The Chicago Cubs have brought an end to a long time of inactivity for the MLB off-season. Many free agents are still looking for a home, but Yu Darvish will find himself on the Northside for the next six years.
On Saturday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the Cubs have signed Darvish to a six-year deal worth $126 million with possible incentives to earn up to $150 million. Up to this point, Mike Montgomery was the Cubs tentative fifth starter, so they needed to get another starter. With the Brewers on their tails after signing both Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain, they needed to make a move to remain atop the N.L. Central for the third consecutive season
There were a few teams that Darvish could’ve possibly signed with. these included the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Twins were pretty quickly taken off the list, but it was rumored that the remaining three teams besides the Cubs, were in it until the end. In fact, there was a time when executives said that the Brewers offer was the best offer at a point. However, the Cubs have been pursuing the All-Star the whole off-season and Theo Epstein was able to bring the team another win in the off-season.
The Cubs now have on of the best, if not the best, rotations in baseball. This rotation consists of Yu Darvish, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana, and Tyler Chatwood, showing a big step up from last year’s team. Not only is this rotation extremely dominant, but four of those guys could be aces on many teams. In addition, Darvish brings some great history vs. N.L. Central opponents. In eight career starts vs N.L. Central teams, he has earned a 2.42 ERA and has not allowed more than three runs in any of those games.This is just the news Cubs fans want to hear, as they’ll some new competition in the division like Marcell Ozuna with the Cardinals and both Yelich and Cain with the Brew Crew. However, Darvish did have an underwhelming performance in last year’s postseason as he recorded a 5.81 ERA in six starts.
The Chicago Cubs had to make this move to restate that they’re still the top dogs in the N.L. Central. In addition, they are making a great case for being the last team standing at the end of the year as they look to make it two championships in three years for the Northside.