After trading two of their top four pitching prospects to acquire Blake Snell, it appeared as though the Padres were clearly out of the Yu Darvish market. As R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports tweeted Monday afternoon, however, rival teams believe San Diego is still interested in trading for Darvish.
Hearing from rival teams that the Padres are still interested in Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish, even after landing Blake Snell last night.
— R.J. Anderson (@r_j_anderson) December 28, 2020
And here’s more from The Athletic’s Padres reporter Dennis Lin, who also cites Chicago-based colleagues Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma.
Even after landing Blake Snell, the Padres are deep into talks to acquire Yu Darvish from the Cubs, sources tell @PJ_Mooney, @sahadevsharma and me. If the deal is completed, multiple players would head to Chicago.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) December 28, 2020
Swinging a deal with the Cubs would almost certainly have to include at least one of those remaining top pitching prospects, notably MacKenzie Gore, so there’s reason to be skeptical about this. Gore is projected by many to be part of San Diego’s rotation in 2021, not exactly the kind of pitcher a contender would look to move.
This could simply be a matter of driving up the bidding for other potentially interested parties, which would make sense for a Padres team that appears to be willing to engage in a little gamesmanship. After all, what was the earlier report from Jon Morosi about Darvish being “fairly priced to market” if not a way to entice the Rays from afar?
Time will tell whether there’s meat on this bone, which seemed a little far-fetched at first but grows less so with each report. If the Cubs do end up moving Darvish for anything less than a monster return and it’s essentially a cost-cutting move, it would be completely indefensible.