Brewers reportedly make offer to Darvish

January 22nd, 2018

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers reportedly have jumped into the fray for top free-agent starter , who made sure his nearly two million Twitter followers knew all about it.

With a single emoji -- the thinking face -- Darvish shared via tweet a Japanese-language news report that the Brewers had submitted a formal offer for the 31-year-old right-hander. The original report cited "multiple insider sources," according to a translation, and said Milwaukee was one of six teams engaged.

Hot Stove Tracker

MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal subsequently confirmed with his own source that the Brewers had submitted an offer, the terms of which are not yet known. An unknown team has made a five-year offer to Darvish, according to a report Monday by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

The Brewers did not comment on the reports. General manager David Stearns, whose policy is to never comment on in-progress trade talks or free-agent negotiations, did not respond Sunday night when made aware of Darvish's tweet.

It was not the first time Darvish has made playful use of Twitter to tease fans about his hunt for a new team, but it was the first time the Brewers were involved. On paper, the sides are a fit, even though Milwaukee is the smallest market of Darvish's potential suitors. Stearns made clear from the start of the offseason that starting pitching was his top priority, and that the Brewers have payroll flexibility even after adding on a two-year deal and on an incentive-rich one-year flier via free agency.

The Brewers also have some need, with top starter Jimmy Nelson at the very beginning of a throwing program following surgery in September for a right shoulder injury. At the moment, Chase Anderson, and Chacin appear good bets for the Opening Day rotation, with left-hander and right-handers Gallardo, , and among the other candidates while Nelson finishes his comeback.

Darvish has a 3.42 ERA in 131 Major League starts over five seasons, and is coming off a 3.86 ERA in 31 regular-season starts for the Rangers and Dodgers in 2017. After solid starts in each of the first two rounds of the postseason for the Dodgers, Darvish struggled through two abbreviated starts in the World Series and was charged with nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings.

Among the theories to emerge in the wake of those outings was that Darvish may have been tipping pitches, as reported by MLB Network insider Tom Verducci.

Related

The Brewers have also been linked to the other top starting pitchers on this year's free-agent market, including , Alex Cobb and . All remained unsigned as of Sunday night.

Darvish's tweet came about two hours after ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported "some buzz" about the Brewers nearing a trade, but there was no indication from the club on Sunday night that anything was imminent on that front.