Blue Jays should focus attention on another Japanese hurler

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 27: Yu Darvish
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 27: Yu Darvish /

Now that the Toronto Blue Jays have been officially eliminated from the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes the Blue Jays should focus their attention on free agent hurler Yu Darvish.

The Toronto Blue Jays are one good pitcher away from having arguably the best rotation in baseball bar none. The addition of free agent Yu Darvish could be just the player the Jays need to get them over the hump and crawl out of the AL East doldrums.

General Manager Ross Atkins informed the media months earlier that he would be searching for an impact arm this offseason and Darvish unquestionably would fit that mold. Can you fathom the likes of Darvish, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, J.A. Happ and Marco Estrada as your rotation for 2018?

That quintuple of hurlers would strike fear in any lineup and I challenge you to find a better rotation from top to bottom around the league. The signing makes sense beyond 2018 with the possible departures of both Happ and Estrada to free agency. The Jays would at the very least still have the top tier of their rotation in play for 2019.

The 31-year old Darvish has spent five seasons in the majors and all but 9 games with the Texas Rangers. The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired the Japanese hurler for the playoffs however he eventually ran out of gas in the World Series and winded up being on the losing end of two World Series games.

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

In 2017 between the Rangers and Dodgers, Darvish was a combined 10-12 with a 3.86 earned run average with a 1.163 WHIP while fanning 209 hitters and accumulating a 3.9 WAR. Over the course of his major league career, he owns a 3.42 ERA with an 11.0 SO/9 rate and a 19.3 WAR over 131 starts. Darvish has eclipsed 200 strikeouts in three of his first five seasons with his career high of 277 coming in 2013.

Last season Darvish earned a modest $11 million in the final year of his contract while MLB Trade Rumors has him as the top-ranked free agent forecasting him to sign a 6/$160 million dollar pact with the Chicago Cubs. That works out to $26.6 million per season which I would be more than comfortable with, one less year on the term would be even more ideal.

Next: Blue Jays players who won’t be back in 2018

If you want to bark with the big dogs sometimes you need to take these kinds of gambles and it is about time the Blue Jays made a splash in free agency and proved to their fanbase that they are committed to winning for the long term. This is the type of signing that reiterates that thought process tenfold.