Cubs have inquired about Rangers' Yu Darvish

APTOPIX Rangers Rays Baseball

With the July 31 trade deadline looming large, and the Rangers 17.5 games behind divisional rivals Houston Astros, their only hope of reaching the play-offs is through the wildcard.

An All-Star for the fourth time in his major league career this year, Darvish is projected to be one of the top pitchers available on the free-agent market this upcoming offseason. That's why it's not a complete surprise to see Jeff Passan reporting that Texas is "gauging" potential trade packages for their ace, Yu Darvish, to see if it's worth more to them to give it one last go or to try to gain prospects for the righty prior to his free agency.

Chicago has struggled to stay above.500 for much of the season, but the defending World Series champions have started to play better in recent weeks.

Darvish is 6-8 with a 3.45 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 131 strikeouts in 125.1 innings so far. But he has seen Darvish pitched with better tempo and a better idea of what hitters are trying to do against him. If they can lop off a game or two and leap over a couple of teams, maybe they hold onto Darvish.

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Cubs have inquired with the Rangers on the availability of Yu Darvish. "But it is hard to say from an ownership/business level if it would get done".

Darvish, 30, is signed through 2017 and would be a top rental option if the Rangers decide to move on from him. However, Texas have lost five straight, including a sweep to the Baltimore Orioles to drop them to 45-50. The Rangers are 4.5 games back in the wild card race.

"It is what it is", said Darvish, who is winless in his past six starts. The price for Darvish will be less than Gray, given that Darvish is set to be a free agent at the end of the season.

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