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Cubs Solidify Ace With Yu Darvish Signing

16 February 2018

Last season, Darvish ended the season playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers and helped the National League West champions defeat the Cubs and reach the World Series were they lost to Houston. The last time the Dodgers fell 5-1 in game seven of the World Series.

That the Rangers sold their most valuable trade market asset for one player, essentially, was silly then, and worse now that we see what Darvish can attain on an open market.

Texas, Milwaukee, Minnesota and the New York Yankees also reportedly expressed some interest, but Chicago's approach paid off with the agreement just days before the start of spring training.

After all, the Chicago Cubs still have several stars, like Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, squarely in or about to enter to the primes of their careers.

Just as important for the Cubs is that they've secured a rotation for at least the next two seasons - Darvish has an opt-out clause after 2019 - and likely through 2020.

There is a free agent camp for unsigned players, but Boras' clients will not be attending.

This is where Darvish comes in.

"I can't wait to begin", Darvish said. This offseason has been filled with exciting trades, free agent signings, and hirings, foreshadowing what will be a great 2018 season. Expect Mike Montgomery back in the swingman role.

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Not to mention that the Cubs got Darvish at a relative bargain (~$21 million per year).

Within their division, the Cubs will probably have a tougher fight against the Brewers and Cardinals than they did in 2017.

And, if you do a little bit of comparison between the projections for Darvish and Arrieta, it's somewhat hard not to feel like Darvish gives the Chicago Cubs more for a whole lot less. "In my opinion, he made the right one". They're otherwise dependent on a bevy of talented but young and mostly inexperienced starters.

Cubs pitchers and catchers report to Mesa, Arizona Feb. 14 and position players will come Feb. 17, signaling baseball's officially back after four long, painful months.

Darvish is expected to join a rotation that includes Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood. Was this the piece that the Cubs needed to take them on another deep run into October?

Thanks to the addition of Darvish, this postseason could have a much different outcome. The Indians, Astros and Dodgers, meanwhile, are all 7/1, respectively. Both teams have solid rotations, but the Cubs will go into the 2018 season with a top four who, according to Dan Szymborski's ZiPS projection model, have statistical near-age comparisons to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Andy Pettitte and Tim Hudson.

And as Darvish gets further from his 2014-2015 elbow issues, a return to his prior form looks hopeful. Arrieta would bolster their chances of winning their first World Series.

Cubs Solidify Ace With Yu Darvish Signing