The San Diego Padres are desperately looking for starting pitching after Mike Clevinger was shut down for the season to recover from a second Tommy John surgery, but the hunt for his replacement hasn't been easy.
According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the team is considering trading to secure an arm, and they've chatted with the Chicago Cubs about a deal for ace Yu Darvish, who was the runner-up to Trevor Bauer for the NL Cy Young Award in 2020.
Acee reported that there's mixed indication regarding "how far along those talks are."
Darvish, who finished with 123 points in the Cy Young voting compared to Bauer's 201, went 8-3 through 12 starts in 2020, with 93 strikeouts and 14 walks en route to a 2.01 ERA. He earned seven consecutive wins while giving up one run or less from July 31 to Sept. 4 of this year.
After an injury-plagued 2018, Darvish struggled through the first half of 2019, compiling a 5.01 ERA. After the All-Star break, he composed a 2.76 ERA and fanned 118 with seven walks through 81.2 innings.
With Clevinger sidelined, the Padres will promote Dinelson Lamet (3-1, 2.09 ERA, 93 SO, 20 BB in 2020) to the top starter, followed by Zach Davies, who was traded to San Diego from Milwaukee last year, and third-year starter Chris Paddack.
The Padres were among the teams considered to be finalists in landing 28-year-old Japanese star Kohei Arihara but joined the Boston Red Sox in losing out when he signed a two-year deal worth between $6 million and $7 million with the Texas Rangers on Friday.
San Diego is also considering Tomoyuki Sugano, a two-time MVP in Japan's Central League, though the 31-year-old reportedly carries a more expensive price tag than Arihara and must sign with a MLB team before Jan. 7.