Cubs reportedly sign Darvish to 6-year, $126M deal

MLB pitcher Jake Arrieta

The agreement is pending a physical examination. Darvish has a career 3.42 ERA.

Darvish ended last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers after being acquired from the Texas Rangers on July 31. The next few names on that list are Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale, Stephen Strasburg, Corey Kluber, Chris Archer and Madison Bumgarner. As much as I love him, I don't see that happening. And it looks like the best in the NL Central. He's still an excellent starting pitcher to build a rotation around and will immediately make the Cubs more unsafe as they chase a World Series title in 2018 and beyond. Los Angeles is committed to staying under the luxury tax threshold this year.

One of the biggest storylines of the spring could be how those young hitters - Willson Contreras, Javy Baez, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, Ian Happ, Albert Almora Jr. - develop collectively with another year of experience and with new hitting coach Chili Davis.

Darvish turns 32 this season, not an ideal age to sign a six-year deal, and one imagines the Cubs had to give him an extra year or two on the deal to break the impasse and get him signed.


This is the fourth free agent contract in excess of $100 million to be given by the Cubs, which ranks second all-time behind the Yankees (6). The Cubs were seventh in Major League Baseball last season in starter ERA. When it appeared the Rangers would not challenge for a playoff berth, they dealt Darvish at the trade deadline for three minor leaguers, including outfielder Willie Calhoun, one of the Dodgers' top prospects. But an Astros player told Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci that Darvish was tipping his pitches, dispelling any notion that the right-hander's health may have led to allowing eight runs and nine hits in 3.1 innings (resulting in a 21.60 ERA) during the World Series. After year three, he made three straight All-Star games. But while the Lester contract is a good comp, it's worth nothing that he came off a stronger season, both in terms of run prevention and innings pitched.

First, a revamped and potentially deeper bullpen was created to play a bigger role for this year's pitching staff, regardless of the rotation's relative strength.

David Price (seven years, $217 million with the Boston Red Sox), Kershaw (seven years, $215 million with the Dodgers), Scherzer (seven years, $210 million with the Washington Nationals) and Zack Greinke (six years, $206.5 million with the Arizona Diamondbacks) are the highest-paid pitchers.

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