Cubs Signal Yu Darvish

Lawrence Cooper
February 11, 2018

The deal could be worth up to $150 million with incentives, and also reportedly includes opt-out and no-trade clauses.

If Darvish is "only" making $21 million per year (on average) in this deal, it's a relative steal for the Cubs, who let Jake Arrieta and John Lackey walk in free agency and signed Tyler Chatwood to a three-year $38 million deal.

Darvish, 31, went 10-12 with a 3.88 ERA last season with the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Darvish will solidify a Cubs rotation that was in need of one more frontline arm.

Yu Darvish joins Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jose Quintana on the Cubs starting staff for this upcoming season. Since 2012, only one pitcher has throwns 800 innings with a better strikeout rate than Darvish's 29.7%, and his name is Max Scherzer.

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Cubs sources disputed earlier reports they were close to a deal, noting that while communication lines were open after their meeting, no progress had been made toward a conclusion. During his career, he has 1,021 strikeouts in 832 1/3 innings. With Darvish off the board and setting the market price for starting pitchers, it could help wake up the rest of the free agent market with spring training right around the corner. Both the Dodgers and Yankees may have moved on Darvish sooner had those clubs not been concerned with exceeding the luxury tax threshold for this season. Darvish, 31, has struck out an astonishing 1,021 batters in just 832 1/3 Major League Baseball innings throughout his regular-season career.

Arrieta was good last season, when he posted a 2.28 ERA after the All-Star break and made 20 road starts, the most by a Cub in 37 years.

For all the negative things that will be said about him this winter as teams try to carefully assess the risk in signing Darvish, it also should be said that he's an ace.

Some concern surfaced across baseball regarding Darvish's performance at the end of the season, as the Astros crushed him twice in the World Series, but most believed that was because he was tipping his pitches and not anything physical in nature. Montgomery will likely also be utilized as a spot starter throughout the season, as he was a year ago when he made 14 starts for the Cubs.

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