Cubs Reach 6-Year Deal With Yu Darvish

MLB pitcher Jake Arrieta

The long offseason of uncertainty is over for Yu Darvish, as the 31-year-old right-hander signed a six-year, $126 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.

Rosenthal reports the deal could reach $150 million, but noted the chances of the deal reaching that point is "quite slim", with Darvish needing to reach incentives including multiple Cy Young award wins.

The Yankees surfaced as a possible destination for Darvish, but considering ownership's mandate to stay under the $197 million luxury tax, they wouldn't have been able to give him the contract the Cubs did, at over $20 million per year.

Darvish had a 3.86 ERA in 31 starts with the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers last season and his 1.163 WHIP was below his career average.

The agreement between Darvish and the Cubs was. With Darvish on board, the Cubs will roll out a rotation of Darvish, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood. 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. Saturday, news broke by The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal that Darvish would be headed to Chicago, pending a physical.

There may be a thaw in the free-agent freeze. He's still an excellent starting pitcher to build a rotation around and will immediately make the Cubs more unsafe as they chase a World Series title in 2018 and beyond.

With so many free agents still unsigned at this unprecedented late date, many of them plan on conducting their own spring training camp in Bradenton, Florida, starting next week.

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. Darvish, 31, has struck out an astonishing 1,021 batters in just 832 1/3 Major League Baseball innings throughout his regular-season career.

It's worth noting that Darvish had a very poor showing in the 2017 World Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers, thanks in part to tipping his pitches. Like a slew of other teams, the Cubs didn't meet with Darvish until after they realized his initial price tag wasn't going to be met as the free agent market sputtered. It's certainly made the Cubs better, and we'll see if he starts a cascade of pitching deals now that the market has been set.

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