According to an article by Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter Jeff Wilson, free agent pitcher Yu Darvish has narrowed his prospective future teams down to five: the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers.

While Darvish has yet to make a decision, and seems to be in no rush as the stove remains cold in this glacial offseason, it is never a bad idea try to make an educated guess.

Before any prospective rankings, one has to look at the ups and downs of the Japanese star’s 2017 season. With Darvish, said downs primarily had to do with one thing: tipped pitches. As reported by Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, Darvish tipped whether he was pitching a fastball or either a slider or cutter by whether he re-gripped the baseball whilst bringing the ball back into his glove following his catcher’s sign. This, according to an anonymous Houston Astros player, is how they dominated the ace in the Fall Classic, knocking Darvish out of both games he pitched in less than two innings and leaving him with a 21.60 ERA on the biggest stage in organized baseball.

Taking that knowledge now being out in the open, things bode well for a future more akin to his late regular season with L.A., where he went 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA.

So, the question remains for Darvish: where? Each team remaining has very valid arguments. The Dodgers was one game away from a World Series win, and going back would offer Darvish a shot at redemption. The Bronx Bombers were ahead of schedule last year and will only get better in the years to come with their young core, offering Darvish a shot to join the next great Yankees dynasty. The Chicago Cubs are just a year removed from their historic World Series victory, and the addition of Darvish could be what delivers them back to the promised land. The Minnesota Twins are another team with a young core, and offer similar benefits to Darvish with a youthful core and his old personal catcher and friend, Chris Giminez.

Still, the Texas Rangers are a healthy competitor in the Darvish sweepstakes. Even if there was no formal business discussed in a Dec. 20, 2017 dinner shared by the pitcher and Rangers GM Jon Daniels as reported by Dallas Morning News Writer Evan Grant, it does open up the possibility that there was discussion anyway.

Even more than the meeting, however, there is one selling point that shines brightest for, and only for, the Texas Rangers.

In short, Darvish LIKES Arlington. He likes the fans. He likes his teammates. He likes the Rangers staff. He said as much in the full-page ad he took out in the Dallas Morning News following his mid-season trade.

While many other teams can sell him on their youth, shots at redemption or a better chance for a World Series ring, no one else can offer Darvish the chance to come back to his home-away-from-home. That is what makes the Texas Rangers the most likely to sign Darvish this offseason.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Amanda Nunes to defend title at UFC 224

Shaq’s son hints in deleted tweet he no longer wants to attend Arizona

10 biggest disappointments of the 2018 Winter Olympics

Mood 'somber' as Butler prepares to undergo MRI on injured knee

FBI docs show widespread payments to top college, HS players

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: LeBron questioned Cavs GM’s absence from road trip

Jonathan Martin detained after seeking help at hospital

Chiefs trade Marcus Peters to Rams

Rays lose Brent Honeywell for season to torn UCL

Warriors, Wolves, Thunder all eyeing Joakim Noah?

Legal expert: 'Real chance NBA could come down hard' on Mavs

Mr. T gives pep talk to US curling team ahead of gold-medal match

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cuban forced to face culture of misogyny in Mavs front office

The 'Let’s play QB roulette' quiz

NHL Weekender: Playoff races heat up as trade deadline looms

14 NBA X-factors who will tip the scales in the postseason

MLB breakout candidates for the 2018 season

No one wants to jump with Dennis Smith Jr.

NFL players who could be traded before draft

Negro Leaguers every baseball fan should know

Top MLB Cy Young candidates heading into 2018

The greatest barrier-breaking African-American moments in MLB history

Faltering Blackhawks face tough decisions at deadline

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cuban forced to face culture of misogyny in Mavs front office

MLB breakout candidates for the 2018 season

The 'Let’s play QB roulette' quiz

NHL Weekender: Playoff races heat up as trade deadline looms

No one wants to jump with Dennis Smith Jr.

The 'Kawhi so serious?' quiz

Top MLB Cy Young candidates heading into 2018

25 best MLB players under 25

The 'Red Sox finally get their guy' quiz

MLB's top 10 first basemen for 2018

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker