This morning, we have another team actually “in” on an official offer to Yu Darvish:
After several months of back and forth negotiations, the Twins have submitted a formal offer to Yu Darvish’s camp, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN in the latest episode of his podcast (audio link, Twins talk starting up at the 2:25 mark and running through 11:00).
Exact parameters of the offer aren’t known, but Wolfson cites multiple sources in reporting that the offer is four or five years in length. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic(subscription required) reported yesterday that Darvish has received multiple offers worth $100M+, while Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported earlier today that he has “several” five-year offers. Given all three of those reports, it certainly seems plausible that the Twins have put forth a nine-figure offer to Darvish, which would easily be the largest commitment they’ve ever made to a free agent.
So at this point, it appears that there are at least three firm, five-year, nine-figure offers to Darvish, from the Cubs, Brewers and Twins. Groundhog Day was last week, but the story that Darvish is waiting on the Dodgers to clear salary so they can sign him is still making the rounds. That isn’t likely to happen, because even if the Dodgers can pull off that unlikely feat, they’re still mandated to stay under the luxury tax limit because of debt service.
The Yankees and Rangers, other teams rumored to be interested in Darvish, have been mostly quiet, except for the Rangers saying they’re not likely to sign any top FA this winter, and the Yankees continuing to say they’re also going to stay under the tax limit unless they can move the mountain known as Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract.
Here’s the other bit of big news this morning:
Been told the union is considering starting a camp as soon as Tuesday — the day pitchers and catchers report to some team sites. Some prominent players still have not been informed, and it’s unclear just how many would participate. One free agent told me he’d rather stay home. https://t.co/CSFEUlmr2Y— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 8, 2018
Tim Brown’s Yahoo article on this topic says:
With 30 camps set to open early next week and an unusual number of players still without contracts – some among the top free agents on the market – the union is investigating sites in Florida and Arizona in case it determines a 31st camp is necessary. The IMG baseball academy in Bradenton, Florida, was believed to be among at least three options. The union also is identifying coaches and other personnel to staff the facility.
Many players live in either Florida or Arizona so they can be home during spring training and with their families. If Florida is chosen, the AZ players are likely left out because of the distance, travel expenses, housing expenses, etc. and vice versa if Arizona is chosen.
I’m not sure which “coaches and other personnel” the MLBPA would be able to sign up at this late date. It takes more than a couple of practice fields to put together a spring-training camp. I remain skeptical that this will actually happen.
And I keep hoping one big signing will break the logjam. Six days until Cubs pitchers and catchers have their first workout.
For today’s song selection I bring you the Tom Petty version of the classic Byrds song: