According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Darvish signed a six-year deal worth roughly $126 million with a chance to get up to $150 million through incentives, pending a physical.
Darvish had been one of the most coveted pitchers in this year's free-agent market and also reportedly received a substantial offer last month from Chicago's division rival, the Milwaukee Brewers. The Japanese ace is coming off a season in which he tallied a 10-12 record with a 3.86 ERA for the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers. A team like the Cubs will be gunning to win it all this year, and they'll count on Darvish to help win some big games.
With the addition, the Cubs boast a rotation of Lester, Darvish, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood.
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There of course are better, truer ways to measure a pitcher's performance, as a parade of Theo Epstein wannabes let me know Saturday after I tweeted a simple fact: Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish each lost 24 games over his last three seasons (including 2014 for Darvish, who missed 2015), but Arrieta won twice as many as Darvish in that time - 54 to 27.
But it could certainly be true that the only teams in the market for expensive free-agent talent are those intending to compete for World Series championships. He shut down the Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS, striking out seven while pitching 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a 6-1 victory at Wrigley Field. For his career, he is 56-42 with a 3.42 ERA. The Cubs had a great opportunity to sign the best starting pitcher on the market and they took it. However, the Dodgers are hoping to stay under the luxury tax threshold in 2018 and couldn't clear enough money in order to afford Darvish. The four-time All-Star finished with a 3.86 ERA with 209 strikeouts and 159 hits allowed in 186.2 innings. In the Cubs' case that draft pick compensation didn't matter with re-signing Arrieta, though it may have been a factor in their decision to not pursue him very hard. The former two showed only tepid interest due to their commitment to staying under the fake salary cap, and the latter two are likely going to focus on the remaining free agent starters - Arrieta, Lance Lynn, and Alex Cobb. Darvish did not fare well in the World Series as he never lasted more than two innings.