MLB Rumors: Yu Darvish’s free agent market continues to be unclear, but in a piece today at Fan Rag Sports on the free agent landscape and generally paralyzed market, Jon Heyman has an interesting note on Darvish, saying a “team source suggested they offered $110 million over five years,” only to be turned down. The phrasing by Heyman is interesting, and one has to wonder why the source “suggested” such an offer was made, rather than stating or confirming it, but a 5 year, $110 million offer would not be inconsistent with the Ken Rosenthal report from yesterday that Darvish had multiple $100M+ offers he was considering.
Heyman suggests that Darvish has wanted Stephen Strasburg money (7 years, $175 million) but may be willing to consider “Johnny Cueto money” — Cueto got a 6 year, $130 million deal from the San Francisco Giants with a $22 million team option in 2022 (with a $5 million buyout) and an opt-out clause after 2017 which, of course, Cueto didn’t exercise. There’s no indication as to what team had the $110M offer (maybe) on the table, but a report out of Minnesota indicates the Twins, who have courted Darvish for some time, have made a formal offer to the right hander.
Would the Texas Rangers, who have reportedly maintained contact with their former ace all offseason, do better than five years, $110 million? I’m not sure. 5/$110M doesn’t seem unreasonable to land Darvish, to me, but the Rangers may have concerns about his durability, or how much he would really impact the team’s chances of competing over the next two years, and are reluctant to saddle themselves with a $20M+ obligation through the early part of the 2020s if it isn’t going to significantly move the needle in 2018 and 2019.
Heyman’s entire article is worth a read -- the Darvish tidbits are minor items in the story, as he looks at the overall state of the market and weighs in on the various theories that have been offered about why there’s so little movement, and why so few teams seem willing to spend money on anything other than relievers this offseason.