June 18, 2018

Jake Arrieta Rumors: Nationals to Target SP After Cubs Sign Yu Darvish

15 February 2018, 05:12 | Joan Schultz

Jake Arrieta Rumors: Nationals to Target SP After Cubs Sign Yu Darvish

Jake Arrieta Rumors: Nationals to Target SP After Cubs Sign Yu Darvish

Ultimately, the Cubs came to Darvish because of a unique market stalemate that saw his price drop below the projections of many. The last time the Dodgers fell 5-1 in game seven of the World Series.

Darvish boasts a 3.42 ERA in 131 starts while averaging 11.04 strikeouts per nine innings, the highest ratio of any pitcher in Major League Baseball history with more than 100 starts. And yet, unlike fellow free agent pitchers Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn, there has been very little talk about potential suitors.

Hendricks was the big prize when the Cubs dumped Ryan Dempster and Edwards came to the club along with Justin Grimm among others when the team traded Matt Garza.

The Nationals would have a stacked pitching staff were they to sign Arrieta, with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark already headlining a strong crop of starting pitchers. From two-hitting the Diamondbacks over five innings in the NLDS, to limiting the Cubs to one run over 6 1/3 in the NLCS, and a 2.70 ERA in a 2012 Wild Card start. Even for all that he offers as an effective swingman, Montgomery simply can not compete with that.

"I'm honored to be part of such a wonderful organization", the 31-year-old Darvish said at his introductory press conference alongside Theo Epstein, the Cubs' president of baseball operations.

Maybe even two or three layers after Darvish publicly confirmed that as he informed Dodgers manager Dave Roberts of his decision on Saturday, he made sure to add that beating L.A. will be his primary goal in Chicago. The Cubs took care of one spot by signing Tyler Chatwood earlier the offseason, but the Cubs still needed to add quality at the top of their rotation.

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Everything seems to be coming together for the Cubs after getting trounced by the Dodgers in the NLCS past year and, in my totally expert and non-biased opinion, I'm having visions of seeing the Commissioner's Trophy make its return to the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.

That's not to say that the Cubs aren't making a risky investment. In Los Angeles, that's probably Kenta Maeda, in Washington that's probably Tanner Roark, and in Chicago that's probably three-time World Series champion Jon Lester.

Darvish was the missing piece for 2018 and beyond, with the Cubs humbled by the Dodgers last October and the division rival Cardinals and Brewers posing a greater threat in the NL Central.

Thanks to the addition of Darvish, this postseason could have a much different outcome. The Indians, Astros and Dodgers, meanwhile, are all 7/1, respectively. Even if he does not fully replicate his numbers, the Cubs still will get a high-quality starter in Darvish.

From that moment on, the Cubs were in Darvish's mind as a top candidate among the half-dozen teams trying to get his services for 2018 and beyond. Arrieta would bolster their chances of winning their first World Series.

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