Last season, Darvish pitched for both the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had a 3.86 ERA, 10.08 K/9, a 1.16 WHIP, and a 75.6 LOB% 31 starts. At the trade deadline, the Dodgers struck a deal with Jon Daniels and the Rangers. LA sent Willie Calhoun, A.J. Alexy, and Brendon Davis to the Rangers, and the trade proved to be beneficial for the Dodgers, as Darvish helped Los Angeles make it to the World Series. Unfortunately for Darvish and the Dodgers, the Houston Astros had Darvish’s number and beat the Dodgers in a seven-game series.
Darvish became a free agent after the season and was rumored throughout the offseason to prefer signing with the New York Yankees or the Dodgers. However, both the Yankees and the Dodgers were worried about signing Darvish, as they would have to pay a luxury tax for going over the competitive balance tax threshold.
Since Darvish wanted to come to New York, perhaps the Mets could have used that as leverage to talk him into a role in Flushing. He has been a historically stellar starting pitcher since coming to Major League Baseball from his tenure in Japan. Darvish could have offered the Mets insurance for the rotation should the Mets’ rotation have an injury collapse similar to last season. Last season, both Noah Syndergaard and Jacob DeGrom suffered injuries down the stretch. Unfortunately, the Wilpons and the Mets’ front office most likely saw Darvish’s price tag and passed on negotiations.
Darvish wouldn’t have just been insurance for the Mets. If the Mets had added Darvish, they’d arguably have one of the best rotations in the game. The combination of Darvish, Noah Syndergaard, and Jacob deGrom would be among the very best top three pitchers in the game.
At this point, the Mets need to look elsewhere for a starting pitcher. They could potentially go after former Cubs starter Jake Arrieta, another solid arm who will likely command a similar salary to Darvish after a few great seasons in Chicago. But it sounds like even Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb might not be under consideration.