Yu Darvish, Cubs Reportedly Agree on 6-Year Contract Worth $126 Million

The long offseason of uncertainty is over for Yu Darvish, as the 31-year-old right-hander signed a six-year, $126 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.

Rosenthal reports that Darvish's deal guarantees $126 million, but could get up to $150 million through incentives.

Darvish initially signed a six-year, $60-million deal with the Rangers ahead of the 2012 season.

Darvish ended last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers after being acquired from the Texas Rangers on July 31.

Darvish will join Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana, and Tyler Chatwood in what will be a very strong rotation. Season leading up to free agency: 16-11, 32 starts, 219 2/3 innings pitched, 2.46 ERA.

With pitchers and catchers set to report to Major League Baseball spring training camps next week (and free agents who haven't signed holding their own training camp in Florida), teams and available players may be getting more serious about agreeing on some deals.

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After almost an entire winter of speculation and reports connected Darvish with the Twins and several other clubs, the best available free agent starter chose to take his talents to the North side of Chicago. He went 4-3 in nine starts with a 3.44 ERA (49.2 IP/19 ER) and 61 strikeouts after the trade.

With so many free agents still unsigned at this unprecedented late date, many of them plan on conducting their own spring training camp in Bradenton, Florida, starting next week. However, the Dodgers are hoping to stay under the luxury tax threshold in 2018 and couldn't clear enough money in order to afford Darvish.

The Cubs wanted to bolster the front end of their rotation after losing to the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series in 2017.

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. His record 0.75 ERA after the All-Star break that year made him a Bunyanesque legend.

Most rumblings had Epstein more interested in pursuing a younger, less expensive starter who was under team control for two or more seasons, like Tampa Bay's Chris Archer or Toronto's Marcus Stroman. The top remaining free agent starting pitchers available are Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn.

  • Regina Holmes