Earlier Monday I noted a trade rumor published over the weekend that connected Yu Darvish and the Padres.
However, after the Padres sent four prospects to the Rays for Blake Snell, I thought the Padres’ interest in Darvish might cool off.
That’s not the case, apparently, per these tweets:
Even after landing Blake Snell, the Padres are deep into talks to acquire Yu Darvish from the Cubs, sources tell @PJ_Mooney, @sahadevsharma and me. If the deal is completed, multiple players would head to Chicago.— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) December 28, 2020
Well. Let’s take a look at this.
The Cubs wouldn’t trade Darvish unless they are getting salary relief. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Darvish has $62 million left on his deal ($23 million for 2021, $20 million for 2022, $19 million for 2023). Those numbers all increased by $1 million each (over his original contract with the Cubs) because he finished second in NL Cy Young voting in 2020.
Victor Caratini has been Darvish’s personal catcher since mid-2019, and it would make some sense for him to head to San Diego if such a deal were made. The Cubs have Miguel Amaya in the system and he is likely ready to step in as a backup to Willson Contreras.
If the Cubs did make a trade like this, it would signal a full rebuild is beginning now, rather than simply retooling the current roster to try to contend again in 2021, before possibly blowing things up after next season after several players could leave via free agency.
I don’t make this deal unless a MLB-ready starting pitcher is included. An intriguing young arm is Adrian Morejon, who turns 22 in Feburary and who’s posted very good walk and strikeout rates both in the minor leagues and in his brief MLB career. I don’t know the Padres system well enough to say who else I’d want in return, and of course San Diego just sent four young players to Tampa Bay for Snell.
My gut still tells me this isn’t happening, that teams are just doing their due diligence. But I’ve been wrong before.
With this additional information, would you trade Darvish?