MLB Rumors: Yu Darvish Contract Extension Eyed by Padres Following Season

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVOctober 9, 2022

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 18: Starting pitcher Yu Darvish #11 of the San Diego Padres walks to the dugout during the sixth inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 18, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Yu Darvish is signed with the San Diego Padres for the 2023 MLB season, and their partnership will extend beyond that if the team gets its way.

The San Diego Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee reported Friday "the Padres would like to discuss an extension with Darvish." Acee added that "it is not known how long" the right-hander will want to keep playing.

Padres ownership has shown a significant commitment to capitalize on a clear window for contention. San Diego has the fifth-highest payroll in MLB ($236.7 million), per Spotrac, and it's on pace to be No. 6 in 2023.

Giving Joe Musgrove a five-year, $100 million extension in August was another sign the organization doesn't intend to fall off anytime soon.

Considering he'll be 37 by the time he's a free agent, Darvish probably won't be looking to sign a long-term deal. His performance has more than justified San Diego putting a one- or two-year offer on the table at the very least.

The five-time All-Star went 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA and a 3.31 FIP in 30 starts across the regular season. Although his 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings were a career low, he countered that by matching his personal best for walks allowed (1.7 per nine).

Friday night was a reminder of how Darvish remains a pain for opposing hitters. He went seven innings in San Diego's 7-1 win over the New York Mets, allowing one earned run on six hits and striking out four.

For the Padres, re-signing Sean Manaea and Mike Clevinger is a more pressing concern because they're both due to hit the open market this winter.

Taking care of Darvish will help solidify the rotation for 2024 and beyond, though, and general manager A.J. Preller should shift more of his focus to Blake Snell, another free-agent-to-be after 2023.