MLB Hot Stove rumors: Yu Darvish throws a 'mystery team' into his mix of suitors

Free-agent starting pitcher Yu Darvish is -- with the majority of the good non-relievers in free agency -- still unsigned. He seems like a significant domino here, in that once he signs, it's possible there's a flurry of activity with Jake Arrieta, then Alex Cobb, then Lance Lynn all signing in the following days. Obviously, Darvish's situation is an important one to monitor here. 

On that front, according to a report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Darvish is still a possibility for five teams: the Cubs, Yankees, Astros, Rangers and Twins. That's pretty much the five we've seen mentioned most frequently with him, so it's not all too surprising. 

This is, however: 

Hoo boy, Yu just dropped a #MysteryTeam bomb! 

The first team that comes to mind is the Dodgers, but they have luxury tax concerns and also need to gear up to retain Clayton Kershaw next offseason when he opts out of his deal. I tend to think it's not them. 

The Angels? Perhaps, but they are getting close to the luxury tax (within $25 million and it might take more annually to sign him) as well. 

The Phillies have tons of money to spend and have been mentioned as a team seeking front-line starting pitching this offseason. 

The Brewers seem unlikely, but they do have very few salary commitments moving forward and could use the help in chasing down the Cubs, especially with Jimmy Nelson injured to start the season. 

My bet is it's one of those teams and if I had to pick, I would go Phillies. 

There's also the possibility Darvish is just messing with us for fun, which would be an outstanding troll move. 

Still, speculate with impunity. We've gotta do something here. It's Jan. 10 and most top free agents remain available. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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