Sports

Cubs Sign Yu Darvish To Six-Year, $126M Contract

Cubs Sign Yu Darvish To Six-Year, $126M Contract

Darvish's contract is guaranteed to pay him at least $126 million, but it can rise another $24 million if he achieves certain incentives.

After making 31 starts last season for the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers, Darvish was the most prized pitcher in this offseason's free agent market.

The Cubs also sprinkled some hints at a possible Darvish signing when they brought in Chris Gimenez on a minor league deal. With Darvish on board, the Cubs will roll out a rotation of Darvish, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood. In 2016, they won their first World Series crown since 1908. This is likely a correctable issue moving forward and the Cubs probably agree given they handed Darvish this deal.

He was a free agent, bound to no team, and of all the teams, he chose that one. He has always been a strikeout pitcher owning a 11.0 K/9 rate (the highest rate in Major League Baseball history among pitchers with 100 career starts), and he is a perennial candidate to hit the 200 strikeout mark.

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Several other teams had been in pursuit of Darvish - including the Dodgers, Brewers and Minnesota Twins - and those teams could quickly pivot to the other top starters on the market, including Jake Arrieta (whom Darvish essentially replaces atop the Cubs' rotation), Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb. He has a career record of 56-42 with a 3.42 ERA, but is also five years removed from his best season, 2013. Late in the 2017 season he was very good, compiling an ERA of 1.69 with close to 40 more strikeouts than walks in his 11 starts between July and August. For one things, Darvish was famously awful in the World Series a year ago, and his two bad performances - whether they were because of a slider-proof baseball or because he was tipping his offspeed pitches - probably cost the Dodgers a World Series title.

Yu Darvish will be chasing after a World Series title with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs had the money to sign Darvish, with approximately $30-$35 million to stay under the luxury tax this season.

Just before the beginning of spring training, the have reportedly made a huge splash on the free agent market. 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.


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