We are less than four weeks away from the day Cubs pitchers and catchers are scheduled to have their first workout (February 14).
The Cubs and several other teams are still in pursuit of free agent Yu Darvish, as noted in this mlb.com article:
The Yankees, Cubs, Twins, Rangers and Dodgers are involved in the Darvish pursuit, said sources, confirming a report by Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The article states that the Twins have less money committed for 2019 ($50 million) than any of the other teams noted, and coming off a wild-card appearance last year, might be willing to spend money on Darvish to try to return to the postseason.
I wouldn’t call the Twins a “mystery team” because, well, they’ve been mentioned not only in that article, but in a number of others, as being in pursuit of Darvish. Darvish surprised many observers when he first came to MLB by signing with the Rangers, so it’s entirely possible he could do something similar now.
The Rangers have recently gone on record as saying they’re not likely going to go “big” in the free-agent market:
“We could add another catcher to tag team with [Robinson] Chirinos. …I felt all along that this probably wasn’t the year for us to go big in the free agent market.” – @Rangers GM Jon Daniels on #MLBNow— MLB Network PR (@MLBNetworkPR) January 17, 2018
This could be posturing, of course. Daniels and Darvish know each other well and Darvish still lives in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area in the offseason.
The Cubs, Yankees and Dodgers have all pretty much let it be known that they’re going to try to stay under the luxury tax threshold ($197 million) this year. This could limit the amount of money they could offer Darvish. The Twins don’t have that problem.
The linked article above also talks about Jake Arrieta and where he might wind up, as well as the potential trade market for starters Chris Archer and Michael Fulmer.
But you know all of this already. Really, this article isn’t any different from most of those I’ve written about possible starting pitcher moves this offseason. Things are just really... really... really... slow.
Perhaps they’ll pick up next week. We can hope. Baseball is coming, soon. The closer it gets, I’d think the more likely something breaks up this jam.