MLB Winter Meetings rumors: Dodgers still talking to free agent pitcher Yu Darvish

Although he was one of the biggest reasons the Dodgers lost the World Series, Yu Darvish could end up back in Los Angeles. The Dodgers and Darvish, now a free agent, have remained in touch throughout the offseason.

The Dodgers acquired Darvish to help put them over the top, and while he helped them get to the World Series, he allowed nine runs in 3 1/3 total innings in his two starts against the Astros. Clearly that has not scared the team away, however.

Darvish, 31, is our top free agent pitcher and he has been a fairly popular player in the first few weeks of the offseason, with teams like the Astros, Twins, and Rangers all showing some level of interest. Surely others are in the mix as well.

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The Dodgers are still in contact with free agent Yu Darvish. USATSI

The Dodgers are fairly deep in starting pitchers, though keep in mind many of their top starters come with durability concerns. Here is their rough rotation depth chart:

  1. Clayton Kershaw (sidelined by back trouble each of the last two years)
  2. Rich Hill (long history of arm problems)
  3. Alex Wood (history of elbow issues)
  4. Kenta Maeda
  5. Hyun-Jin Ryu (major shoulder injuries in recent years)
  6. Brandon McCarthy (long history of arm problems)
  7. Scott Kazmir (did not pitch in 2017 and has a long history of arm problems)
  8. Julio Urias (coming back from major shoulder surgery)

There is no such thing as too much pitching, of course, so the Dodgers are keeping tabs on Darvish, who threw 186 2/3 innings with a 3.86 ERA (118 ERA+) in 2017, his first full year back from Tommy John surgery.

Keep in mind Los Angeles is trying to keep their payroll in check with an eye on getting under the luxury tax threshold at some point within the next few years, and adding Darvish on a big contract will make that more difficult. Kershaw can opt out of his contract next offseason and retaining him long-term will be a priority. Any interest in Darvish now may only be cursory.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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