The MLB trade deadline is one that helps re-shape baseball teams down the stretch and sometimes for years to come, but it doesn’t always resonate on cards.
But Yu Darvish to the Dodgers?
That one’s big for both.
In five MLB seasons with the Rangers the 30-year-old Darvish recorded a 52-39 record with 960 strikeouts in 782-plus innings and a 3.42 ERA. He’s 6-9 this season with 148 strikeouts in 137 innings. Off to Texas? Willie Calhoun, A.J. Alexy and Brendon Davis. (Meanwhile, that wasn’t the Dodgers’ only move of the day.)
The Dodgers have a relatively rich history of having Japanese stars in the lineup with Hideo Nomo in the 1990s and Kenta Maeda on the roster right now. Other Dodgers from Japan in the past include Masao Kida, Kazuhisa Ishii, Norihiro Nakamura, Takashi Saito and Hiroki Kuroda. Some of them sold well at times — particularly Nomo, Ishii and Maeda — but they’re no Darvish.
But a lineup that includes Clayton Kershaw, Darvish, Alex Wood and Maeda? Whoa, and remember that the Dodgers’ bats — hello, Cody Bellinger — haven’t been too shabby for collectors this year, either. What might a strong postseason push mean for new stars like Darvish in a major market if they do well?
Darvish has plenty of cardboard between his Japanese years and his MLB years — more than 3,000 cards — and he’s got more than 20 MLB Rookie Cards from back in 2012. This move will definitely prompt more interest in those cards while his more than 500 autos also will be watched more intensely as fans of the Dodgers — a team that sells well — now compete with the always-been-interested international buyers.
Darvish’s first Dodgers cards — hello, Topps Now very soon — will undoubtedly be a big deal, too, and even moreso with any type of success in L.A.
Sonny Gray in a New York Yankees uniform should be interesting — as will be prospects changing places among today’s deals — but Darvish is the instant moneymaker because he’s been a moneymaker in the past.
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