Yu Darvish LA Dodgers
Yu Darvish walks to the dugout after being relieved during the second inning against the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017 in Los Angeles. Harry How/Getty Images

After being one of the biggest surprises of the 2017 MLB season, the Milwaukee Brewers are hoping to take an even bigger leap in 2018. With eyes on the playoffs, the team has been involved in discussions with some of the best free agents in baseball.

According to multiple reports, Milwaukee has extended an offer to Yu Darvish. FanRag sports’ Jon Heyman said the team has “dabbled in” Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn, while ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported the team could either sign Lorenzo Cain or trade for another outfielder.

During an offseason in which no free agent is seemingly getting the offer they want, a small-market team like Milwaukee has a real chance to land a top player. The Brewers seem to be concentrating on starting pitching with a few potential aces still unsigned.

Darvish seems to be getting the most attention this winter, despite his poor finish to the season. Before losing two starts in the World Series, including Game 7, the right-hander had a 3.10 ERA in 11 starts after being acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline. Darvish has a 3.42 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in his career, striking out 11 batters per nine innings.

The Brewers seem to have plenty of competition for Darvish, though no one has made an offer that the 31-year-old is ready to accept. The Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees are among the teams that have been linked to Darvish.

Arrieta is the same age as Darvish, and unlike the former Dodger, he’s won a Cy Young award in his MLB career. There have been rumors that the Cubs or St. Louis Cardinals could end up signing Arrieta, but the Brewers could also keep the pitcher in the NL Central.

Milwaukee was in the NL wild-card race until last season’s final weekend, finishing the year 86-76 and one game behind the Colorado Rockies. Without a very threatening lineup, the Brewers relied on their pitching, which ranked fifth in the National League with a 4.00 ERA. The team, however, doesn’t have a proven star like Darvish or Arrieta in the rotation.

Jimmy Nelson, who went 12-6 with a 3.49 ERA in 2017, could miss several months of the 2018 season because of shoulder surgery. Zach Davies and his team-leading 17 wins, as well as Chase Anderson and his 2.74 ERA, will be back in the rotation. Milwaukee has signed Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo this offseason.