As he was expected to be, Yu Darvish has been a very solid addition to the Texas Rangers’ rotation. Through 16 starts, he’s thrown 102.2 innings with a 3.59 ERA, striking out 117 along the way. He cost the Rangers a pretty penny to acquire – a $51.7 million posting bid and then a $56 million contract – but, so far, I’m sure they’ve been pleased with their acquisition.
Darvish has been something of an interesting subject for Cubs fans looking back on the time when he was made available. We heard that the Cubs were interested – and, man, did we want them to be interested – but, after the Rangers won the post with a bid that reportedly blew everyone else away, it was hard to know just how serious the Cubs were in their interest.
At the time of the bidding, I reported that the Cubs had made a serious bid, one strong enough that they felt they had a chance of winning. Obviously the Cubs did not win the bidding, and, since then, we haven’t heard much about whether they were putting in a token bid, or whether they really wanted to land Darvish.
It turns out it was definitely the latter.
According to Buster Olney, the Cubs finished in second place in the bidding behind the Rangers, who won the post. Olney notes that the Cubs, like every other team, were more than $35 million behind the Rangers’ winning bid of $51.7 million, but it turns out that the Cubs actually out-bid the Blue Jays, who were everyone’s favorite to go nuts on Darvish at the time.
While this has no practical impact on the Cubs today – Darvish is long gone – I do think it’s an important addendum to the Cubs’ offseason, and near-term plans. This front office is, at every turn, bidding hard to acquire talent where they can do it with dollars. And it isn’t just with prospects like Jorge Soler. It’s been true even with 25-year-old Darvish, and 26-year-old Yoenis Cespedes. If the Cubs had landed both of them, do you really think they would have been “rebuilding” for another three years?