The Yu Darvish era is officially over.
The Texas Rangers traded the soon-to-be 31 year-old starter to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the closing moments of Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
In return, the Rangers are receiving INF/OF Willie Calhoun, RHP A.J. Alexy and SS Brendan Davis.
The Rangers/Yu Darvish relationship had uncertainty floating all around it for the last year or so. With Darvish’s upcoming free agency this winter, it was wondered whether or not Texas would fork up the likely $150+ million to resign him. If they weren’t planning on that, would they keep him to make their best run at a World Series?
The Rangers recent play and overall lackluster season so far ultimately decided the right move to make for Jon Daniels and the rest of the front office.
After getting within 2.5 games of the second wild card spot after a sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays last weekend, the Rangers came home for a 9 game homestand against three teams that were at or below .500 in the Miami Marlins, Baltimore Orioles and now the Seattle Mariners. It was a great chance for the Rangers to get themselves back into playoff contending form. The team responded to that opportunity by losing 4 of the first 6 games of this homestand and putting themselves four games under .500 and now 5.5 games back of the surging Kansas City Royals in the second wild card spot.
A playoff run, while still very possible, is likely out of the question with the inconsistent play of the team this season. It was time to make some moves. The Rangers also traded catcher Jonathan Lucroy to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday night and relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress to the Milwaukee Brewers earlier Monday.
The leading man of the Rangers’ haul for Darvish is 22 year-old Willie Calhoun. The 4th ranked prospect in the Dodgers’ system was hitting .298 with 23 home runs and 67 RBI in 99 games at AAA Oklahoma City this season. The bat is not the issue for Calhoun. He is reportedly a below average fielder without a true position.
A scout on new #Rangers addition Willie Calhoun: "He needed to go to an AL team. Big power, but no position."
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 31, 2017
He currently plays second base, but with the Rangers fresh off of signing Rougned Odor to a six year contract extension before the season, don’t bet on him being moved for the likes of Calhoun.
Pitcher A.J. Alexy was the 17th ranked prospect in the Dodgers’ system. He has started 19 games so far this season for the Greater Lakes Loons of the Midwest League of the single A level. He’s only 19 and was drafted in the 11th round of the 2016 draft by the Dodgers. The Rangers have dealt a lot of pitching prospects the last several years while aggressively pursuing a World Series run. Alexy will likely be a few years away from reaching the major leagues, if he ever does.
Fresh off his 20th birthday on Friday, infielder Brendon Davis heads to the Rangers as the final piece in return for Yu Darvish. Davis has played shortstop, second base and third base for the aforementioned Loons this season.
The Rangers had their backs against the walls with the Dodgers and any other team they were negotiating with for Darvish. Their mediocre record and lack of total confidence in resigning Darvish gave them little leverage. The option was looking more and like getting something for Yu Darvish now or let him leave in the winter for nothing. While many wanted more or flashier names like Alex Verdugo from the Dodgers, the Rangers did what they should have here.
There is no rest for the wicked as the likes of Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Cole Hamels will continue to play hard for the final third of the season when they continue their homestand tonight against the Seattle Mariners. Darvish was scheduled to start Tuesday, but will be replaced by A.J. Griffin.
Stay tuned to Dallas Sports Fanatic for more Rangers updates.
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