Yu Darvish staying put this season
A few weeks ago, I floated the idea that the Nationals could fulfill Mike Rizzos' vow to add an elite starting pitcher by pursuing Japanese star Yu Darvish, whom they have scouted extensively. Today, it became clear that they will have to wait.
Darvish said on his blog he will be returning to the Nippon Ham Fighters next season, according to a translation by the excellent NPB Tracker. It had been reported, and widely believed, that Darvish would be available this offseason via Nippon Professional Baseball's posting system. Instead, it seems, Darvish will play at least one more year in Japan.
Darvish's exclusion from the pitching market gives the Nationals one fewer option to add an elite starter. The lone free agent pitcher who fits that definition is Cliff Lee, whom the Nationals would have to outbid the Yankees and Rangers for and convince to play on a team that has lost 298 games the past three years. The Nationals may be able to target Tampa Bay's Matt Garza or Kansas City's Zack Greinke in a trade.
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