Reacting To The Yu Darvish Signing2 min read
By now, I’m sure you have all heard the news that the Cubs have signed RHP Yu Darvish to a 6 year deal worth $126M with incentives to earn up to $150M. With pitchers and catchers reporting in just a few days now, the Cubs have locked in their rotation and it looks to be one of the league’s best at that.
When I first got the update on my phone, my immediate concern was the number of years. Darvish will be 38 in the final year of his deal, and it’s very hard to believe that he can provide elite pitching at that time, but that is essentially the risk you take if you want to win while the window is open. Also, Theo and Jed had to meet somewhere in the middle to finally get this thing done, and at the end of the day while Darvish got the term he wanted, the Cubs got the price they were looking for, which is lower than the ~$25M AAV that was expected. At the end of the day, Darvish likely has 2-3 more elite years in him before we see the decline, but the time to win is now.
Overall, this Cubs rotation is prettaaaaay good. 4 bonafide #2 pitchers with Tyler Chatwood holding down the back end who looks to be very promising when considering he puts up great numbers away from Coors Field. Now I’m not expecting a sub 3.00 ERA from him, but he projects to put up good numbers for a 5th starter. And you gotta think adding Darvish lowers some of the pressure on him.
This rotation combines for a projected 17.3 zWAR, which is actually better than the likes of the Nationals(15) and the Dodgers(15.1), and it’s no secret how good those rotations are. No one in the world knows what Joe is going to do order-wise, so my educated guess would be something like:
It’s worth noting that Hendricks is a year removed from finishing 3rd in Cy Young votes and he is your FOURTH starter. Kind of says a lot about how dynamite this staff could be.
It’s obviously World Series or bust for the Cubs, so adding a pitcher of this quality clearly helps you get there, but then I think the postseason is where Yu will need to earn his money. Darvish is a notoriously shaky postseason pitcher, and then adding in the fact he was tipping his pitches in the god damn World Series is alarming, but I think there are enough pieces in play to alleviate his struggles. You have one of the best pitching coaches in the game, one of the best catchers in the league who will bail you out from time to time, and arguably the best infield in the league behind you. So while Yu still needs to perform to how he can, its reassuring knowing there are a lot of resources at his disposal.