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.
Zaidi said the club still is having active dialogue with Darvish, a free agent.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) December 12, 2017
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.
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:
- Clayton Kershaw (sidelined by back trouble each of the last two years)
- Rich Hill (long history of arm problems)
- Alex Wood (history of elbow issues)
- Kenta Maeda
- Hyun-Jin Ryu (major shoulder injuries in recent years)
- Brandon McCarthy (long history of arm problems)
- Scott Kazmir (did not pitch in 2017 and has a long history of arm problems)
- 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.