Rangers president Nolan Ryan seemed confident last week that a deal would be struck with Japanese starter Yu Darvish before Wednesday’s deadline.
But that’s suddenly just three days away.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the two sides are disagreeing on the amount of years — not the amount of dollars — that will frame Darvish’s first major league contract. Darvish’s camp wants the deal to be for five years so that he can hit free agency sooner and possibly cash in again, and the Rangers want to lock him up for six to maximize the value of their record $51,703,411 posting fee.
It still seems like a given that one side will eventually cave and that a compromise will be reached. Darvish probably isn’t interested in returning to Nippon Professional Baseball, and the Rangers wouldn’t have made such an aggressive push for the 25-year-old right-hander if they weren’t enamored with him.
Darvish, who stands 6′ 5″, posted a 1.44 ERA and 276/36 K/BB ratio in 232 innings last season in NPB.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.