Why are the Astros meeting with Yu Darvish? It’s not logical! Actually, it makes sense.
Los Angeles Dodgers fans had to think that Yu Darvish was the worst pitcher after his World Series performances. He is not that! The Dodgers made the trade for Darvish at the last minute at the July 31st trade deadline. Talking heads around the country criticized the Astros for not trading for Darvish.
It all ended well as the Astros were able to trade for Justin Verlander instead. If they had acquired Darvish, there is no way that Darvish and Verlander would be on the same team. After how he folded in the World Series, why would any team want to sign him?
Dominant regular-season starter.
Because he is still one of the best pitchers in the game. Before this season, Clayton Kershaw has been known as an excellent regular season pitcher who chokes in the playoffs. This season he turned things around, despite losing to the Astros. Darvish has been the same way in his career thus far.
Darvish has a career 3.42 ERA in his six seasons after coming over from Japan in 2012. In six postseason games, Darvish has a 5.81 ERA. He pitched a great game in the NLDS and NLCS versus the Diamondbacks and Cubs this year. He only allowed two earned runs in 11 1/3 innings while striking out 14 hitters. Things changed when he faced the Astros in the World Series.
The World Series experience.
We all know why by now because he was tipping his pitches versus the Houston hitters. They were able to see what pitch he was going to throw, which gave them the advantage. The Astros used a little scouting to take advantage of a weakness. The good news is that is fixable if get were to sign with the Astros, Brett Strom could work with him.
Bottom line, you can’t judge Darvish on two games. Yes, he was terrible, but you live, and you learn. Look what the Astros coaches have done with Collin McHugh and others in recent seasons. Darvish may have let the pressure get to him this time, but next time could be a different story.
What about the Gurriel incident?
I know you are not convinced. Plus, why would Darvish want to join a team with Yuli Gurriel on it after his racist eye motions after homering off Darvish in Game 3? That is a good question; only Darvish can answer that one. It didn’t seem like Darvish was overly concerned with it and Gurriel is being punished for it.
Next, you are going to talk to me about money. Why are we going to sign Darvish to a multi-year deal when Dallas Keuchel is a free agent after this season? We need to save some money to offer him that!
Think of Darvish as the Keuchel insurance plan.
If the Astros think that Keuchel will be too expensive, oh well, we still have Darvish, Verlander, and Lance McCullers. The same thing could be said about why they may also go after Jake Arrieta. Does the 2018 team need either Darvish or Arrieta? No, but if they feel like they can get either one for less than Keuchel next season, then they will think its a win.
With that being said, don’t expect the Astros to overpay for Darvish or Arrieta. If the market comes down a little, then the Astros may get serious. There is no need for a rash decision to add a player. With a stacked team, they have the luxury of planning for the future.
According to Jon Heyman, the Astros are meeting with Darvish. I wouldn’t expect a decision either way right now. There is probably interest on both sides to work out a deal. Dervish struck out 209 hitters last year. His stuff is legit, just imagine what Strom could do with it! There is no such thing as too much pitching.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***