Texas Rangers: Shocking Darvish trade makes Lynn deal look great

Seth Carlson
Sep 20, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) delivers against the Minnesota Twins during the second inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 20, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) delivers against the Minnesota Twins during the second inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Texas Rangers are indirect winners of the Yu Darvish trade to the San Diego Padres.

The Lance Lynn trade to the Chicago White Sox during the 2020 Winter Meetings was a good one for the Texas Rangers before the San Diego Padres acquired Yu Darvish from the Chicago Cubs on Monday.

Now, it looks even better just a few weeks later.

With reports that San Diego acquired the 34-year-old Darvish in exchange for 27-year-old Zach Davies and four prospects (none of them in the Padres’ top-five system wide), it appears that the Chicago White Sox perhaps overpaid for their new right-handed starter.

Jon Daniels and Chris Young might have to maintain straight faces professionally, but are probably laughing about this deal privately.

The Texas Rangers, if you remember, acquired two quality young pitchers for Lynn’s services, one of them a top prospect righty in Dane Dunning who will immediately fill a rotation spot in Arlington in 2021.

The other, young southpaw Avery Weems, is an intriguing developmental piece with some upside. However, he is years away from making any significant impact.

Why does this matter in the context of the Yu Darvish to the Padres trade?

The Texas Rangers received more for Lance Lynn than what the Chicago Cubs got for Yu Darvish.

Well, Lance Lynn only has one year remaining on his three-year, $30 million contract he signed with the Texas back in 2018.

For comparison, the 34-year-old Darvish has three years remaining on his six-year deal which he signed with the Chicago Cubs after the 2018 season.

Essentially, the Texas Rangers got a better return for what amounts to a year-long rental of Lance Lynn than what the Cubs got for three more years of club control on Yu Darvish.

That’s embarrassing… for the Chicago Cubs.

This exchange looks to be a mere salary dump for the North Siders, who just wanted to gain more financial flexibility as they look to shed payroll going into 2021.

The deal could almost be seen as disrespectful to the former Ranger Darvish, who found his Cy Young-caliber form again at Wrigley Field the way he did for Texas for four and a half seasons as the team’s ace before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the 2017 trade deadline.

But even in a down year for Darvish in 2017, the Rangers were still able to scoop up some MLB talent in return for renting him to the Dodgers (Willie Calhoun among them).

Chicago did net veteran righty Zach Davies in this trade, but it remains to be seen if most of the Cubs’ newly acquired prospects will even play professionally, let alone make the big leagues.

In the end, the Texas Rangers didn’t directly gain or lose anything from the Yu Darvish swap.

However, their return for Lance Lynn and the timing of their trade with the White Sox have now proven to be indirect victories for the franchise.

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