In the end, Yu Darvish signs a 6-year $126 million dollar deal.
Darvish joining the rotation also helps the Cubs' bullpen, allowing the team to push Mike Montgomery back into the relief corps and pitch as a middle or long reliever who can help reduce the burden on starting pitchers. Darvish could earn up to $150 million with incentives over the life of the contract, according to The Athletic, which was the first to report the signing. The Japanese ace is coming off a season in which he tallied a 10-12 record with a 3.86 ERA for the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers. Obviously, they named a price Darvish was happy with and the Cubs look like an even stronger World Series contender than they did 24 hours ago.
The agreement between Darvish and the Cubs was. Darvish started 164 games, was 93-38, had an ERA of 1.99, threw 55 complete games (18 shutouts), pitched 1268.1 innings, and had 1,250 strikeouts.
Darvish joins a Cubs rotation that features Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood. The 31-year-old right-hander was among the top players available in a slow-moving free agent market this winter.
Darvish was outstanding over the final two months of the regular season with the Dodgers, posting a 3.44 ERA and 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings. In the Cubs' case that draft pick compensation didn't matter with re-signing Arrieta, though it may have been a factor in their decision to not pursue him very hard.
The Yankees surfaced as a possible destination for Darvish, but considering ownership's mandate to stay under the $197 million luxury tax, they wouldn't have been able to give him the contract the Cubs did, at over $20 million per year.
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 18: Jake Arrieta #49 of the Chicago Cubs acknowledges the crowd after being relieved in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game four of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 18, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The following season, he got his second All-Star Game nod and was second in voting for Cy Young behind Max Scherzer.
Other free agent pitchers who have yet to sign include Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb, Andrew Cashner, Jason Vargas and Jeremy Hellickson.