The Chicago Cubs and RHP Yu Darvish have agreed to a six-year deal, worth $126 million, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The contract includes incentives with the ability to make the deal worth $150 million. The deal is pending a physical.
In what is the quietest and slowest offseason in Major League Baseball history, Darvish signing with the Cubs could be the first of many dominos to fall. With the Cubs signing Darvish, it appears that free agent pitcher Jake Arrieta will not return to the Windy City.
Darvish will join a rotation filled with all-stars, including Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, and Kyle Hendricks. It is unclear who will be the ace in the Cubs' rotation, but it is likely Darvish will be considered the front-runner.
With General Manager Theo Epstein and company signing Darvish, it gives the Cubs a boost over the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals, who both have become even stronger with several acquisitions this offseason. The Cubs will open the season as National League Central favorites.
Darvish, 31, split time between the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers last season. Darvish started the season quite shaky with the Rangers, then after he was dealt to LA during the trade deadline, Darvish finished the season with a 3.86 ERA in 31 games started. Darvish was tough to get a hit off of in the second half of the season, and finished the season with 7.7 H/9 and 10.1 K/9.
Since signing with the Rangers out of Japan in 2012, Darvish has a career ERA of 3.42. Darvish owns a career record of 56-42 and a total of 1021 strikeouts in five major league seasons. Darvish sat out the 2015 season and half of the 2016 season due to Tommy John Surgery.