The Royals sure could use another starting pitcher. They’ve leaned heavily on Jason Vargas this season, which has worked out to this point, but the fact remains that he’s Jason Vargas. His last two starts were duds that brought his ERA from 2.22 to 3.06, and he’s averaging six innings per start on the year. That’s not a bad rate or anything, but he’s also not consistently pitching super deep into games like a legitimate staff ace, either.
Of course, the Royals also have Danny Duffy, but injuries and ineffectiveness have been the norm for the non-Duffy/Vargas portions of the rotation, and that’s how Kansas City has ended up with 11 different starting pitchers in 2017. It’s still July, by the way.
Darvish is going to be a rental, as he’s a free agent heading into this winter. However, he’s also the only starter on the trade market who is going to strike out 12 batters over eight innings against a potential playoff contender on the reg. So even though whoever gets him will be doing so for just a few months, those are going to be months of starts that matter and maybe make more of a difference than any other player at the deadline can.
TL;DR: The Rangers are going to get prospects for Darvish. Not as many as the A’s might get for Sonny Gray, considering Gray has team control on his side while Darvish does not, but there might not be any other starter besides Gray dealt this month who can bring back what Darvish will.
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