Friday, 10 April, 2020


Cubs announce 6-year deal with Darvish

Monty and Yu Cubs announce 6-year deal with Darvish
Noah Ferguson | 16 February, 2018, 02:58

It's easily the greatest day of the year.

"He'd put a lot of thought into things that had gone right in his career, things that he wanted to continue to improve on and what his goals were for the rest of his career", Epstein said of their conversation. Please, don't flatter me.

In a historically slow offseason and with spring training starting in the next couple weeks, anything is possible.

That leaves Arrieta, who some consider to be an even better pitcher than Darvish, even though he's replaced the former Chicago Cubs' ace in the rotation. "From the beginning to the end, I really felt that they really wanted me, and I felt that through their communication and how often they've been in touch", said Darvish. Even with their stellar rotation, the Cubs needed to add a top end starter to stay competitive with the Dodgers and Nationals, and to fend off the Cardinals.

And so, Tuesday afternoon, a roughly 20-foot-by-30-foot room set up as workspace for about 15 media members found itself crammed with almost 100 people - dozens of journalists from Chicago and Japan, the Cubs' brass, a couple of agents and the person chiefly responsible for this mash-up of winter and spring rites: right-handed pitcher Yu Darvish.

Besides the Darvish signing, there still remains some big name free agents that are waiting to be signed. Darvish spoke of how much he admired the organization. Both shut the Cubs down in the National League Championship Series (NLCS) last season.

And because of how the lag of the free agent market stalled on and on, the Cubs ultimately got Darvish cheaper than it was believed the price would be. Smyly will spend at least most of this season recovering from Tommy John surgery in the middle of 2017.

"I like [Jon] Lester better", he said with a laugh. The four-time All-Star also has started six postseason games, going 2-4 with a 5.81 ERA. With Darvish off the board, and teams looking to find a player to help lead their rotation, Arrieta could find himself the center of attention. While adding, say, a Jason Vargas or Chris Tillman on a one-year deal is probably more palatable for the Phillies, Arrieta could fall into their laps. I think we feel confident in our group. "I know we're ready to get going". It was only a year ago the Cubs seemed a good bet to follow up on their 2016 title, and instead they never really did shake off the hangover that came with it.

Baseball season's always been my favorite time of year. It also signals warm weather, which is much needed after 18 inches of snow was dumped on the Chicago area last week.

I'm going to pretend this is all about that annual baseball holiday of sorts - pitchers and catchers reporting to various major league spring training camps today in Arizona and Florida.

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