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Yu Darvish Signs a 6-year/$126 Million Deal with the Chicago Cubs

Yu Darvish Signs Arturo Pardavila III - Via - Flickr


Yu Darvish Signs a 6-year/$126 Million Deal with the Chicago Cubs

Last season, the Chicago Cubs were within two games of another World Series appearance. Theo Epstein and the front office knew both Jake Arrieta and John Lackey were headed to free agency. Epstein made sure the Cubs would be in on the starting pitchers on the market from Yu Darvish, Alex Cobb, Jake Arrieta, and others. Saturday, news broke by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal that Darvish would be headed to Chicago, pending a physical. In the end, Yu Darvish signs a 6-year $126 million dollar deal.

The much-anticipated free agent pitcher made it known that he was looking for at least six years and over $100 million. His waiting paid out, as Yu Darvish signs a deal that could be worth $150 million in total (with incentives) if all things go well for him.

Despite today’s news, Cubs fans nearly thought they had signed the Japanese pitcher a little over a month ago. A late afternoon post, by Barstool Carl, reported Yu Darvish to the Cubs was a “done deal” but it quickly turned on him. Darvish quote tweeted the post saying “#fakenews.”

The Cubs also sprinkled some hints at a possible Darvish signing when they brought in Chris Gimenez on a minor league deal. Gimenez would regularly catch for Darvish in Texas.

How good is Yu?

Last season, Darvish helped the Los Angeles Dodgers reach the World Series after a midsummer trade from the Texas Rangers. He went 4-3 in nine starts with a 3.44 ERA (49.2 IP/19 ER) and 61 strikeouts after the trade.

He pitched in the NLDS, NLCS, and twice in the World Series. Those first two rounds, it was smooth sailing for him and the Dodgers. He went 2-0, allowing 8 hits and 2 runs with a 14 to 1 strikeout-walk ratio. Both of those runs came off of solo home runs. Darvish did not fare well in the World Series as he never lasted more than two innings. He let the Astros bat .474 and was torched for nine total runs. He hopes to get back to that stage to show the world he is better than his 21.60 World Series ERA.

Darvish came to the United States as a Japanese pitching phenom and early on lived up that. He was top 10 in the Cy Young and 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting in 2012. The following season, he got his second All-Star Game nod and was second in voting for Cy Young behind Max Scherzer. After year three, he made three straight All-Star games. At this point, he was 39-25 (83 starts) with a 3.27 ERA, two complete games, one shutout, and 680 strikeouts.

A Spring Training injury led him to Tommy John surgery which made him miss the 2015 season and part of the 2016 season.

Post-Tommy John, he is 17-17 in 48 starts with a 3.70 ERA and 341 strikeouts. He did manage to make this past season’s Midsummer Classic.

Cubs Starting Pitching

Yu Darvish joins Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jose Quintana on the Cubs starting staff for this upcoming season. The final spot will be a Springtime competition between newly-acquired Tyler Chatwood and Mike Montgomery.

Goodbye Arrieta

This signing just about guarantees the end of Jake Arrieta’s time in Chicago. He came to the Cubs still trying to find regular success and will leave as Cy Young Winner and a World Series champion with two no-hitters under his belt.

He started 128 games, going 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA(803 IP/244 ER), 293 strikeouts, 6 complete games, and five shutouts.