When this free agent stalemate ends, don’t expect the Rangers to be one of the teams pushing to sign Yu Darvish. Club GM Jon Daniels said Friday that although they continue to maintain contact with the ace right-hander, “it’s very unlikely that we’re ultimately going to bring in one of the upper-end pitchers at this point.”
That seems to suggest that the likes of Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn are off the table, though the Rangers could still try to add a few inexpensive depth pieces to their pitching staff before Opening Day. They’re projected to start the year with a rotation of Cole Hamels, Martin Perez, Doug Fister, Matt Moore and Mike Minor, and have a plethora of minor league pitchers who could conceivably step into a starting role if need be.
While Darvish has enjoyed a long relationship with the team, he isn’t exactly positioning himself to hand out any hometown discounts this offseason. The 31-year-old righty is reportedly seeking something close to $175 million in a multiyear deal, and another report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic indicates that Darvish is simply biding his time until either the Yankees or Dodgers clear space on their payroll for such an offer.
The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.
Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.
Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.