At 48-50, the Texas Rangers are 17 games out of first place in the AL West. While they are just 2.5 games out of the Wild Card race, there are six other teams who are also 2.5 games or less behind, prompting them to be sellers at the deadline. With ace Yu Darvish on the final year of his deal, he is generating a ton of interest.
On his Friday night start against Tampa, scouts from the Cubs and Dodgers were attendance and he was impressive, striking out 12 batters and allowing three runs across eight frames. For the year, Darvish owns a healthy 3.44 ERA and 1.12 WHIP and 143 strikeouts over 133 1/3 innings.
The Cubs, however, may no longer have the trade chips needed to acquire Darvish after trading for Jose Quintana during the All-Star break. Los Angeles, meanwhile, has boasted the best rotation in baseball and they are deep in the pitching department, but now that Clayton Kershaw and Brandon McCarthy are on the disabled list, the Dodgers need to bring in another ace pitcher.
Darvish is not only the best available pitcher on the market, but he also fills the need of a right handed starter for the Dodgers southpaw-heavy rotation and gives Los Angeles a true No. 2 pitcher that they lost after Zack Greinke left. Darvish, along with Alex Wood and Rich Hill, would allow Kershaw to pitch on normal rest in the postseason as opposed, something he did not have the luxury of having last season.
The Dodgers don’t just have loads of talent on the MLB level, but they have a good farm as well. Five players are ranked in the MLB top 100 prospects, including pitchers Yadier Alvarez (No. 38) and Walker Buehler (No. 78). Of course Los Angeles doesn’t want to give up their better prospects, but the window of opportunity is as open for them as it has ever been, so they need to pull the trigger. Last year, both Cleveland and the Cubs emptied their farm to get much-needed relief arms and it paid dividends when they made it to the World Series.
Los Angeles also has the funds to sign Darvish in the offseason, so an extended look at the organization could help increase their chances of him returning. Not to mention, the rich get richer mentality prevents another team in the National League, like the Cubs, from getting Darvish and making the road to the World Series that much easier for a team who has been nothing but dominant over the past six weeks.
It’s been 29 years since the Dodgers last World Series appearance and while the team has done well at keeping a healthy minor league system while still acquiring talent via free agency, now is the time for them to strike and Darvish is the player who can finally get them over the hump.