Padres Rumors: Evaluating a trade for Yu Darvish

Padres Rumors Yu Darvish

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Twice this week, the Padres have been named a potential suitor for the services of starting pitcher Yu Darvish. What does a trade for the Cy Young runner up look like?

As the Padres continue to search for Mike Clevinger‘s replacement in the starting rotation, one name that has twice been linked to Friars this week is Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish.

The 34-year-old posted one of his best seasons in quite some time in 2020, finishing second in Cy Young voting. Darvish made a name for himself with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in the Pacific League. He was posted to Major League Baseball after the 2011 season, accepting the highest bid from the Texas Rangers. He earned All-Star selections in his first three years in the MLB while finishing in the top ten of Cy Young voting in both 2012 and 2013.

When the Rangers entered a bit of a transition period, the Rangers traded Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he posted a 3.44 ERA in nine starts to close out the second half. He imploded in Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros, allowing eight earned runs in only 3 1/3 innings of work. Following the season, Darvish signed a six-year, $126M contract with the Chicago Cubs.

His tenure in Chicago got off to a rocky start, making just eight starts before landing on the injured list with a stress reaction. He attempted to make a comeback for the Cubs’ postseason run, but after just an inning, he was pulled from a rehab start and shut down for the year. The first half of 2019 yielded little optimism for Darvish to prove he was capable of returning to the pitcher he once was, but he went on to post a 2.76 ERA in 13 starts in the second half of the year.

That success carried over into the shortened 60-game schedule, logging a 2.13 ERA  in 12 starts. If not for a four-run outburst allowed in his second to last start of the year, he may have very well taken the Cy Young Award away from eventual winner Trevor Bauer.

The Cubs enter this offseason in a transition, with President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein stepping down after serving a decade in that role. They also said goodbye to former fourth overall pick of the 2014 Draft in Kyle Schwarber. Epstein broke curses in both Boston and Chicago and made it clear he wanted no part of a rebuild. Looking to shed payroll this offseason, Darvish is being made available in an attempt to lure young pitching arms back to Chicago, which the Cubs’ farm system desperately needs.

Any trade with the Cubs likely begins with Adrian Morejon. The Padres could probably get this deal done, keeping top pitching MacKenzie Gore and potentially Luis Patino. But the Cubs would probably ask for Morejon and someone like Ryan Weathers, as both players either have some Major League experience or are on the cusp of being ready. To make this deal work, Chicago will have to eat some of the $59 million remaining on Darvish’s contract. Perhaps if they keep a third of his remaining salary, the two sides could get this done.

Darvish is under contract for three more seasons, so he’d be a solid addition to the rotation while serving as a mentor for the younger arms making their way to the big leagues. Another couple of important items to note: Darvish has a career 3.71 ERA and 3.99 ERA in a combined eight starts at Petco Park and Dodger Stadium, respectively.

8 thoughts on “Padres Rumors: Evaluating a trade for Yu Darvish

  1. Keep the kids and play them. Put the young pitchers in the starting rotation and rumble. Darvish is not worth it. There are lots of players who did well in a short, 60 game season. So what.

  2. It will take more than Morejon and Weathers. Probably need to include Campusano. Too pricey for a 34 yr old who already has thrown 2400 innings and as recently as 2018 only started 8 games. Padres don’t need to be in a panic-buying mood that strips away key talent for the future of the franchise. Plus, why would you want to take on another potentially bad contract just as we are getting rid of others (Myers/Hosmer)? Lock up Tatis and let the kids play.

        1. if the Padres need a starting pitcher, it doesn’t make sense to trade away two starting pitchers. I agree with Randy about the price being too high for Darvish–maybe if Darvish was 24, not 34.. Preller has done a fine job of assembling a fine farm system, but now he is getting rid of the young talent that could make the Padres contenders for years. As for the Cubs hanging up the phone, I wish the Indians had hung up on Preller when he gave away excellent prospects like Quantrill, Arias, Naylor, Miller, and Cantillo for Clevinger. I’d be willing to bet that from 2021 on, Quantrill will have more victories than Clevinger.

  3. Darvish is a fine pitcher, but he is 34 and his best years as a pitcher are behind him. Morejon, Weathers, and Patino are all 21 and have their best years ahead of them. If the Padres need starting pitching, it makes no sense to trade two of their best young pitchers away. I’d keep all 3 and let them lead the Padres to the playoffs. The Padres don’t need Darvish, especially if it means depleting their pitching staff of their best young pitchers. The Padres always have good young players in their farm system. The reason the team usually ends up with a losing record is that they see their best young players not as members of the team but as trade bait. For instance, Cory Kluber, Trea Turner, and Max Fried.

    1. This is the same response I had to Josh Bell. Why would a franchise losing Max Scherzer in a year would trade their best 2 pitching prospects for 2 years of Bell when their team won’t be competitive for those two yrs. Voth and Fedde have been any better than Padres pitchers so that leave Corbin and Strasburg coming off injury in 22 and beyond.

      Darvish for the Pads would be a similar head scratcher. He’s 3 seasons pst what he was with the Dodgers and a 70 inn sample in 20 is not sustainable. Even if I could get past the miles on Darvish, it feels like James Shields part deaux. If your gona spend that capital it has to be Snell or Castillo. Otherwise Weathers and Morejon should be Padres.

      Bite the bullet for Castillo and right the ghost of Colon Rea or get Musgrove from Pitt now that they are punting. Reclaim Archer or Quintana and call it a day

      I will take that bet on Clevinger v Quantrill in 22. Cantillo will be the piece that hurts

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