Rangers starter Yu Darvish suffered a right elbow injury in August last season. He was expected back by the end of the month, but as the Rangers, who finished 67-95, weren’t headed anywhere, Darvish took it slow and eventually was shut down for the remainder of the season.
Darvish’s toughness and commitment to the team were questioned, as a writer last year suggested the right-hander should have pitched through the elbow pain. He finally had a chance to respond to his critics in a press conference on Sunday. As Pat Doney of NBC DFW reported, it was Darvish’s first press conference speaking English. Asked if he hit on the Rangers last season, the ace replied, “That is bull [expletive].”
Darvish, 28, recently threw a bullpen without any problems. He’s expected to be ready to go on Opening Day for the Rangers. Darvish finished last season with a 3.06 ERA and a 182/49 K/BB ratio in 144 1/3 innings.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.