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Yu Darvish: Signs six-year deal with Cubs

11 February 2018

However, with incentives Darvish can make as much as $150 million as he calls the north side of Chicago home through the 2023 season. Darvish has a career 3.42 ERA. He has always been a strikeout pitcher owning a 11.0 K/9 rate (the highest rate in Major League Baseball history among pitchers with 100 career starts), and he is a perennial candidate to hit the 200 strikeout mark. He had a 10.1 strikeout-per-nine-innings rate and a 2.8 walks-per-nine-innings rate. It's the biggest free-agent contract signed in an offseason dominated by a lack of movement. Now, they've added a big free agent fish in starter Yu Darvish.

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Based on the guaranteed $126 million, Darvish will earn an annual average of $21 million per year. That was three years, one month and 27 days from this writing.

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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.

After a 103-win 2016 season that culminated in a World Series title, the Cubs won 11 fewer games previous year and lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, but will enter 2018 with a projected rotation of Darvish, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood, which will rank among the best in the league.

While it took a while for Darvish to sign, the Cubs were among the favorites for her services throughout the offseason. His addition will keep Mike Montgomery in the bullpen for now, but since he performs a little better in that role it may be the best thing for the team.

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If pitchers like Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb were going to cost $20 million per season (the market probably won't yield that kind of deal for them now), the Cubs figured it was worth paying just a bit more to get Darvish.

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Yu Darvish: Signs six-year deal with Cubs