How close did the Cleveland Indians come in a trade for Yu Darvish?

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 21: Pitcher Yu Darvish
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 21: Pitcher Yu Darvish /

Yu Darvish made for some big Cleveland Indians trade rumors, but how close was the Tribe to landing the Texas Rangers’ ace?

Cleveland Indians trade rumors made for some very interesting social media talk leading up to the trade deadline, especially when it came out the Tribe was talking to the Rangers about Yu Darvish.

Was a deal realistic, especially considering the Indians were a team listed on Darvish’s no-trade clause?

The no-trade clause meant that if Darvish was coming to the Tribe, a deal would’ve had to have been completed July 30, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. The longtime scribe argued that it’s just not fair to the player to approach a guy 15 minutes before the deadline and ask him to waive his no trade clause. Passan’s right. It’s not a good way of doing business.

But the initial report of the Indians interest in Darvish was accurate. They were more interested in the Rangers’ ace, than competing with the Yankees for Sonny Gray, according to Passan.

The trade never really got off the ground because the Rangers were asking for top prospect Francisco Mejia, and the Indians made no bones about not wanting to trade a jewel such as Mejia.

Passan also shared some disturbing news about the Indians farm system. As Cleveland fans, we’re inclined to overvalue prospects such as Class A pitching star Triston McKenzie or RubberDucks slugger Bobby Bradley.

After all, these are the No. 2 and 3 ranked prospects in the Indians system, according to

However, Texas just wasn’t all that interested in McKenzie or Bradley, Passan said.

"“I don’t think the Rangers wanted Triston McKenzie, and once you get past those two, are the Rangers really going to trade for Bobby Bradley, who is a perfectly fine power hitting prospect, but not the guy who could be the center piece in that deal, so it was probably Mejia or bust..”"

Instead of renting Darvish for two months, the Indians made a minor move for left-handed reliever Joe Smith.

More from Factory of Sadness

The low-key mentality left some baseball executives scratching their heads over why the Indians didn’t make a move.

But, as one person said to me yesterday, I wonder if Darvish and Alex Claudio for example, might have been enough to get Francisco Mejia, again, probably not, Alex Claudio is a lefty reliever and while we know Indians were looking for that, he’s not exactly the type of guy you give up such as Mejia for.”

By acquiring Claudio, the Indians would’ve at least had something to show for trading their top prospect.

Ultimately, the Indians made the right move by keeping Mejia. With Carlos Santana in his walk year, the Tribe is most likely going to need to find a bat to replace their DH/first baseman.

The Dodgers traded for Darvish because they had prospects to spare, just like the Cubs did a season ago when they gave up Gleyber Torres for Aroldis Chapman.

Mejia’s name has been major trade fodder the past two seasons. He was to be the center piece from the Brewers perspective last season, in the Jonathan Lucroy deal, until the backstop vetoed the trade.

Mejia went on a 50-game minor-league hitting streak and shot up the prospect rankings. He’s not just one of the Indians most promising players, but the 16th overall rated prospect in all of baseball.

Next: Tribe's low-key trade mentality speaks volumes about possible Fall future

When you factor in that he’s a catcher–a position that doesn’t generate a ton of great hitters, his value is even higher, and that will probably be reflected when prospect scribes update their post season lists.