Right-hander Yu Darvish is the best starting pitcher on the free agent market, and interest is of course expected to be high. We know the Twins are hot after Darvish, and the Cubs, who are looking to continue fortifying the rotation. Now, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Darvish on Tuesday will meet with another suitor -- the world champion Astros.
The Astros already have a strong front two in Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander, but with Lance McCullers, Charlie Morton, and Brad Peacock populating the middle and back end there's a potential need. Darvish, obviously, would address that need in a big way. In 2017, his age-30 campaign and his first full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery, Darvish pitched to a 3.86 ERA/118 ERA+ and a 3.60 K/BB ratio in 186 2/3 innings for the Rangers and Dodgers.
Darvish famously flopped in the World Series for L.A., but the much larger body of work is exceptionally strong. For his career, Darvish owns an ERA+ of 126 across parts of five big-league seasons. Along the way, he's struck out 1,021 batters in 832 1/3 innings.
The Astros can easily afford Darvish, and he since he was dealt mid-season signing him won't cost any compensatory draft picks. As well, getting back to Texas probably holds some appeal for the former Ranger, who still lives in the Dallas area.