Yu Darvish To Sign with Chicago Cubs

Yu Darvish To Sign with Chicago Cubs

Ace Yu Darvish and the Chicago Cubs have reached agreement on a $126 million, six-year contract, a person with direct knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Saturday, bolstering their bid for a second World Series crown in three seasons. There is an opt-out clause included in the contract, and performance clauses can push the deal up to $150 million.

Darvish began last season with the Rangers but was sent to the Dodgers ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.

And so, onward - maybe even upward - we go with Darvish, Cubs fans' new obsession.

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The Cubs' rotation, already stacked up fairly well for the coming year, is now unquestionably one of the best in baseball, as Darvish joins fellow acquisition Tyler Chatwood in joining a strong group that includes Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, and Kyle Hendricks. In the World Series against Houston, he was 0-2. The move was first reported by The Athletic.

With the addition of Darvish, at least in my mind, Chicago is once again the team to beat in the National League. Fangraphs Steamer Projections have Darvish posting 3.6 WAR and a 3.82 ERA in 179 innings this season. He shut down the Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS, striking out seven while pitching 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a 6-1 victory at Wrigley Field. The top free agent pitcher on the market finally signing could get those wheels turning. The Dodgers are among the large-market teams endeavoring to keep their payrolls under the luxury-tax threshold. It certainly doesn't mean Arrieta would've been better going forward for the Cubs, who now have in Darvish a 31-year-old with a dizzying array of pitches and arguably as much pure talent as anyone in the game. 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.

Most rumblings had Epstein more interested in pursuing a younger, less expensive starter who was under team control for two or more seasons, like Tampa Bay's Chris Archer or Toronto's Marcus Stroman. Perhaps this will set the wheels in motion for other free agent signings.

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