Even though he’s tied for the AL lead in victories with 10, Rangers import Yu Darvish doesn’t feel he’s done enough to represent the league in next month’s All-Star Game.
“But personally do I feel like I’m an All-Star? I don’t think so,” Darvish said through an interpreter Friday. “I’m also hearing that there’s a possibility I might start in an All-Star Game, and to me, that’s totally out of context, I think.”
Since the Rangers went to the World Series last year, Darvish’s manager, Ron Washington, will be in charge of picking the pitching staff. Still, Darvish seems to see the big picture and won’t mind not being picked.
“I think the fact that I’m Japanese, first year over here, the Texas Rangers paid a lot of money for me to come over here,” he said. “The fact that I’m an All-Star candidate, it’s more of a buildup of who I am and where I came from and the media creating this type (of hype).”
Darvish is certainly partly right, but the fact that he is tied for the league lead in wins and fourth in strikeouts would make him an All-Star candidate even if his name was John Smith. Plus, while he has been a bit of a disappointment in the ERA department, he still ranks 16th in the league despite working in a tough park for pitchers.
Still, Darvish certainly seems to mean well here. And by essentially taking himself out of the running, he’s aiding his teammate’s case for a spot: Matt Harrison is 10-3 with a 3.24 ERA, making him deserving of strong consideration.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.