Cubs land Yu Darvish on six-year deal

Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish

But Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana are back from last year's club and Tyler Chatwood joined the rotation in December with a $38 million, three-year contract. The deal will reportedly pay Darvish $126 million, and with incentives could go as high as $150 million, and will become official when the hurler undergoes his physical.

The Cubs have been rumored to be in the running for Darvish for months as they look to fill the void left behind by former Cy Young victor Jake Arrieta. He spent part of his offseason working out with Clayton Kershaw near Dallas. I don't want to pressure him too much.

Six years ago, the Rangers paid more than $110 million to acquire Darvish - $60 million in salary and the rest to Darvish's team in Japan, the Nippon Ham Fighters, for whom Darvish pitched seven seasons and established himself as the best pitcher in the Pacific League. The Cubs won the World Series in 2016 before losing in five games to the Dodgers in the 2017 NLCS.

Flags fly forever though and if the addition of Darvish can help the Cubs win their second title in three years, it'll be worth it.

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The right-hander made 31 starts a year ago between the Rangers and Dodgers, pitching to a 3.86 ERA with a near-identical 3.83 FIP. Among major league pitchers with at least 180 innings, he ranked 14th in ERA, ninth in WHIP, eighth in strikeouts per nine and 12th in strikeouts per walk.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Darvish has a 2.42 ERA in eight career starts against the NL Central, including the postseason. Darvish started Game 3 and Game 7 in the Fall Classic and lost both times. With the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers previous year, he made the All-Star team.

Several other teams had been in pursuit of Darvish - including the Dodgers, Brewers and Minnesota Twins - and those teams could quickly pivot to the other top starters on the market, including Jake Arrieta (whom Darvish essentially replaces atop the Cubs' rotation), Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb.

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