Cubs Trade Rumors: Yu Darvish to Cubs ‘More Plausible’ Than First Thought

According to Jon Morosi, the Cubs have checked in with the Rangers on the availability of ace starter Yu Darvish. Citing the disparate performance by the two teams of late, specifically as it relates to the Rangers’ playoff outlook, Morosi says a match is “more plausible than it would’ve been entering the All-Star break.”

Darvish turns 31 in August, but he’s also a free agent at the end of the season, which means the Cubs aren’t buying high on a pitcher with a diminishing skill set. In previous speculation regarding his future with the Rangers, it had been said that the team felt they could re-sign Darvish even if he reached free agency. That might not be the case any longer, as we’ve seen what happens when longtime vets get a taste of what it’s like to pitch elsewhere (see: Lester, Jon).

Darvish has had health issues in the past, but has been very solid this season en route to a 3.45 ERA (3.73 FIP) over 125.1 innings (20 starts). His strikeout numbers are down, but velocity is actually up slightly (possibly from the change in pitch-tracking) and his peripherals are well in line with historical marks.

This is something of a mirror image of what the Cubs and Rangers have done in the past with Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster, trades that added a good deal of depth to the farm system and are still paying dividends today. Should the Rangers still feel they can bring Darvish back in free agency or fear that they’ll lose him for nothing, their asking price could well dip into reasonable territory.

As with many other rumors and reports, this is also a matter of the Cubs leaving no stone unturned and examining every possibility. Theo Epstein talked about maximizing all 25 roster spots, though, and adding a pitcher like Darvish would certainly bolster the rotation. And when you consider that Milwaukee is fading and has not yet made a move to address their starting five, well, the Cubs might really want to get aggressive.

More on this and other news as it becomes available.


Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports said that nearly all of the teams in win-now mode find Darvish preferable to Sonny Gray, but did not specifically list the Cubs among them.

The Texas Rangers have started reaching out to teams potentially interested in acquiring star pitcher Yu Darvish, gathering information on what sort of return they could receive if they decide to trade him before the July 31 deadline, major league sources told Yahoo Sports on Thursday.

In the midst of a wicked slump that dropped them to 45-50 and behind five other teams for the second American League wild card, the Rangers are not committed to dealing Darvish, the 30-year-old right-hander who immediately would become the market’s most coveted asset.

At the same time, rival executives believe the Rangers are nearing the point where their struggles could force them to strongly consider doing so. Even if Darvish’s impending free agency would prevent the Rangers from receiving a blockbuster return, rental players of his ilk carry enormous value, and Texas is taking the proper step gauging just how valuable he is.

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