The Milwaukee Brewers were a surprise contender in 2017 for the National League Central division title, and indications are the club will be better in 2018. The Brewers might be even better than most believe if they can sign Yu Darvish. The latest rumor is they have offered the talented right-hander a contract.
Darvish is the league’s best free agent starting pitcher still on the market. In 2017, Darvish at age 30 and playing in his first season since have Tommy John surgery, ended with an ERA of 3.86 while striking out 209 over 186 2/3 innings after starting the season with the Texas Rangers and finishing with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He did struggle during the World Series with the Dodgers allowing nine runs in just 3 1/3 innings in his two starts. However, it is thought that he tipped pitches. For his Major League Baseball career, Darvish has an ERA+ of just 126 and a ratio of strikeouts to walks of 3.33 in his five plus seasons in the big leagues.
Milwaukee during the offseason has added Yovani Gallardo and Jhoulys Chacin to its rotation in December. However, the team still needs more help on the mound. Although Jimmy Nelson should return from his shoulder surgery sometime during the first half of the 2018 regular season, the Brewers are thought to need a No. 1 or No. 2 in their rotation. Darvish would obviously address the team’s need.
Milwaukee is not the only club wanting to sign the star right-hander. The Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees are all known to have interest in signing Darvish. The Houston Astros were at one time a suitor for the Japanese star, but they are not likely in the current mix after they traded for Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole.
If for no other reason, the interest by Milwaukee is a good sign the team is ready to capitalize on its successes of last season, and add more pieces with experience to their impressive corps of young players.
Last season, Milwaukee finished with a record of 86-76 good enough for second place in the NL Central just six games behind the first place Cubs.
Darvish finished the season at 10-12 with an ERA of 3.86. For his career, Darvish is 56-42 with an ERA of 3.42.