Yu Darvish might not make himself available until January

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FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal heard Saturday that Japanese ace Yu Darvish is expected to be posted soon after this week’s annual Winter Meetings in Dallas, Texas. But that might not be the case.

In an update to his Saturday column, Rosenthal writes that Darvish’s father is telling news services in Japan that his son might not make himself available to major league teams until mid-to-late January and that it’s only 50-50 that he actually accepts a deal.

The uncertainty is natural — Darvish would be leaving his comfort zone in Japan and taking on great expectations in the majors — but waiting until a month or so before the start of spring training would almost certainly mean disaster for the right-hander’s market value. MLB teams can’t afford to be patient when it comes to filling vacant starting rotation spots.

Darvish, 25, posted an 18-7 record, a 1.44 ERA and a 276/36 K/BB ratio across 232 innings this past season for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. He has a 1.99 career ERA over seven seasons in Japan.

Cubs to acquire Daniel Murphy from the Nationals

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The Chicago Cubs are going to acquire Daniel Murphy from the Washington Nationals. Jon Heyman reports that the Cubs will send back prospect Andruw Monasterio and a player to be named later in exchange. Craig Mish of Sirius XM was the first to report that the Cubs were the team that claimed Murphy off of waivers.

Murphy got off to a slow start this year coming off of major surgery but is hitting .300/.341/.442 on the season and has been particularly hot of late. Murphy is primarily a second baseman, of course, but he has played some first base too. The Cubs, at any rate, have a pretty flexible roster so they’ll likely be able to find a good amount of playing time for him at either position and, when he doesn’t start, he’ll be a great option off the bench.

Between this trade and the trade of Matt Adams to the Cardinals, the Nats have officially thrown in the towel on 2018.