YU DARVISH and the Texas Rangers are waiting for a third opinion that they expect will confirm the ace pitcher needs season-ending elbow ligament-replacement surgery.
General manager Jon Daniels said yesterday that Dr. David Altchek, the New York Mets' medical director and an expert in Tommy John surgery, recommended the procedure after examining Darvish on Tuesday.
The Rangers will have Dr. James Andrews review images of Darvish's elbow before making a final decision later this week.
"Things are likely headed down the path of surgery, no surprises, no real change there. But the final decision has not yet been made," Daniels said. "Assuming nothing, no new information comes along, which at this point I don't expect, then get the surgery and get the rehab underway."
Without a vastly different opinion from Andrews, the surgery for the 28-year-old Darvish likely will take place next week. He could be sidelined until early in the 2016 season.
An MRI Friday revealed partially torn ligaments and inflammation in Darvish's right elbow. That came a day after Darvish felt tightness in his triceps while warming up for his spring training debut, and then threw 10 of 12 pitches for strikes in his only inning before telling anyone about the discomfort.
Darvish was back in Rangers camp yesterday, in uniform and playing catch in the outfield of one of the fields. He was throwing lefthanded, something he routinely does during conditioning.
After seeing Darvish on Tuesday, Altchek had the same recommendation as Rangers team physician Keith Meister, who initially examined the pitcher.
There are no plans for Darvish to visit Andrews.
An All-Star in each of his three seasons since coming from Japan, Darvish started last season on the disabled list after experiencing neck stiffness in spring training. He missed only one start then, and was 10-7 with a 3.06 ERA in 22 starts and made his final appearance on Aug. 9 because of elbow inflammation.
* Cleveland signed AL Cy Young Award-winner Corey Kluber to a 1-year contract. Financial terms were not immediately available. The Indians have expressed interest in signing Kluber to a long-term extension and have had preliminary talks with his representatives.
* Cincinnati minor leaguer Tanner Rahier was suspended without pay by the commissioner's office for his arrest on assault charges. Rahier was arrested over the weekend and charged with assaulting a woman outside a restaurant in Glendale, Ariz. The third baseman was a second-round pick in the June 2012 draft. He played for Class A Dayton last season, batting .238 with nine homers and 54 RBI in 117 games.
* Chicago White Sox All-Star made it official that lefthander Chris Sale will miss the start of the season because of a broken foot. Sale, who was injured Feb. 27 in an accident at home, will not resume baseball activities for at least 10 more days.
* Alex Rodriguez hit his first home run since returning to the Yankees following a drug suspension and Chris Capuano was forced out in the first inning by a quadriceps injury in New York's 10-6 loss to Boston. Capuano, the top candidate to be the fifth starter, was scheduled for an MRI.
* Washington pitcher Stephen Strasburg will miss his scheduled start against the Mets today because of an ingrown toenail.