Cubs sign Yu Darvish to six-year, $126 million contract

MLB pitcher Jake Arrieta

Rosenthal reports that Darvish's deal guarantees $126 million, but could get up to $150 million through incentives. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Chicago Cubs have put a big exclamation point on their starting rotation, signing right-hander Yu Darvish to a six-year, $126 million deal.

But for Fantasy Baseball purposes, I'm more interested in the other side of the coin: The Cubs chose Darvish. The Cubs are set to enter the season with a rotation of Darvish, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood. The Rangers, Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers reportedly were interested in signing him, but the Cubs seem to have won the race for his services. Darvish is the first major free agent to come off the board this winter. He shut down the Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS, striking out seven while pitching 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a 6-1 victory at Wrigley Field. It certainly doesn't mean Arrieta would've been better going forward for the Cubs, who now have in Darvish a 31-year-old with a dizzying array of pitches and arguably as much pure talent as anyone in the game.

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.




Some concern surfaced across baseball regarding Darvish's performance at the end of the season, as the Astros crushed him twice in the World Series, but most believed that was because he was tipping his pitches and not anything physical in nature. He is 56-42 with a 3.42 ERA in five big-league seasons with the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cubs had the money to sign Darvish, with approximately $30-$35 million to stay under the luxury tax this season.

Darvish finished last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, helping them knock out the defending champion Cubs in the playoffs to reach the World Series. Montgomery will likely also be utilized as a spot starter throughout the season, as he was past year when he made 14 starts for the Cubs. The top remaining free agent starting pitchers available are Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn.

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