MLB Winter Meetings rumors: Twins have 'tremendous interest' in signing Yu Darvish

The Twins, coming off a surprise playoff berth in 2017, have designs on improving the rotation heading into 2018. To that end, they've already inked Michael Pineda, who should return from Tommy John surgery in time to contribute in the second half, and now Minnesota is looking to make an even bigger splash. Here are the details from Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press ... 

Twins manager Paul Molitor has yet to make one of his many recruiting calls to free-agent pitching ace Yu Darvish, but he did acknowledge the team's "tremendous interest" in the Japanese star.

Yu Darvish, 31, is the most coveted starting pitcher on the market, especially now that Shohei Ohtani is spoken for. Darvish is coming off a 2017 season in which he 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. For his career, he owns an ERA+ of 126 across parts of five big-league seasons. 

Darvish has a history of health issues throughout his MLB career, but when healthy he's ace-like and one of the elite strikeout pitchers among starters. The Twins, thanks largely to the previous front office's pitch-to-contact philosophy, still need some swing-and-miss in the rotation, and Darvish would surely address that need. 

On another level, the Twins' heated interest in such a premium free agent says they're serious about investing in the product and serious about contending again in the seasons to come. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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