Why I Believe The Twins Are Going To Sign Yu Darvish
Image courtesy of Robert Hanashiro, USA TodayWhat leads me to this conclusion? Well, part of it is wishful thinking, I'll admit. Darvish would be an awesome fit on the Twins and would lift them to serious championship contender status almost instantly. I badly want to see it, so long as the price makes any sense.
But there are also plenty of legitimate indications that this could very realistically go down. I'll lay out the two biggest ones, and you can add your own (or dispute mine) in the comments.
Only Eyes For Yu
The Twins have been openly connected to Darvish throughout the offseason, and GM Thad Levine hasn't been shy about his pursuit. But there've been few other substantive rumors tying Minnesota to any other prominent free agents. A rumbling of trade buzz here and there, sure, but despite their outward interest in adding a frontline starter, the Twins have been conspicuously silent in relation to other free agent starters like Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn.
Meanwhile, they've been operating as a team that's gearing up for a big spend. Fernando Rodney and Zach Duke were both low-dollar one year commitments. The Twins have added around $7 million in salary by signing them, but offset part of it by shedding ByungHo Park's contract.
So right now they are treading water below $100 million in committed payroll, at a time where they're making their contention push in earnest.
Darvish in No Hurry
Last week it was reported that Darvish's and his reps had yet to meet with the Twins front office, and that the two sides "don't see it as necessary -- not yet anyway."
Many took this as a sign the Twins aren't really in the running for Darvish. We're headlong into January now and there hasn't even been a meeting? Sounds unpromising.
But, in my irrationally and unfoundedly optimistic state, I'm clinging to the hypothetical premise I laid out in the forums here at Twins Daily last month:
"Here's what is playing out right now – from my hopeful view:
Levine has a good enough relationship with Darvish and his agent that the two sides have kept an open line of communication. Thad signaled early on that his interest was very serious, and Darvish's camp indicated that the interest was mutual.
So over the past couple of weeks, Darvish has been meeting with other legit suitors to hear their pitches and receive their offers. Now he'll be able to go into a meeting with the Twins knowing full well what else is out there, and what his options are. Meanwhile, Levine will know exactly what kind of bids he's up against.
No matter how you look at it, I think Minnesota meeting with Darvish later in the process rather than earlier almost has to be viewed as a good thing... as long as it actually happens."
It was a shot in the dark at the time, but nothing that's happened since has made it feel any less plausible.
Darvish has met with the Cubs. He's met with the Astros. Neither of those engagements resulted in remotely immediate action, and the Yankees seem to be distantly waiting for the righty's price to drop.
The Twins are said to be prepared to offer a "market deal" to Darvish. And as it happens, through all of his courting elsewhere, the realities of his market have become pretty much solidified.
It's clear that Minnesota is at least interested in a meeting with Darvish. And while jaded Twins fans love to opt toward the ol' "he's just not that into you" quip, it's kinda silly to think he'd actually be opposed to linking up, given that he evidently hasn't been blown away by any other suitors.
It's almost as though Darvish is biding his time, content in the knowledge that his destination is set, and a meeting is merely a formality.
What say you?
- brvama, bdodge22, Cory Engelhardt and 8 others like this