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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Yu Darvish on the way to Chicago

Por Fidel Orihuela

With a free agents market that has been slowed down by the high demands of the players and the negative of the clubs to give away significant amounts of money, the Japanese starter Yu Darvish got a six-year contract and 126 million dollars with the Chicago Cubs. This team is counting on Darvish to substitute Jake Arrieta, one of the baseball players that are still available.

Darvish, 31-year-old right handed that has had an impressive performance over the years with the Texas Rangers and L.A. Dodgers will join the solid starting rotation of Chicago, in which he has strong starters as teammates like Jon Lester, the Colombian Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood. This group of amazing players guarantees the Cubs a good season in 2018, a year that seems complicated, taking into account that their most important rivals have strengthened considerably. For instance, the Saint Louis Cardinals got the esteemed outfielder Marcell Ozuna, while the Milwaukee Brewers signed the free agent Lorenzo Cain, one of the best center fielders of the MLB, and got in a trade with the Miami Marlins, the consistent Christian Yelich.

Darvish addition to the team is a logical move for the Cubs, which had been quiet during wintertime, but at the last moment decided to move their tokens to make their starting rotation stronger. It can be now considered one of the best of the MLB. Besides, and as a very important detail, Darvish will land on Chicago with a friendly contract, which commits the team only until 2024, which will allow it to take advantage of the starter’s best years, and only for the acceptable sum of 126 million dollars. No doubt about it, these are not the numbers handled by Darvish at other times but his awful post season with the Dodgers and the slow movement of the market modified his exigencies.

Nevertheless, it is valid to express that both Darvish and the Cubs get something positive out of this. While the player gets six years of guaranteed work for a nice amount of money, the franchise gets the best starter on the market and they did not sacrifice much in the process. This contract should mark a tendency when signing other free agents, like Jake Arrieta or Alex Cobb. This signature does not favor Arrieta himself because he was trying to get more than 170 million dollars and an 8-year contract, something that for sure he will not get now.

Besides Chicago, Darvish had been also talking with the Dodgers, the Brewsters and the Twins. L. A. was also offering a six-year contract along with 100 million dollars and Milwaukee and Minnesota were offering the same amount of money with a five-year contract. With all these options at hand, the Japanese chose Chicago, in which he will have a strong defense back up and a solid offensive, with the most serious aspirations to get to the World Series after their coronation in 2016.

Darvish registered an ERA of 3.86 with 209 strikeouts in 186 innings in the former campaign, in which you could see he still has intact domain over his spectacular slider. When confronted with this magnificent pitch his opponents’ batting average (OB/AVG) was 174. That is the main weapon of a repertoire that includes other five pitches, which cause too many strike swings. As a negative thing, we can add that he comes from a Tommy John surgery in the year of 2015 and he has only exceeded once the amount of two hundred innings, which creates uncertainty to the feasibility of this contract at a long term.