Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs finalize $126 million, 6-year contract

Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs finalize $126 million, 6-year contract

Over the weekend, my number one free agent of the offseason finally procured a deal, as Yu Darvish signed a six-year, $126 million guaranteed contract with the Cubs, which also features an opt-out clause, some no-trade protection for Darvish and some incentives. Since Darvish came over to Major League Baseball from Japan as a 25-year-old, only 17 other pitchers have created more wins above replacement (two of his new teammates, Jon Lester and Jose Quintana, rank above him).

Is it possible LA would draw a line in the negotiating sand, especially considering Kershaw's back issues the last couple of years, if the bidding gets too high? Darvish will also turn 32 in August and will be under contract with the Cubs until he is 37.

Baseball history has seen many remarkable pitchers post modest won-lost numbers before finding the right team or the right circumstances or the right amount of good fortune to have that breakout year that always seemed inevitable.

It's official: The Chicago Cubs are making Yu Darvish an even richer pitcher.

On a roster of every day players that are almost all still relatively young, there are no less than seven former first-round draft picks.

MLB Daily Dish posits that this response meant he was expecting a better offer or that it was never going to come through anyway with Darvish set to sign with the Cubs in the end.

If/when Darvish gets the ball this October, he'll get his shot to silence critics who arose after his final two starts in the 2017 postseason.

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

The Mets say they were sold on Callaway as a first-time manager largely by his high-energy personality and leadership qualities, but let's be real: they took a gamble that the Indians' former pitching coach can be a horse whisperer of sorts to their once-ballyhooed starting rotation. After all, the 6,105 round-trippers we saw in 2,430 games (2.51 per game) shattered the 17-year-old major league record of 5,693. Eddie Butler, who appeared in 13 games for the Cubs a year ago, will get another chance this spring, and the Cubs would love for a homegrown pitcher to step up at last. I'm not so sure Mike Montgomery might take that fifth spot from Chatwood, incidentally. Outfielders Jayson Heyward (14th pick in 2007), Kyle Schwarber (fourth in 2014), Albert Almora, Jr.

Baseball Prospectus updated its PECOTA projections to reflect the Darvish signing, adding three wins to the Cubs' calculations in 2018 to bring them to a 92-win projection.

Bullpens are the most fickle part of a team, and the bullpen a team begins the season with rarely is the one at the end. Several teams, including the Cubs' NL Central rivals Milwaukee Brewers, could intensify their pursuit of Lynn and Cobb after losing out on Darvish.

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