Yu Darvish turned down Dodgers to join Cubs

Kristopher Nichols
February 11, 2018

The Chicago Cubs signed free-agent pitcher Yu Darvish to a six-year, $126 million deal on Saturday afternoon, according to multiple reports.

The deal includes an opt-out clause and no-trade protection along with escalators that could push the deal to $150 million.

Darvish, 31, was 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.16 WHIP for the Rangers and Dodgers in 2017, when he was dealt to Los Angeles at the deadline.

This signing is exactly what the Cubs needed to do to beef up their roster, and the inclusion of Darvish should help the team navigate through what has become a much more interesting NL Central division.

The Cubs can't discuss Darvish until he passes a physical, but you wonder how their shrewd move of signing his personal catcher with the Rangers affected the pitcher's thinking.

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Darvish is also a top-20 Major League Baseball pitcher in that time in ERA (3.42) and Fielding-Independent Pitching metrics.

The Cubs have faith that Darvish's World Series flop was the exception, not the rule. What may be a concern, however, is the fact that Darvish has thrown 2,127 2/3 innings in his professional career, has a Tommy John surgery on his resume and will be with the Cubs in his age 31-36 seasons. Both of those runs came off of solo home runs.

One of the big appeals to Darvish, aside from being one of the best starting pitchers in all of baseball, was the fact that he was not eligible to receive a qualifying offer from the Dodgers, and because of that he had no draft pick compensation tied to him. He hopes to get back to that stage to show the world he is better than his 21.60 World Series ERA. Over 94 starts during that period, Arrieta posted an ERA of 2.71. After year three, he made three straight All-Star games.

With so many free agents still unsigned at this unprecedented late date, many of them plan on conducting their own spring training camp in Bradenton, Fla., starting next week. He did manage to make this past season's Midsummer Classic. The final spot will be a Springtime competition between newly-acquired Tyler Chatwood and Mike Montgomery. Considering that they've sold $168 million in World Series Championship sweatshirts just to guys named Keith over the last two years, there's probably a little more payroll flexibility to work with.

However, the right-hander did suffer a very subpar postseason, posting a 5.81 ERA across six starts, which possibly hurt his value heading into the offseason.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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