Much time has been spent by many bloggers writing about whether the Dodgers should re-sign Yu Darvish, myself included. Los Angeles remains tops on the wish list of places that Darvish would like to pitch for, and that is shown in that he has chosen not to sign with another team.
For the Dodgers to re-sign Darvish, they would have to make some moves. The most often moves floated are to deal Matt Kemp, trade catcher Yasmani Grandal, trade second baseman Logan Forsythe, or trade pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Kemp has been talked about extensively. The Dodgers have been actively trying to trade the veteran outfielder since they acquired him in December, but obviously things have gone nowhere with that. I think if Kemp’s contract was going to be negated from the Dodgers payroll, he would have to be released, and I don’t know that that is going to happen before spring training.
There also has been quite a bit of chatter over this off-season about moving Grandal. This honestly surprises me, because I think it behooves the Dodgers to have two veteran catchers behind the plate. I don’t know that I would trust Austin Barnes as a full-time catcher yet, with Kyle Farmer as his back up. Barnes also has versatility to play second base in addition to being a backstop. This is a position that could wait until the trade deadline, if Grandal were indeed to prove expendable.
I feel like a lot of fans would like to see Forsythe moved. All they seemingly can remember is his subpar performance during the regular season last year, forgetting what he did in the postseason. Forsythe fits the kind of guy that the Dodgers want to have in the clubhouse, especially if Chase Utley does not get re-signed. They don’t have a true center fielder as of now, so the thoughts of moving Chris Taylor to second base don’t really make sense. To do so would mean that the Dodgers are counting on Joc Pederson to be the everyday center fielder, and that does not go with what was stated by manager Dave Roberts last week at FanFest, when he said that Taylor would indeed be the starting center fielder.
Ryu could be a viable trade candidate, I suppose. He is in the last season of his six-year contract with the Dodgers, and had a better campaign last year than he did in 2015 and 2016 when he only pitched one game between the two seasons. He’s only a No. 4 or No. 5 starter currently, but would clear the space for another starting pitcher in Darvish.
Fans are split over the return of Darvish. Many are under the false thought that he single-handedly blew the World Series for the Dodgers. While his two starts against the Astros were definitely less than stellar, there were so many other times that the Dodgers could have and should have won to lay the blame solely on Darvish.
I think the main point against the Dodgers re-signing Darvish is that he wants as many as seven years in the contract. I just don’t see the Dodgers handing out that much money and length at this point, especially with the possibility of Kershaw coming off the books after this upcoming season, and the fact that the front office does not want to go over $197M in payroll in 2018.
Again, this is all time spent hypothesizing what the Dodgers front office may or may not do. The fact that they have yet to say to Darvish, “Hey, it’s just not going to work here, go ahead and sign with someone else” probably means something. Milwaukee seems to be pretty hot on signing him as well. I guess, like the rest of the offseason, we will all just sit and wait to see what happens.
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