Cubs Sign Yu Darvish to Six-Year 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. There is an opt-out clause included in the contract, and performance clauses can push the deal up to $150 million.

When it pertains to pitchers, the headliner for all of the offseason for starters has been Yu Darvish, who ended his season with the Los Angeles Dodgers after starting with the Texas Rangers.

Last season, the Chicago Cubs were within two games of another World Series appearance.

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He was a free agent, bound to no team, and of all the teams, he chose that one. The Cubs' payroll is roughly $168 million with Darvish's $21 million average salary, according to Spotrac, which gives them the sixth-highest payroll in baseball.

Jon Lester signed a six-year, $155 million contract with the Cubs at the same age as Darvish is now, so it would seem as if the mega contracts for pitchers are decreasing. The top free agent pitcher on the market finally signing could get those wheels turning.

He went a combined 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA during the regular season, but won starts in the National League division series and championship series as the Dodgers won the NL pennant. Both the Dodgers and Yankees may have moved on Darvish sooner had those clubs not been concerned with exceeding the luxury tax threshold for this season.

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After a 103-win 2016 season that culminated in a World Series title, the Cubs won 11 fewer games previous year and lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, but will enter 2018 with a projected rotation of Darvish, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood, which will rank among the best in the league.

Despite today's news, Cubs fans almost thought they had signed the Japanese pitcher a little over a month ago. Darvish finished second in the American League Cy Young voting in 2013, one of two seasons in which he made more than 30 starts. After year three, he made three straight All-Star games. Perhaps this will set the wheels in motion for other free agent signings.

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  • Jill Young