The Chicago Cubs have added free agent pitcher Yu Darvish in perhaps the most significant baseball signing of the offseason. Yu Darvish was considered by many as the highest ranked free agent on the market. He goes to a Chicago Cubs team looking to win its second World Series title in three years.
Several news outlets are reporting that Yu Darvish will sign with the Chicago Cubs. The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg broke the story that the Cubs’ newest ace pitcher will receive a six year, $126 million contract. Yu Darvish joining the Cubs has several ramifications. Not only for the Cubs, but for the teams which were also vying for Darvish’s services.
Yu Darvish will not end up the opening starter with the Chicago Cubs, as that distinction will either go to Jon Lester or Kyle Hendricks. What Darvish will become for the Cubs is their ace pitcher. Yu Darvish immediately is installed at the top of the Cubs’ rotation.
Because he is a right-hander, Yu Darvish will likely be slotted after Lester, who is a southpaw. If the Chicago Cubs do decide to give Darvish the nod for opening day, Lester will follow him in an effort to balance out the pitching rotation.
Yu Darvish is the 4th free agent to sign a $100M deal with the Cubs, but the 3rd in the last 4 offseasons.
He joins Jason Heyward who signed an 8-year/$184M deal after the 2015 season and Jon Lester, who signed a 6-year/$155M deal after the 2014 season. pic.twitter.com/QCsu8vz30A
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 10, 2018
The rotation for the Chicago Cubs appears to be set now with Darvish, Lester, Hendricks, Jose Quintana, and offseason acquisition Tyler Chatwood. Each of them receive a boost from the Yu Darvish signing. One of the losers from the Cubs’ newest addition is rotation hopeful Mike Montgomery.
Last December, Mike Montgomery issued a “start me or trade me” edict to the Chicago Cubs, according to CBS Chicago’s Bruce Levine. Because the Cubs view Montgomery as a valuable member to their pitching staff. It is Montgomery’s ability to start in a pinch that the Cubs desire.
The other losers from the Chicago Cubs’ signing of Yu Darvish are the Milwaukee Brewers. Prior to the Cubs making waves with their addition of Yu Darvish, it was the Brewers that were making headlines.
The Brewers traded for centerfielder Christian Yelich and signed outfielder Lorenzo Cain on the same day. They were also one of the dark horses to land Yu Darvish.
News of Yu Darvish signing with the Cubs changes things for the Brewers. The Brewers will focus on the top remaining free agent pitchers on the market, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
with the darvish move, cubs rotation looks much better on paper than brewers rotation. milwaukee needs to add at least 1 and probably 2 of: arrieta, cobb, lynn, archer, odorizzi, etc.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 10, 2018
Yu Darvish taking a six-year deal opens up the free agency market wide for Jake Arrieta. Arrieta and Alex Cobb are seen as the second and third best pitchers available. Both hurlers could sign offers with five or six years attached to them.
MLB teams which were looking to weaken the Chicago Cubs are now hoping to keep pace. Yu Darvish is considered an upgrade over Jake Arrieta. However, if Arrieta was to sign with a team such as the Milwaukee Brewers, he could help them keep pace.
The Cubs are still considered as National League Central favorites. Signing Yu Darvish solidifies that. If the Brewers can add a top-of-the-rotation starter, the Cubs’ hold diminishes a bit. The Cubs would still have the better pitching.
Combine Yu Darvish with the addition of Tyler Chatwood, who makes a strong No. 5 starter, along with a full season of Jose Quintana, and the Cubs will have perhaps the best pitching rotation in baseball. If the Cubs’ hitters can bounce back from last season, a World Series appearance is not out of the question.
Yu Darvish can help the Chicago Cubs get back to prominence.