It’s February 8th, and the free agency race for Yu Darvish is still going. I know you’re probably sick of hearing about this by now, but there’s good news: the finish line might actually be in sight! According to recent reports, Darvish now has multiple $100 million-plus offers on the table, and one of them is from the Twins.
ESPN 1500’s Darren Wolfson confirmed on a recent podcast that the Twins have made Darvish a formal offer, but the exact parameters are unknown. The deal is likely for four or five years, which would make Yu a Twin until he was 35 or 36 years old. According to Wolfson, the Twins are reluctant to add a sixth year, which sounds good to me because Yu would be like 37 years old and that’s just decrepit. On the other hand, adding that sixth year might be what gets the deal done, which sounds pretty awesome by this point.
What might this deal look like in terms of dollars? Here’s some ideas I pulled out of my ass:
- Four years, $100 million ($25 million per year average).
- Four years, $106 million ($26.5 million per year on average).
- Five years, $125 million ($25 million per year average).
- Five years, $128 million ($25.6 million per year on average).
- Five years, $130 million ($26 million per year on average), with vesting option for sixth year at $28 million.
- Five years, $126 million ($25.2 million per year on average) and a pony.
- Five years, $132 million ($26.4 million per year on average), a full no-trade clause, and and Joe Mauer’s locker.
I could keep going, but I think you get the idea.
Would one of these deals be worth it for the Twins? I don’t really care because it’s not my money, but they could certainly afford it. By my last calculation, the 2018 Twins payroll is currently sitting around $97,740,000, which leaves plenty of money in the banana stand to spend. In fact, adding $25 million on to that would leave the Twins almost exactly where I guesstimated they’d end up for 2018: $122,000,000. Yes, that would be the biggest Twins payroll ever, but still not that big compared to other teams and very do-able.
Speaking of other teams, they exist too. Darvish is said to have multiple offers, so he could very well go with a non-Twins team if he ever does, in fact, make a damn selection. If that happens, the Twins have some back up options, like, er, a reunion with Jaime Garcia, and Wolfson mentioned Chris Tillman and Jason Vargas as possibilities too. Not very appetizing, but keep in mind second-tier free agent starters like Alex Cobb an Lance Lynn are still available as well, they’d just be a bit more spendy.
If the Twins really don’t want to spend, they could swing a trade, and they reportedly have maintained pretty regular contact with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays like Max Kepler. I like Chris Archer, but so does everyone else and the Rays don’t really want to get rid of him. The Twins were reportedly interested in Jake Odorizzi earlier in the offseason though, and that seems like a more realistic target.
As we all know, the Twins are in dire need of starting pitching, especially now that Ervin Santana will miss the first month or so of the season. Technically, they already have enough starters to field a team — guys like Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Adalberto Mejia, Stephen Gonsalves, Phil Hughes, Trevor May, Aaron Slegers, Felix Jorge, etc.are all still around. The problem is a lot of those guys are back-end rotation types. So it’s not just starting pitching the Twins need, but good starting pitching.
Is it worth that sixth year?