Leg cramps force Yu Darvish from another start

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Overshadowed by the Pirates beating the Rangers last night to clinch their first winning season since 1992 is that Texas ace Yu Darvish left the game with leg cramps.

Todd Willis of ESPN Dallas reports that the Rangers are calling it a minor injury and for now at least Darvish is expected to make his next start, but the cramping forced him from the eighth inning of a 1-0 game after just 81 pitches and he previously had similar cramping issues in a start last month.

He’s scheduled to face the A’s on Saturday afternoon, which is about as important as a start can get.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.