Darvish ‘Looking for a Bigger Market,’ Cubs ‘Laying in Weeds’

Hey, any of you baby birds ready for your daily dose of regurgitated Yu Darvish updates? Yeah, you’re right, that may not have been the best lede I’ve ever written. Let’s try it again: Who’s ready for the latest round of Darvish info that isn’t really earth-shattering, but that at least galvanizes some of what we had already assumed?

Hoo boy, that ought to set the interwebs ablaze.

We’ve long since passed the point of really turning over any new earth on this matter and it’s gotten to where I feel a little like Ray Peterson digging up the Klopek’s basement. Which means that I’m eventually going to hit a gas main and this whole thing is going to blow up in my face.

In the meantime, we should probably discuss Mark Feinsand’s Friday morning appearance on MLB Network.

“Everybody that I talk to seems to believe [Darvish is] headed a little south of [Minnesota], to Chicago,” Feinsand said. “That the Cubs are the team that’s sort of laying in the weeds, that he’s the replacement for Arrieta there.”

While it seems a little odd to describe the Cubs’ very public, very consistent pursuit of Darvish as “laying in the weeds,” it’s telling that Feinsand said “everybody…seems to believe” the same thing. Even more telling is what the MLB.com reporter had to say about the individual markets involved in talks with the coveted pitcher.

“Look, he’s got big offers out — from what we understand — from the Brewers and Twins. Those two teams have made no secret of their desire to add a big arm at the top of their rotation. Minnesota got to the Wild Card game last year, Brewers had 86 wins and were very close to the playoffs. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see either of them go out and sign one of the other three pitchers.

“But it seems like Darvish looking for a bigger market [emphasis mine]; we keep hearing about the Yankees and Dodgers, he’s waiting for one of them to jump in. Doesn’t seem like either of them are, so I would not be surprised if the Cubs wind up being his destination.”

This is the same thing I said regarding the report that the Brewers had the biggest offer on the table to Darvish, and it’s long been believed that the Twins would also have to significantly outbid the Cubs. That’s not to say that the size of the team’s metro area is of utmost importance, but it’s certainly a determining factor if all other things are equal.

When comparing several offers that figure to be at least somewhat similar in terms of length and overall value, you have to figure some of those additional value props will weigh pretty heavily. Having your favorite catcher recruiting you to a particular team, for instance.

Between the perceived unwillingness of the smaller-market teams to really increase payroll and the inability of the bigger-market teams to clear space, a clear picture emerges.

“And maybe [the Brewers and Twins are] willing to spend the money to go get a Darvish, thinking he is the kind of guy you can go topple your payroll expectations for. But it just seems like he’s waiting for one of those big markets.

“I don’t think the Yankees and Dodgers are going to get into the mix on this one.”

No wonder the Cubs have been content to wait this thing out. I know a lot of fans have soured on this whole conversation and many don’t want a player who views their team as something of a last resort, but I can’t fault a guy for taking his time in search of the best situation.

Now hurry up and get this figured out!

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