Though the Chicago Cubs reportedly asked the Texas Rangers about ace Yu Darvish earlier this month, and continue to scout him as the trade deadline nears, working out a deal for the four-time All-Star could be harder than anticipated.
The Cubs are reportedly one of 10 teams on Darvish's no-trade list, sources told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, who reported Wednesday that the right-hander can also veto trades to the Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland Athletics, and Toronto Blue Jays.
It turns out, however, that Darvish can't block trades to the other teams most strongly linked to him of late, notably the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, and New York Yankees. Like the Cubs, the Astros and Dodgers reportedly had scouts at Darvish's most recent start, in which he recorded a season-high 12 strikeouts over eight innings in a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
As Monday's non-waiver trade deadline approaches, few players are getting bandied about in rumors as frequently as Darvish, who owns a 3.44 ERA (133 ERA+) with a 1.12 WHIP in 21 starts this season and has notched 143 strikeouts in 133 1/3 innings.
Still, it remains unclear what the Rangers will do with Darvish who is a free agent at season's end. Though sources indicated Monday the Rangers were strongly leaning toward keeping him, a subsequent report said general manager Jon Daniels would part with Darvish in the right deal.
Darvish, who has thrown at least 6 2/3 innings in six of his last nine outings, is scheduled to start Wednesday's series finale against the Miami Marlins at Globe Life Park.