Padres’ trade deadline aspirations may hinge on Yu Darvish’s very uncertain status

Yu Darvish might be out for a lot longer than Padres fans previously thought.
San Diego Padres v New York Mets
San Diego Padres v New York Mets / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

The San Diego Padres' roster is very good, but far from perfect. The rotation could use more depth and there isn't a team in baseball that couldn't use bullpen help this time of year. No team can have everything they want, but the Padres are clearly aiming to be aggressive as the trade deadline approaches at the end of July.

However, the Padres do not have unlimited resources. In fact, tightening their financial limits was exactly why they "had" to trade Juan Soto and let so many big names walk last offseason. San Diego would almost certainly love to be able to shop in any aisle they want to, but their payroll could keep them from going after certain players.

There is now an added wrinkle to the Padres decision calculus, though, and it involves Yu Darvish. With recent reports suggesting that Darvish's stint on the restricted list may not be a short one, his decision on when he'll return could very much impact the Padres' trade deadline plans.

Yu Darvish's status is causing Padres headaches, but also may give them an opportunity

Darvish has been on the injured list since the beginning of June, but what matters here is he was actually placed on the restricted list to deal with a family matter, which is an entirely different situation. While the exact nature of the issue that Darvish is dealing with is unknown, the fact that there is already chatter he could chose to stay on the restricted list for a while is very telling that it is a significant situation.

More importantly, not only does Darvish have the choice as to when he is removed from the restricted list, players on the restricted list are not paid, which, again, underlies the seriousness of whatever he is dealing with at the moment. Given that Darvish is owed around $7 million the rest of this season and the Padres currently only have roughly $12 million of room under the luxury tax threshold, Darvish remaining on the restricted list is a big deal as it relates to the team's flexibility.

Darvish's status wouldn't change their pursuit of Garrett Crochet, as they could use another starter either way, and Crochet is making a minimal amount in terms of salary this year. However, where the savings could matter is if they find a deal to their liking that would require them to take on a real salary for the remainder of this year. That could open up a lot of doors. Unfortunately, it would also cost the Padres one of their best pitchers and team leaders, which is far from ideal, and it could be a little while before we know for sure what lies ahead for him.

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