Yu Darvish Has "Made It Clear" That He Wants To Return To The Dodgers

World Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Houston Astros - Game Four

Yu Darvish is just one of many top free agents who still doesn’t have a job with pitchers and catchers reporting in about two weeks. For a lot of these guys, we still have no fuckin’ clue where they’re gonna end up, no spicy rumors to talk about, no ominous quotes to dissect, nothing. With Darvish, there has been quite a bit to chew on, as the right-handed pitcher has been quite vocal on Twitter about the happenings throughout his free agent process.

Earlier this month, Darvish responded to a tweet that had listed his potential landing spots — Yankees, Cubs, Astros, Twins, and Rangers — and quote tweeted it to add that “one more team is in”. The ol’ mystery team. I wrote that it was probably the Dodgers, and look what we have here — a report that Darvish has indicated that re-signing with the Dodgers is his first preference.

My understanding is that Yu Darvish has made clear he would like to return to the Dodgers, and part of the delay in his free agency is related to waiting to see if the team can move some of the money. The Dodgers have explored scenarios for moving useful but (theoretically) extraneous assets such as Yasmani Grandal, Logan Forsythe and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Given the fact that those players are still Dodgers and Darvish is still a free agent, you can guess how the market has reacted to this gambit by the front office.

I’m gonna stick to my guns here and say that I still think Darvish signs with the Cubs, but I think it’s very interesting to learn that he prefers the Dodgers. I think a LOT of that has to do with wanting to redeem himself after a lackluster performance in the World Series. Darvish allowed nine runs (eight earned) in 3.1 innings over two starts in last year’s Fall Classic against the Astros.

These players who come from foreign countries have a ton of pride when it comes to competing on the biggest stage, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Darvish’s desire to return to LA was mostly driven by a need to redeem himself in the postseason for Dodgers fans. I remember when Daisuke Matsuzaka came to Boston and stunk in his ALCS start against the Indians, and he sat in front of his locker for hours and just stared into his locker, completely devastated. If it’s unfinished business that’s pulling Darvish back to LA, that’s a good thing for the Dodgers if they’re able to free up the money to re-sign him.

But freeing up that money is easier said than done, and the Cubs might become even more aggressive on the Darvish front if Jake Arrieta signs elsewhere. Even more so if Arrieta signs with, say, the division rival Brewers. Hm.