Darvish is hoping that the Rangers express interest in a reunion with a better offer. Tim Bradbury/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

In updating the Rangers’ pursuit of starters, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes that there has recently been “more activity between” other teams and free agent right-hander Yu Darvish. However, having spent nearly all of his career in Texas, Darvish is waiting for the Rangers to court him more aggressively, Wilson suggests. The Rangers expect him to land better offers elsewhere, though, per two club officials who spoke with Wilson, who adds that they continue to view Alex Cobb more favorably than Lance Lynn when it comes to available second-tier starters. Regardless, a significant free agent investment doesn’t seem likely for the Rangers, general manager Jon Daniels indicated.

Regarding free agents in general and Texas’ reported interest center fielder Lorenzo Cain, Daniels said: “We want to play Delino (DeShields) in center field. Obviously, Cain’s a very good player. I would figure that if we have another big expenditure it would be on the pitching side. I’ve said all along I think it’s unlikely either way.”

More on a couple other AL franchises:

  • The Twins, who have been among Darvish’s pursuers this offseason, don’t have a “budget limitation” when it comes to addressing their rotation, chief baseball officer Derek Falvey told Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. Falvey was unwilling to comment on any single player, but he did note that he sees “5-10 pitchers out there who could impact us.” Beyond the top available options, the Twins are also looking at “value adds that could help us,” Falvey revealed.
  • Although Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel is entering a contract year, he and the club have not discussed an extension. The 29-year-old Kimbrel is open to staying with the Sox for the long haul, though, as Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald relays. While Kimbrel has been an elite closer for most of his career, including during an otherworldly 2017 in which he logged a 1.43 ERA with 16.43 K/9 and 1.83 BB/9 over 69 innings, new manager Alex Cora may use him earlier in games this year if the situation calls for it. Kimbrel addressed that, saying: “There will definitely have to be a plan in place, and it’s going to come from both sides, mine and his side. I’m sure we’ll be able to talk something out and it’s going to be based off workload and things like that. It’s just the way the game is going.” Mastrodonato posits that fewer saves in 2018 could mean fewer dollars for Kimbrel on his next contract, though I’d argue that teams already know what he’s capable of in the ninth inning. Thriving in a slightly different role could make him all the more attractive as a free agent, then.
  • A reunion with free agent left-hander Francisco Liriano is not high on the Twins’ list of priorities, according to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press (Twitter link). Liriano began his career in Minnesota and flourished at times as a starter with the club from 2005-12, but he’s now coming off a pair of less-than-stellar seasons in which he pitched for a combined three times (Pittsburgh, Toronto and Houston). After finishing last year as a reliever with the World Series-winning Astros, it’s unclear whether the 34-year-old will continue in that role or move back to the rotation with his next employer – which apparently won’t be the Twins.
QUIZ: Name every MLB MVP to spend his entire career with one franchise

How many former MLB MVPs who have only known one franchise for their entire careers can you name in five minutes?

Good luck!

CLUE: YEAR / LEAGUE / TEAM

Note: Players who signed with other teams but never played in a game for them, such as Ryan Howard, do not appear on the list below. 

Score:
0/26
Time:
5:00
2017 / AL / HOU
Jose Altuve
2016 / AL / LAA
Mike Trout
2016 / NL / CHC
Kris Bryant
2015 / NL / WAS
Bryce Harper
2014 / AL / LAA
Mike Trout
2014 / NL / LAD
Clayton Kershaw
2012 / NL / SF
Buster Posey
2011 / NL / MIL
Ryan Braun
2010 / NL / CIN
Joey Votto
2009 / AL / MIN
Joe Mauer
2008 / AL / BOS
Dustin Pedroia
1999 / NL / ATL
Chipper Jones
1995 / NL / CIN
Barry Larkin
1994 / NL / HOU
Jeff Bagwell
1991 / AL / BAL
Cal Ripken Jr.
1989 / AL / MIL
Robin Yount
1986 / NL / PHI
Mike Schmidt
1985 / AL / NYY
Don Mattingly
1983 / AL / BAL
Cal Ripken Jr.
1982 / AL / MIL
Robin Yount
1981 / NL / PHI
Mike Schmidt
1980 / AL / KC
George Brett
1980 / NL / PHI
Mike Schmidt
1979 / NL / PIT
Willie Stargell
1978 / AL / BOS
Jim Rice
1976 / AL / NYY
Thurman Munson
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