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Chicago Cubs sign top free agent Yu Darvish

Chicago Cubs sign top free agent Yu Darvish”

Darvish has agreed to a $126 million, six-year contract with Chicago, giving the Cubs one of the deepest rotations in baseball and taking one of the top players off the slow-moving free agent market. The deal will reportedly pay Darvish $126 million, and with incentives could go as high as $150 million, and will become official when the hurler undergoes his physical.

But for Fantasy Baseball purposes, I'm more interested in the other side of the coin: The Cubs chose Darvish.

Darvish joins a Chicago starting staff of Jon Lester (4.33 ERA in 2017), Kyle Hendricks (3.03), Jose Quintana (3.74) and Tyler Chatwood (4.69). Darvish's 2017 season had its ups and downs, including a disastrous performance in the World Series, but ultimately he still had a productive year. The Cubs had a great opportunity to sign the best starting pitcher on the market and they took it. 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.

For all the negative things that will be said about him this winter as teams try to carefully assess the risk in signing Darvish, it also should be said that he's an ace. He had 209 strikeouts in 186 2/3 innings.

Yu Darvish will be chasing after a World Series title with the Chicago Cubs. He is 56-42 with a 3.42 ERA in five big-league seasons with the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cubs, who have been bolstering the team in the offseason as they aim for their first World Series championship in two years, reached the playoffs for the third consecutive year last season but lost to the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. The following season, he got his second All-Star Game nod and was second in voting for Cy Young behind Max Scherzer. The former two showed only tepid interest due to their commitment to staying under the fake salary cap, and the latter two are likely going to focus on the remaining free agent starters - Arrieta, Lance Lynn, and Alex Cobb. It's certainly made the Cubs better, and we'll see if he starts a cascade of pitching deals now that the market has been set.



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