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11 February 2018, 05:09 | Stacy Ballard
USA TODAY Sports Images
Chicago has agreed to a six-year deal with right-hander Yu Darvish, The Athletic'sKen Rosenthal reported Saturday afternoon. The deal could be worth up to $150 million with incentives, and also reportedly includes opt-out and no-trade clauses.
Darvish initially signed a six-year, $60-million deal with the Rangers ahead of the 2012 season. He began previous year with Texas and was traded to Los Angeles in July, going a combined 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA.
Darvish will solidify a Cubs rotation that was in need of one more frontline arm.
Even with some red flags, Darvish is a huge addition for a team that will compete for another World Series in 2018.
Cubs sources disputed earlier reports they were close to a deal, noting that while communication lines were open after their meeting, no progress had been made toward a conclusion. Darvish started 164 games, was 93-38, had an ERA of 1.99, threw 55 complete games (18 shutouts), pitched 1268.1 innings, and had 1,250 strikeouts.
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Darvish, 31, was widely considered the top free agent starting pitcher on the market.
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. Darvish, 31, has struck out an astonishing 1,021 batters in just 832 1/3 Major League Baseball innings throughout his regular-season career. What lasts in Los Angeles, however, are the two failed World Series starts, two losses that, coupled with a dismal Game 5 start from Kershaw, doomed the Dodgers.
The Cubs wanted to bolster the front end of their rotation after losing to the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series in 2017.
Remember when Jon Lester signed with the Cubs? The following season, he got his second All-Star Game nod and was second in voting for Cy Young behind Max Scherzer. In 2017, Darvish did make 31 starts and throw 186 2/3 innings, his highest totals since 2013. The other notable starting pitchers on the free agent market - Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, and Lance Lynn - all received qualifying offers from their original teams, and any other team that goes on to sign them will have to give up a draft pick.
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