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Report: Astros meeting with Yu Darvish

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The Astros are meeting with free agent Yu Darvish on Tuesday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Darvish met with the Cubs on Monday. Other teams with interest include the Twins, Rangers, Mariners, and Phillies, according to Heyman.

Adding Darvish would be quite the boon to the world champion Astros’ starting rotation, which already includes Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander. Keuchel is a free agent after the 2018 season, however, so Darvish could be a hedge against losing Keuchel. Verlander is under contract through 2019 and has a vesting option for 2020.

Between the Rangers and Dodgers last season, Darvish put up a 3.86 ERA with a 209/58 K/BB ratio in 186 2/3 innings. He pitched well in his two starts in the NLDS and NLCS, but gave up nine runs (eight earned) in 3 1/3 innings across two starts in the World Series against the Astros. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. (According to an anonymous Astros player, Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series.)

Manny Machado, batting second, playing shortstop in his Dodgers debut

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The biggest news of the All-Star break — even bigger than the All-Star Game itself — was the trade of Manny Machado to the Dodgers. We talked about it for days, but now the talking is done: Machado is playing shortstop and is batting second in his Dodgers debut this evening against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Machado is expected to play a little third base for the Dodgers, too, but with Justin Turner still out with a bum hop, Machado will play his preferred position. It’s not the one he plays as well, but that’s another topic altogether and is, eventually, going to be Dave Roberts’ problem.

Machado is hitting .315/.387/.575 with 24 homers and 65 RBI on the year. Those numbers all get set back to zero now that he’s in the National League, however. Tonight he begins compiling new numbers.