Cubs reportedly sign Darvish to 6-year, $126M deal

Posted February 11, 2018

Yu Darvish, the top pitcher on a listless free-agent market, on Saturday agreed to sign with the Chicago Cubs for $126 million over six years, sources told Yahoo Sports. Rosenthal added that incentive clauses could boost the contract's value up to $150 million.

Darvish had been one of the most coveted pitchers in this year's free-agent market and also reportedly received a substantial offer last month from Chicago's division rival, the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cubs' payroll is roughly $168 million with Darvish's $21 million average salary, according to Spotrac, which gives them the sixth-highest payroll in baseball.

Yu Darvish joins Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jose Quintana on the Cubs starting staff for this upcoming season. He pitched well for Los Angeles to close out the regular season, but struggled in the World Series, leading some to believe he was tipping his pitches. The Cubs are paying for that kind of production, according to the reported details of the contract.

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With the addition of Darvish, at least in my mind, Chicago is once again the team to beat in the National League. However, the Dodgers are hoping to stay under the luxury tax threshold in 2018 and couldn't clear enough money in order to afford Darvish.

Darvish went 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in nine starts with the Dodgers down the stretch.

In the World Series, however, he was roughed up in both of his starts against the Houston Astros (8 earned runs in 3 1/3 innings) and he took the loss in the decisive Game 7. Theo Epstein has turned the Cubs into one of - if not the - prime free agent destination during his tenure.

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Despite today's news, Cubs fans almost thought they had signed the Japanese pitcher a little over a month ago.

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.

If pitchers like Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb were going to cost $20 million per season (the market probably won't yield that kind of deal for them now), the Cubs figured it was worth paying just a bit more to get Darvish. Montgomery will likely also be utilized as a spot starter throughout the season, as he was previous year when he made 14 starts for the Cubs.

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