Well, the long wait is over – after losing the Shohei Otani sweepstakes, the Cubs have reportedly signed top free agent SP Yu Darvish to a six-year deal at US$126 million with incentives that could take him up to US$150 million. According to this analysis, it is a remarkably team-friendly deal for the Cubs, continuing this offseason’s trend of under-market free agent signings. It also apparently was a foregone conclusion that Darvish would sign with the Cubs, as no other teams that could have used his services were all that interested in ponying up the cash required to sign him.
This news is overall very welcome for Cubs fans, as the experts have now crowned the Cubs’ projected rotation of Darvish, Jon Lester, José Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood as one of the NL’s best, making them the favorite to win another NL Central title over an upgraded Brewers squad and the rival Cardinals on the way to a deep postseason run. It also means the 2017 season was likely Jake Arrieta’s last with the Cubs, as they don’t really have a spot for him in the rotation now that Darvish has been signed. Arrieta can move on to greener pastures, such as a return to his native Texas, or maybe Philadelphia. Unfortunately for Jake, his disappointing 2017 numbers and the player-unfriendly environment of this winter’s free agent negotiations mean that he probably will not be getting the kind of deal he had been hoping for at this time last year, when he was coming off of a championship season with the Cubs and was still considered to be one of the NL’s best pitchers.
Now that this question mark has been cleared up for the Cubs, fans can focus on the important stuff, like the Brewers-Cubs social media war.
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