Yu Darvish, Cubs Reportedly Agree on 6-Year Contract Worth $126 Million

Darvish, 31, joins a starting rotation that includes Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood. The agreement is pending a physical examination. Not with the likes of Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw vying for the honors. I don't want to pressure him too much.

Additionally, signing Darvish keeps him away from the Dodgers, who were reportedly the runner-up for his services, and the Brewers, an NL Central rival who were also pursuing the right-hander. Epstein made sure the Cubs would be in on the starting pitchers on the market from Yu Darvish, Alex Cobb, Jake Arrieta, and others. The Dodgers are among the large-market teams endeavoring to keep their payrolls under the luxury-tax threshold.


Darvish turns 32 this season, not an ideal age to sign a six-year deal, and one imagines the Cubs had to give him an extra year or two on the deal to break the impasse and get him signed. And as it turns out, the free agent market worked in their favor when Darvish couldn't find the reported seven-year contract he wanted (preferably for the $175 million Stephen Strasburg signed for with the Nationals, according to FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman) and may have been more willing to meet their price. Darvish made two postseason starts for the Rangers, one each in 2012 and 2016, and lost them both. Both pitchers, as well as fellow free agent Lance Lynn, have skill sets that are more dependent upon their circumstances than an average pitcher's would, so scratching a neutral-to-slightly-pitching-friendly landing spot off their lists is a negative (especially this late in the game).

After a 103-win 2016 season that culminated in a World Series title, the Cubs won 11 fewer games a year ago and lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, but will enter 2018 with a projected rotation of Darvish, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood, which will rank among the best in the league. When it appeared the Rangers would not challenge for a playoff berth, they dealt Darvish at the trade deadline for three minor leaguers, including outfielder Willie Calhoun, one of the Dodgers' top prospects. Ohtani signed with the Angels in the second week of December. Among major league pitchers with at least 180 innings, he ranked 14th in ERA, ninth in WHIP, eighth in strikeouts per nine and 12th in strikeouts per walk. A team like the Cubs will be gunning to win it all this year, and they'll count on Darvish to help win some big games.

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