According to MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman, righty starter Yu Darvish of the Cubs might be available in a trade. What would it take for the Blue Jays to acquire him?
Standing 6-5 and 220lb, he’s an imposing figure on the mound with a long, successful career both in Nippon Professional Baseball and MLB.
The 34 year old, four-time All Star is coming off one of his best seasons in MLB after going 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA, NL leading 2.23 FIP, 0.961 WHIP and 93 Ks over 12 starts and 76 innings pitched in 2020. He finished second in NL Cy Young voting this year behind Trevor Bauer.
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As FanSided contributor Scott Rogust notes,
"Heyman mentions that an MLB executive says the chances of trading Darvish are “very low,” while another executive said it would probably take a team to surrender a Babe Ruth-caliber player for the Cubs to move on from Darvish. So, Darvish joins Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Zack Wheeler in the “only for a Babe Ruth return” group."
Darvish has three years and $59 million remaining on his contract, which is a relative bargain for a top of the rotation starter.
He also has a full 12-team no-trade clause (teams are unknown), and he’ll turn 37 during the final season of the deal. So if they convince him to waive his no-trade clause, the Cubs may be looking to sell high after Darvish’s impressive 2020.
The Padres certainly need starting pitching after Mike Clevinger’s UCL surgery will cost him all of 2021, and also have the upper-level pitching prospects which the Cubs would likely target in return.
While lefty starter MacKenzie Gore, their top MLB prospect (and #6 MLB prospect overall according to Baseball America’s pre-2020 ranking), is probably untouchable in a trade, the Padres still have another four consensus top 100 prospects (shortstop CJ Abrams, righty Luis Patino, catcher Luis Campusano, and OF Robert Hassell who was drafted in June). Would their 2020 rookie lefty starter Adrian Morejon potentially be available?
Do the Jays have any “Babe Ruth return” type trade capital to offer new Cubs GM Jed Hoyer in a deal for Darvish?
The Cubs do not have a strong farm system, and perhaps the Jays front office could also absorb the $17 million owed to faded Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel ($16 million in 2021 plus a $1 million team buyout option for 2022) to lower the prospect cost?
If the potential Padres offer included two top-100 MLB prospects in 21 year old RHP Luis Patino (Baseball America’s #18 prospect pre-2020) and 22 year old catcher Luis Campusano (BA #79 pre-2020), a comparable package from Toronto would have to include 20 year old righty Simeon Woods Richardson (BA #61 pre-2020) and some of the organizational catching depth, like MLB ready 22 year old catcher Alejandro Kirk, who might appeal to the San Diego fan base given his Tijuana, Mexico roots?
Add in absorbing the Kimbrel contract, and would this be enough to bring Yu Darvish to the Blue Jays?