March 25, 2018

Chicago Cubs sign top free agent Yu Darvish

11 February 2018, 12:38 | Joan Schultz

Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish

Over the course of his five-year career, Darvish has pitched to the tune of a 3.42 ERA with a 1.148 WHIP, 3.38 FIP and an 11 SO/9 ratio.

The Chicago Cubs put the finishing touch on their offseason Saturday, reportedly agreeing to terms on a six-year, $126 million contract with free agent Yu Darvish. He dominated the Cubs in the NLCS, pitching into the seventh and allowing just one run in his lone start in the series. But it apparently completes the team's mission of fortifying their rotation with free agents Jake Arrieta and John Lackey departing. Like a slew of other teams, the Cubs didn't meet with Darvish until after they realized his initial price tag wasn't going to be met as the free agent market sputtered. With the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers a year ago, he made the All-Star team.

At 31 years old, Darvish no longer looks like the ace he was at his best in 2013 when he finished second in AL Cy Young voting. Really, it depends on how Kyle Hendricks pitches this spring.

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After a 103-win 2016 season that culminated in a World Series title, the Cubs won 11 fewer games past year 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. The deal will be worth $126 million, with incentives making it worth up to $150 million, Rosenthal reported.

But it gets better. The Chicago Cubs added Tyler Chatwood to the rotation and Steve Cishek to the bullpen. However, the Dodgers are hoping to stay under the luxury tax threshold in 2018 and couldn't clear enough money in order to afford Darvish. Darvish's 2017 season had its ups and downs, including a disastrous performance in the World Series, but ultimately he still had a productive year.

Expect plenty more from us on this signing as the weekend progresses.

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