Yu Darvish agrees to 6-year, $126M deal with Cubs

Yu Darvish was the top pitcher on the free-agent market. More

Saturday, news broke by The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal that Darvish would be headed to Chicago, pending a physical. For one things, Darvish was famously awful in the World Series past year, and his two bad performances - whether they were because of a slider-proof baseball or because he was tipping his offspeed pitches - probably cost the Dodgers a World Series title.

Darvish went 52-39 with a 3.42 ERA in 131 starts with the Rangers, who.

An All-Star in each of his four full seasons (he missed all of 2015 and part of 2016 because of Tommy John surgery), Darvish in 131 career starts is 56-42 with a 3.42 ERA.

Whether the Cubs and team president Theo Epstein admit this or not, the team probably wasn't expecting to sign a free agent of Darvish's caliber - and price tag - going into the offseason. And as it turns out, the free agent market worked in their favor when Darvish couldn't find the reported seven-year contract he wanted (preferably for the $175 million Stephen Strasburg signed for with the Nationals, according to FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman) and may have been more willing to meet their price.

The Twins likely will sign or trade for at least one more starting pitcher before the end of spring training.

One big signing, of course, does not prove anything, and the industry will still be watching to see how the rest of this late-forming market unfolds.

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Even with some red flags, Darvish is a huge addition for a team that will compete for another World Series in 2018. Not with the likes of Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw vying for the honors.

Darvish is coming off a 10-win season split between the Rangers and Dodgers, who he helped reach the World Series. That was three years, one month and 27 days from this writing.

The right-hander made 31 starts previous year between the Rangers and Dodgers, pitching to a 3.86 ERA with a near-identical 3.83 FIP. They have one of the best rotations in the league now, and they'll complement that with the same young, powerful lineup from previous year.

The Cubs also sprinkled some hints at a possible Darvish signing when they brought in Chris Gimenez on a minor league deal.

Darvish, 31, joins a starting rotation that includes Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood.

While it has been several years since Darvish carried both the workload and raw results of a true No. 1, the long and elegant right-hander led a starter market that also included Arrieta, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb, along with Japanese right-hander Shohei Ohtani, who is advertised as a two-way player.

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