The Cubs Are Making Moves

10 Feb, 2018

Yu Darvish is headed to the Cubs. Darvish and the Cubs agreed to a six-year deal on Saturday that guarantees the right-hander $126 million, two sources told’s Jon Paul Morosi and Carrie Muskat. The Cubs could not immediately confirm the signing because it was pending a physical exam.

Darvish’s $126 million contract would be the largest free-agent deal so far this offseason. Sources told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal that the contract includes incentives that could push its total value to $150 million, though Darvish would have to win multiple Cy Young Awards to reach that figure. The contract includes an opt-out clause and no-trade protection, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported.

The 31-year-old Darvish was the marquee starting pitcher on the free-agent market and received another six-year offer from the Dodgers, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. The Twins and Brewers were also linked to Darvish this winter.

Darvish gives the Cubs a frontline starter to replace Jake Arrieta, who also became a free agent this offseason, as they seek a third straight National League Central title and fourth straight postseason appearance in 2018. Chicago’s formidable rotation now projects to include Darvish, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and another free agent acquisition, Tyler Chatwood.

It marked the second time in 6 1/2 months that the Cubs acquired a top starting pitcher who was also linked to the rival Brewers. At last July’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Brewers were deep into negotiations with the White Sox for Quintana before the Cubs landed the left-hander with a package of top prospects.

Darvish has some of the most electric stuff in baseball. He was an All-Star for the fourth time in 2017, with a 3.86 ERA and 209 strikeouts in 31 starts for the Rangers and Dodgers. After his trade to Los Angeles, he helped the Dodgers reach the World Series, although he struggled in two starts in the Fall Classic against Houston.

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