Houston Astros: Why I think Yu Darvish will still sign with the team

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 17: Yu Darvish
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 17: Yu Darvish /

The Winter Meetings came and went for the Houston Astros and it’s time for the franchise to lock and load in the latest wave of free agency.  According to a report, Yu Darvish is scheduled to meet with the team and here’s why I think the next time he returns, he will be a part of this team.

The Houston Astros have become the talk of many for top free agents, not only because it’s good bargaining chip for their own negotiations but just the fact the organization is well-run from top to bottom.  Players tune in to attributes like that when selecting their place of employment and there’s nothing fishy about how this team does business.

It’s the epitome of being shrewd and the equivalent of knowing when to stand pat in a competitive game of blackjack.  Jeff Luhnow has that strategy down and we can all be grateful for the process that started just six years ago to lead us to this franchise’s first World Series championship.

There’s certainly a hunger for more of these but there’s absolutely nothing like the first one and us fans will be telling these stories to our grand kids.  I don’t have kids of my own so it’s certainly a two-step process for yours truly.

But Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports dropped a abbreviated bombshell indicating that Yu Darvish, a guy the Houston Astros pulverized in the World Series, has met with the team as of today.

This is no surprise that this is happening because the team wants to ensure they’re sinking their teeth into every viable free agent they possibly can.  He’d still be a valuable piece to this rotation to couple along with Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr. and Charlie Morton and it certainly make this unit whole once again.

The team did sign free agent relievers Joe Smith and Hector Rondon in the past few days so the project of fixing what was so glaring in their face each and every game when the bats were silent would be quite close to completion.

Sure, there’s the notion that Yu wouldn’t be able to get along with Yuri Gurriel for his squinting-eye stunt in the dugout during Game 3 of the Fall Classic but ultimately it comes down to what team gives him the best chance to win.

And yes, there’s the accusations that Darvish tipped his pitches during his outings in the World Series — explaining the Astros’ success again him — but whatever it was then, can certainly be corrected by the great Brent Strom.

With the Chicago Cubs and the Texas Rangers being in hot pursuit of the 6’5″ right-hand hurler, the Astros have the clear advantage.  With the Cubs uncertainty of being able to retain their current players such as Jake Arrieta and the Rangers likely not looking spend a lot of money this

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off season, that gives the Houston Astros the upper-hand.

As you know, Jim Crane has made it clear that he’s ready to spend the money if the situation warrants it and inking Darvish to a deal would be none the exception.  This is all contingent on how well our front office woos Darvish as well as his potential future team members jump on board to help with the pursuit.

Things won’t be at the level of schmoozing that it took to acquire Verlander but if Gurriel is part of that group of players — if such an idea is being constructed — it could mean a lot for both parties to come to the table and make a deal.

The Astros’ payroll will be just a bit north of $150 million this season but our core stars such as Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and even George Springer have contract situations that don’t have to be mitigated at least for the next three years or so.

Next: The benefits of the Hector Rondon signing

And that’s the beauty and so I think what would be prudent is to sign him to a three-year, $30 million deal to which I think will serve through the usefulness of his God-given talent.

We’ll have to see.

Darvish, 31, posted a 10-12 record, a 3.86 ERA while tossing 209 strikeouts, 58 walks, a great

3.83 FIP and 1.163 WHIP through 186.2 innings pitched in 31 starts between the Rangers and the Dodgers.

Let’s try to forget that 21.60 ERA that he had put up in the World Series too.  I’ll try but it will be tough.

Go Astros.