The Rangers are seeking a top prospect for Darvish, which is not surprising for a star rental. If you look at last year, the Cubs traded their top shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres to the Yankees in a four-prospect package for star closer Aroldis Chapman. The Dodgers’ top prospects are outfielder Alex Verdugo and pitcher Walker Buehler, with a nice prospect list behind that. The Yankees have made top prospects Clint Frazier and Torres off-limits, though their list is just as deep as that of the Dodgers. The Astros have said they are reluctant to trade their top prospects, as well.
Darvish, with a 6-8 mark and 3.48 ERA, would definitely bring star power to a rotation, and would certainly help in the stretch run for any team. However, one has to wonder whether the “golden goose” of the rumor mill will actually be dealt. It will be an interesting next two-plus days.