With less than three days until pitchers and catchers report, the MLB Hot Stove is finally starting to heat up once again.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Saturday afternoon that Yu Darvish has agreed to a six-year deal with the Chicago Cubs worth $126 million, including incentives that could ultimately boost his earnings to $150 million. The Japan native will earn an average of $21 million per year and will find himself with even more money if he wins a Cy Young.
Darvish, 31, is coming off a solid 2017 campaign where he pitched to a 3.86 ERA and an outstanding 209-58 K/BB ratio over 31 starts between the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite the inflated ERA, Darvish did manage to earn his way to his fourth career All-Star game. However, the right-hander did suffer a very subpar postseason, posting a 5.81 ERA across six starts, which possibly hurt his value heading into the offseason.
Darvish will likely place right behind Jon Lester in the Cubs’ rotation, followed by Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood. Following the now certain departure of 2015 NL Cy Young award winner Jake Arrieta, Darvish will slot in as a viable replacement to continue the Cubs’ chase for their 2nd World Series title in three years.