Yu Darvish couldn’t hold off the Houston Astros.
In fact, he couldn’t even make it through three innings of Game 7 of the World Series, the biggest game for the Los Angeles Dodgers since their last championship back in 1988. It was a chance to bring history back to Los Angeles, and a chance for their fans to celebrate for the first time since the Los Angeles Lakers won their last NBA title back in 2010.
They were supposed to have the best man for the job taking the ball on the game’s biggest stage and the biggest night of the season.
And, just like Texas Rangers’ fans have seen so many times, Darvish couldn’t deliver. Making some wonder if the the Dodgers made a monumental error in giving up the players they did to bring the japanese right-hander from Texas to Los Angeles.
But even in failure, it has sparked a lot of conversation among Ranger fans, and media alike, about bringing him back as a Ranger. They will even go as far as to give the former Texas right-hander $100 million over five years to be at the top of their rotation one more time.
Haven’t we learned that this isn’t the guy that is going to lead the Rangers where they desperately want to go? Are they ready to bring back the pitcher who might have a solid regular season but will lead them nowhere once playoff time rolls around?
In six postseason starts, Darvish is 2-4 with a 5.81 ERA. In the last two combined trips, Darvish has given up 15 earned runs over 19.2 innings pitched.
Does that sound like $100 million pitcher to you? Is that the kind of numbers that would make you want to throw that kind of money to that kind of pitcher?
If the Rangers want to get to the promised land, it’s not Darvish that is going to get them there. With that kind of money, Texas can rebuild a bullpen that is in shambles as well as piecing together a rotation that can keep them on top of the division through most of the season, giving the now World Series champion Houston Astros a run for their money, and then make a run through the playoffs.
That kind of money can also be used if the Rangers decide to make a serious run in Miami Marlins’ outfielder Giancarlos Stanton especially when it’s known that it’s not prospects that Miami is more interested in but moving most, if not all, of his contract.
If I gave you the choice between signing Darvish long term and throwing in your lot with an outfielder who automatically makes you one of the better offenses in the division, if not the entire AL, which would you rather do?
Texas could be interested in…
Here are a list of names that you could start hearing about as the offseason goes on. Not saying they’ll end up in Rangers’ uniforms, but players that could interest this organization going forward.
Yonder Alonso – A guy who shows health for most of the season, playing 156 and 142 games respectfully over the last two combined seasons. He’s also not a big time expense, making only $4 million last season.
Eric Hosmer – The Boston Red Sox are already in on Hosmer and why wouldn’t they be. He’s coming off a season where he hit .318 not to mention an All Star season in 2016. He could land a big contract but don’t think the Rangers aren’t at least kicking the tires and well they should, especially being 28-years old.
Jay Bruce – This might be the longest shot but he’s a Texas kid (Beaumont, TX) and an outfielder who has hit 25 or more home runs in seven of his last eight seasons. He may not be your every day outfielder but he’s a guy you might look at for a full time DH. It’s not the worst idea in the world but, like I said, probably the longest shot of this list.
Jake Arrieta – Speaking of Texas kids, how about bringing this soon-to-be 32-year old right-hander out of TCU back to North Texas and on the mound for the Rangers. Wouldn’t you like a rotation that has this veteran pitching behind Cole Hamels? I don’t think it’s that much of a long shot. Keep your eye on this one, it could move in a hurry.
John Lackey – Those from Texas seems to be the theme of most of this list. Lackey is a name I’ve put on previous lists before and I still think he makes a lot of sense for this organization going forward. A veteran arm, a guy who is going to give you at least 25 or more starts and a guy who almost guarantees you 10 or more wins. He may not be an ace, or somewhere close to it, but a guy who you can put at the 3 or 4 spot and get a lot out of him. I think he’s a good move for this team.
Along with the names on the top of the list, here are some relievers who I think you might start seeing on the rumor sheets connected to Texas or a few who this team should consider.
Chris Young (listed as a starter but could be a good option out of the bullpen)
Koji Uehara (Ok so maybe Jay Bruce isn’t the only long shot on the list, but am I alone in thinking Uehara still fits here in this bullpen?)