Mets Monday Morning GM: A Yu Darvish trade would have been a mistake
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets fans should be glad the team didn’t overpay for Yu Darvish.
The New York Mets began the 2020 preseason with then-General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen proclaiming they had the deepest rotation in baseball. All of a sudden, Noah Syndergaard went down with an injury. Thus began the dominos which fell that put the rotation depth to the test.
Ultimately, the depth BVW bragged about proved to be quite shallow. Even those on the surface, such as Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha, performed poorly. For those reasons and more, the Mets are looking to overhaul their rotation for the 2021 season. Those plans will not include former Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish. He’ll pitch 2021 with the San Diego Padres following a trade.
Darvish looked excellent this past year in his 12 starts with Chicago. He led the league with 8 wins and added in a very satisfying 2.01 ERA. The year was a success for Darvish. Since first joining the Cubs ahead of the 2018 season, he looked like he was worth his contract.
It’s what Darvish did prior to this past season—and a few other reasons—why we should be glad he was not on Jared Porter’s to-do list. While career numbers that include a 3.47 ERA and league-best 11.1 strikeouts per nine are enticing, it’s other factors that should have the Mets running for the hills at the thought of pulling a deal like this.
Darvish has three years left on his deal. He’s no pup. Already 34-years-old and with over 1,100 big league innings on his shoulder, he’s clearly a guy headed toward the twilight of his career.
The numbers posted in 2020 might argue otherwise. Darvish is far from done, but he is definitely not going to suddenly have his best years. Those seasons are in the past now.
Along with his age, it’s how much and for how long Darvish will get paid that had me disinterested. Set to make $22 million this upcoming season, there’s another $19 million in 2022 and finally $18 million for the 2023 season guaranteed.
They aren’t mind-numbing totals as far as baseball contracts go. It is enough, however, for the Mets to move away from other pitchers in favor of Darvish if they were to land him.
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Thank goodness they won’t.