Yu Darvish scratched with stiff neck

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Yu Darvish won’t be on the mound as the Rangers try to put more distance between themselves and the A’s tonight. He’s been scratched due to a stiff neck, the team announced.

Scott Feldman will pitch in his place.

Darvish has been on a terrific roll of late, having gone 4-0 with a 1.46 ERA and a 42/8 K/BB ratio in his last five starts. There hasn’t been any word yet on when he’ll pitch again, but his injury isn’t considered serious.

Feldman lost his rotation spot after giving up six runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Mariners on Sept. 15 and had pitched once in relief since, throwing three scoreless innings versus Seattle on Friday. He’s 1-1 with a 16.20 ERA in two starts against Oakland this year.

There is a “one million percent” chance Aroldis Champan will opt-out of his deal

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that there is a “one million percent” chance Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman will opt out once the season ends.

Just going by the math this makes perfect sense, of course.

Chapman signed a five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees before the 2017 season. Pursuant to the terms of the deal he’ll make $15 million a year in 2020 and 2021 (he was given an $11 million signing bonus that was finished being paid out last year). This past season the qualifying offer was $17.9 million. Craig Kimbrel of the Cubs just signed a deal that will pay him $16 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022 (he’s making a prorated $16 million this year). Other top closer salaries at the moment include Kenley Jansen ($19,333,334); and Wade Davis ($18 million).

It’s fair to say that Chapman fits into that group and, I think it’s safe to say, more teams would take him than those guys if they were all freely available. As such, Chapman opting out to get more money makes all kinds of sense. Heck, opting out, getting slapped with a qualifying offer, accepting it and then hitting the market unencumbered after the 2020 season would stand him in better financial stead than if he didn’t opt-out in the first place.

The question is whether the Yankees will let it get that far or whether they’ll approach him to renegotiate the final couple of years on the deal or to add some years onto the back of it. If they’re smart they will.