MLB ace Yu Darvish is reported to have agreed a six-year deal with the Chicago Cubs, that could see the 31-year-old earn up to $150 million. The deal, which is the largest free agent deal of the offseason, guarantees Darvish $126 million, with added incentives dependant on the right-hander winning multiple Cy Young Awards.
There’s no denying that Yu Darvish was the stand out starting pitcher on the free agents list this offseason, but until this week nobody could quite predict where the talented righty would end up. As recently as November, Darvish was not necessarily one of the main targets on the Cubs’ radar. The 31-year-old was linked with moves to the Brewers and the Twins, with current franchise the LA Dodgers reportedly offering a lucrative $100 million deal to retain Darvish for another six years.
The biggest hint came when the Cubs signed catcher and former teammate of Darvish, Chris Gimenez on a minor league deal. Darvish and Gimenez played together for the Rangers back in 2014/15, and the two pals are understood to have remained in contact ever since. Gimenez has recently downplayed his role in the Cubs capture of Darvish; however, the catcher is excited with by prospect of working with his former teammate once again.
“I told him if he comes here, we’re going to win a World Series, hopefully,” Gimenez said. “I said, ‘I’ll throw in half my salary. But if we win, you have to give it back double.'”
The move is huge statement from the Cubs. The franchise approached the offseason looking for quantity rather than quality, but in signing six free agent pitchers and Yu Darvish they seem to have achieved both. In fact, in signing seven free agent pitchers, the Cubs are second only to the 2001 Texas Rangers for the highest number of acquisitions in an offseason. There is a huge gap between Darvish and the Cubs’ other free agent deals however, with the second largest package going to Tyler Chatwood, which is estimated to be worth around $38 million.
Darvish is clearly a fantastic addition to the Cubs’ roster, but the franchise will not soon forget what happened to the 31-year-old at the 2017 World Series. Luckily, they now have six months to figure it out.