Imagine a Minnesota Twins pitching rotation that started with All-Star right-hander Yu Darvish.
The clock on Darvish signing with a new team is ticking, and a deal for him is going to happen sooner than later considering most MLB teams report for spring training within the next two weeks (the Twins report Feb. 13).
And despite Minnesota's history of never signing the big name, there still appears to be a pretty decent chance that the Twins win the bidding war for his services. I spoke casually with a good source earlier this week and got the indication that the Twins are still indeed in the mix to sign him.
On Wednesday night, MLB Network analyst Dan O'Dowd suggested that Twins general manager Thad Levine's past relationship with Darvish in Texas could be a bigger deal than anyone is talking about.
“I think they are prime to go after somebody like Darvish,” O’Dowd said, via NJ.com. "(Twins GM) Thad Levine has a long history with him in Texas. For Darvish then, even though he may not be an ace, he becomes their ace. And it just lengthens out the rest of their rotation and becomes kind of their stability piece in taking that next step forward with an exciting young position-player club."
What's the hold up?
According to multiple reports, Darvish could be waiting for the Dodgers to clear some contracts so he can stay in L.A. There's also talk of the Yankees and Cubs doing the same in order to make an offer that teams like the Twins wouldn't be able to compete against.
Twins could have a big 3 if they sign Darvish
This is where it gets juicy. Imagine Minnesota starting the season with Darvish and 2017 All-Star Ervin Santana, followed by what should be a really strong season for 23-year-old Jose Berrios. That's a 1-2-3 punch worth getting excited about.
MLB Twins correspondent Rhett Bollinger believes Kyle Gibson is a lock to make the rotation, leaving only one vacancy if the Twins do sign Darvish.
Adalberto Mejia, Phil Hughes, Stephen Gonsalves and Fernando Romero are likely to compete for a spot in the rotation during spring training.