Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Free Agency News: Yu Darvish Would Like a Return to Los Angeles

If Yu Darvish never wears Dodger Blue again, what will end up your lasting memory of him in a Los Angeles uniform? It’s unfortunate, but most fans won’t remember his final three regular season starts and first two of the postseason (one in the NLDS and NLCS each) that were nothing short of dominant. It will be his two World Series starts against the Astros that sticks in the memories of most forever. This is reasonable to expect, with him failing to record six outs in game seven of the World Series and going into the history books with a loss that night.

But according to a report, Darvish is open to a return to the Dodgers. This is the latest from Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times:

My understanding is that Yu Darvish has made clear he would like to return to the Dodgers, and part of the delay in his free agency is related to waiting to see if the team can move some of the money. The Dodgers have explored scenarios for moving useful but (theoretically) extraneous assets such as Yasmani Grandal, Logan Forsythe and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Given the fact that those players are still Dodgers and Darvish is still a free agent, you can guess how the market has reacted to this gambit by the front office.

This was in response to a question asking if part of the reason Yu Darvish is taking so long to sign is due to the fact that he’s hoping the Dodgers can shed enough payroll to absorb his cap hit.

In the contrary to what may be popular belief, it seems the majority of Dodgers fans would welcome Darvish back with open arms as part of their rotation. Over the weekend, the Dodgers Nation twitter account held a poll that revealed some interesting results:

So what can we deduct from this? Is it that Dodger fans are more warm and cuddly than other fan bases. Well probably. But Dodger fans know what comprises a winning team. When you have the potential to bring back a 31-year old pitcher with ace upside and slot him as your number three, you do it.

Darvish has never posted an ERA above 4.00 in a full season and has been an All-Star in all four seasons that were injury free since his big league career began.

For one wondering what his teammates think of a potential return – Clayton Kershaw probably has the authority to speak for the majority. Kershaw has reportedly been throwing with Darvish all offseason, and his flag is in the ground with where he stands on sharing the rotation with him in the future:

Kershaw suggested Friday that he wouldn’t mind if the Dodgers blow past the competitive-balance tax threshold to re-sign Darvish, who is a free agent.

“Obviously, I’ve made my sales pitch, so we’ll just see what happens,” Kershaw said during a community-service event at Alhambra Park.

“We don’t talk about like what offers he’s gotten or anything like that. I don’t want to pressure him too much.”

There are some perceived barriers to Darvish being able to write another chapter in his Dodgers storyline. It seems the reoccurring theme with any Darvish return to the Dodgers story is that the Dodgers must shed payroll to do so. McCullough mentioned several players the Dodgers have explored moving to do just that, but are yet to find anything viable.

If you’re the General Manager of the Dodgers, do you do what it takes to bring Yu Darvish back? If so, who would you move and for what?

I know the 2018 Dodgers are going to be good with or without Yu Darvish. But there is a good part of me that wishes for his return that writes a much happier ending of some sort. Who says that a flag that flies forever can’t run hand-in-hand with that?

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  1. If Darvish wants to come back to The Dodgers .. and is serious about hooking up with Kershaw to ” try it again.” .. And the thing that is holding it up is his salary.. Then ask him to reduce his demand on his salary..! Then .. Let’s see how serious he really is !! … Right up Friedman’s alley .. Ha!

    1. I don’t know how keen he would be on a pay cut; athlete’s emotions really come into play when that language enters. That said, I think he wants to remain a Dodger because he wants to win and he knows that we could be the most lucrative market for him on and off the field.

      1. Once again.. It doesn’t hurt to ask.. Otherwise .. Let him go .. (probably back to Texas) And .. if he stays in The National League.. Know how he was tipping off his pitches .. Ha! (Serious)

        1. Tipping pitches, not tipping pitches; I think it’s safe to say 2011 or 2012 Darvish aren’t walking back through the door, ever, anywhere. Now can he be one of the best number three or four starters in baseball, without a doubt. One of my favorite sayings is “it’s not my money”. Sign him back up.

  2. So if you give him 20 mil a year for 5 years, and then have to resign kershaw at 35 mil a year for 5 years, you have two declining starters in their 30s taking up 30% of your payroll for the next 5 years, doesn’t seem like the kind of strategy this management prefers.

      1. Sounds good. But if the short term was the most important thing for thisfront office I’m sure they would have picked up Verlander and his HUGE contract instead of Darvish. I believe that would have sealed the deal for us. But instead they got Yu for 2 months hoping that would be enough. We came so close to winning it all that I don’t think there is a need for aan expensive long term contract to win one more game. In fact it could be argued that if Wood or Kershaw had started game 7 we could have won it all.

        It’s all good fodder for conversation but I think the bottom line is that teams, especially our team doesn’t want to get stuck with long term contracts anymore.

        1. You certainly pay for what you get.. Too many ‘ifs’ and ‘maybes’ involved here.. It appears that ownership is more concerned with profits .. reference substantial ticket price boosts.. Telling Zaidi and Friedman to stay under the luxury tax threshold .. All at the expense of a pretty solid fan base.. But, that fan base is clamoring for a WS winner.. Now.. Not 5-6 yrs. down the road.. A lose-lose scenario if you’re a Dodger fan

        2. I couldn’t agree more with this, Daniel. I know last year when Verlander was there for the taking, I favored him to Darvish. I had no idea that it would play out so ironically.

          1. As you will recall.. The Dodgers beat Verlander in game 6 of The WS.. Something I didn’t think was gonna happen.. Only to have ‘Garnish’ spin a ‘Wiffle Ball’ gem in less than 2 innings in game 7.. Pitiful ! Let him fade into obscurity (Hell as far as I’m concerned) and get on with 2018.

        3. Daniel Pelletier, those exact thoughts have gone through my mind hundreds of times since the end of the World Series. If only we would have traded for Verlander instead.

      2. It was supposed to last year.. and didn’t..So .. What changes other than the whole team gets older?? Let him go play for (probably Texas again) See what questions are answered by the trade deadline or.. The All Star break.. Looking 5 to 6 years into the future is ridiculous.. As it stands now.

        1. I mentioned 5-6 years because I feel like that is this current core’s true window. It could be longer or shorter of course; but to expect it to be longer than that is probably being too optimistic for any core.

          1. You’re right Clint . but that doesn’t address these ‘cost factors’ vs player acquisition at hand now. Darvish can, and should, take a hike.. leaving ‘handcuffed’ Friedman free to wait for the trade deadline and bundle some of these prospects (hopefully that worthless Baez too) along with maybe Grandall and pick up an impact player to make a run.. He’s very creative that way.. Maybe all of those ‘low rent’ pick ups were for a purpose.. Do you suppose ?? We’ll see.

    1. I don’t know how much longer Kershaw will last after this current contract. He started pitching full time very young in the majors and a lot of innings. He’s already starting to show wear and tear. No way they resign him for 35 million when his contract is up.

  3. Is Darvish worth all this speculation and an expensive long term contract? How good is he really? Is he an ace? No. Is he better than Hill or Wood? Hard to say he is. Do Buehler and Urias have a chance to be much better than him? Yes. Could Ryu have as good of a year as Darvish? Yes. Is he a game changer? No. I don’t get all the fuss!

      1. That’s a good question, I’d say someone who steps up in big games, someone who ends a losing streak, someone who gets you to a level where you wouldn’t have gotten to with out them.

        1. That’s right Dan… Don’t be sad and blue.. just bleed Dodger Blue.. Go Dodgers!!

    1. I saw Darvish a few times last year with the Dodgers where Yu’s stuff was amazing. Curve ball that goes both directions or slider I can’t remember. But, then the World series came and he had no movement on his pitches and he looked scared. I don’t want that. It’s as if he bet on the Astros.

  4. It’s 2018 World Series and the Dodgers are feeling good that they’ve made it back. Do they really have the nerve to put Darvish in a game in a rematch against the Astros? Or Yankees? No way! It’ll be in Darvish’s head. He just wants to get paid! He’s not passionate anymore about baseball, don’t do it Dodgers!

    1. You’re right about that Danny.. Money talks and bullshit walks.. Wait for trading deadline and see where The Dodgers stand. (what I think Friedman has in mind) Ergo.. You can’t do that if you don’t have any $$ left.. Ergo .. Yu is gone ! .. Good riddance ..

      1. I completely agree David. Trade deadline next year will provide a lift and more players will be available for only their current contract not a new one. If we would have traded for Verlander instead of Darvish we win the World Series, no question.

  5. Also, tipping pitches or not. Darvish had no movement on his pitches. Was serving them up to Houston like batting practice. His head wasn’t in it. He had no confidence or fire. Bye bye!

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