Texas Rangers rumors: Yu Darvish has been linked to the New York Yankees, but Nick Cafardo says the Yankees appear an unlikely fit, with the Rangers, the Chicago Cubs and the Minnesota Twins being more likely, in his column today. Cafardo says the Yankees would likely have to move Jacoby Ellsbury in order to make room to add Darvish and stay under the luxury tax limit.
Its hard to figure where the Rangers really stand in regards to the Yu Darvish free agency derby. It has long seemed unlikely the Rangers would pay what Darvish would command on the open market...but then, it also seemed unlikely that Darvish would still be available on January 21, and that there’d be little in the way of offers out there and known.
As the clock ticks down towards spring training, with an apparent lack of big money deals on the table — not just for Darvish, but for Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn, the other top free agent pitchers, as well -- one has to wonder if the price is dropping to where the Rangers would be in the mix.
Of course, the question then is, what is that price? In response to a question on the subject in a chat session on Friday, Gerry Fraley suggests the Rangers shouldn’t be interested unless the price drops to $14 million per year for two years with an option. This seems to be an objectively ridiculous position to take -- even if you think that Yu is a prima donna, can’t handle the pressure, and all the other things the anti-Yu crowd has espoused, he’s still worth more than $14 million per year. I have to wonder if this is a genuine expression of what Fraley thinks Darvish is worth, or is meant to be a signal of his disdain for Yu.
Jon Daniels continues to say the Rangers aren’t expecting to sign a premium free agent, and that has been his stance throughout the offseason. That said, he’s also indicated that the Rangers would like to add more pitching, and there’s consistently been reports for a while of a mutual interest between pitcher and team. If Yu decides that the frigid offseason market means a one- or two-year deal makes more sense than signing a longer term deal for less than what he’s comfortable with, a return to Texas could still be in the offing.
And in the meantime, I am sure JD is keeping tabs on Darvish, Arrieta, Cobb and Lynn, monitoring their markets in case the price drops to where the Rangers can scoop one of them up for less than anyone anticipated three months ago.