Milwaukee Brewers: Signing Yu Darvish Is A Bad Idea

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 27: Yu Darvish
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 27: Yu Darvish /

There are several reports that say the Milwaukee Brewers are deep in the Yu Darvish Derby, and that is not a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong, Darvish is an excellent pitcher, but he is just not right for the Milwaukee Brewers. The team might need an ace. But if the market isn’t right to give the right name, then it isn’t worth it.

The former Ranger and Dodger did have an ERA under four last year, with an impressive K/9 of just over 10. I might concede to the thought that, unless Chris Archer or Marcus Stroman are suddenly available, Darvish is the best option at this point. But that is assuming getting a top flight starter is necessary to do before Opening Day.

Sportstrac calculates his value at five years and over 136 million as his best value. One of the main worries with the Lorenzo Cain contract is the length of the deal and the age of the outfielder. Well, Darvish is probably getting the same length, and Cain is just four months older than the pitcher. Those age concerns don’t just disappear, plus it would cost more money for Darvish.

Whoever pays for Darvish will be hoping to get the ace. The guys who’s ERA was in the two’s in 2013, or even the pitcher who posted an FIP of 3.09 the year back from a season long injury. But that guy is not who the money will get. That makes a “win now” team the best landing spot for him.

It won’t be a bust contract like Matt Garza, but for ace money an ERA near four isn’t the desired outcome. In 2017 Darvish posted an ERA of 3.86 and an FIP of 3.83. That being said, his WAR was the highest since his TJ surgery at 3.5.

His HR/9 are above one, and would likely to inflate in the newly nicknamed “Homer Dome” that is Miller Park. That will not help the situation. He is a very good pitcher, but at the end of the day he will not be worth the contract.

There are several teams in this bidding war, which will only inflate the price. The answer will come soon on where Darvish lands. If by some miracle he does not sign for loads of money, it would be a good move. But the expected contract will be way too much. The righty star will likely be worth the money for a year or two before he starts to truly decline. Then he gets ace money to not be an ace.

The state of the Milwaukee Brewers is such that the team will be competitive in the NL Central in 2018. But they will be true contenders in 2019. The point is that the team is not in a win now mindset. The prospects, and the young talent at the MLB level, set up the team to win for several years.

Pitching is needed, but there is enough talent to fill the rotation until Jimmy Nelson is ready and there is a better ace option available. That would likely happen around the trade deadline.

Between the two starting pitching signings, Brandon Woodruff, Chase Anderson, Zack Davies, Brent Suter, and a few others, the rotation will hold out for a pitcher that is better for the team. It is just a matter of being patient for the right arm, not the first arm.

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Darvish would be great for a short period of time. But by the end he will not be what David Stearns is paying for. That is not something that the Milwaukee Brewers need right now. They are set up to compete in the future, it is not a 2018 or bust mindset.