Cubs sign Yu Darvish to six-year, $126 million contract

Grant SmithFeb 11, 2018

After months of waiting, it finally happened.

Darvish has joined the Cubs on a six-year deal Saturday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.

With more home runs being hit than ever, a homer-prone starting pitcher won't age well. The addition rounds out a Chicago rotation in need of a big-time arm.

Whether the Cubs and team president Theo Epstein admit this or not, the team probably wasn't expecting to sign a free agent of Darvish's caliber - and price tag - going into the offseason. Perhaps this will set the wheels in motion for other free agent signings. With the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers previous year, he made the All-Star team. His career totals include a 3.42 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP and a 3.30 FIP.

At 31 years old, Darvish no longer looks like the ace he was at his best in 2013 when he finished second in AL Cy Young voting.

Darvish's contract is guaranteed to pay him at least $126 million, but it can rise another $24 million if he achieves certain incentives. As much as I love him, I don't see that happening. The next few names on that list are Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale, Stephen Strasburg, Corey Kluber, Chris Archer and Madison Bumgarner.

But it gets better.

Jon Heyman of Fanrag Sports reported the Dodgers "were said to have offered in the same ballpark" as the Cubs, but Darvish chose to go to Chicago. After this season, only Justin Wilson is a free agent, while Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez will enter arbitration for the first time. Both the Dodgers and Yankees may have moved on Darvish sooner had those clubs not been concerned with exceeding the luxury tax threshold for this season. Spring training in Mesa, Ariz.is about to get a lot busier as the Japanese media and the national reporters will decamp to Sloan Park to take the temperature of the restocked 2016 World Series champions. But those two outings did not appear to scare away the Cubs or any other team.

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