IT'S HAPPENING! Cubs Reportedly Agree to Six-Year Deal with Yu Darvish! (UPDATES)

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IT’S HAPPENING! Cubs Reportedly Agree to Six-Year Deal with Yu Darvish! (UPDATES)

Chicago Cubs

That’s a the real Ken Rosenthal with the bomb of the offseason!!! It’s the news you’ve been waiting for for literal months.

OK, so the deal is actually worth UP to $150 million, presumably if a number of incentives are hit (in which case, you’re more than happy to pay the $25 million AAV over six years):

As it stands, that’s a $21 million AAV for Yu freaking Darvish, which not only keeps the Cubs under the luxury tax threshold this year, but also will not be overwhelmingly onerous in years to come. (If he hits the incentives (we still have to see exactly how it’s structured), then the AAV will change, but that may not be of significant consequence after this season, because the Cubs may well be headed over the luxury tax cap after 2018 anyway.)

From the early looks at that contract, you’ve gotta believe those other offers – presumably from the Twins and Brewers – were in that five-year, $100 million range, and perhaps Darvish’s camp said, “OK, if you add that sixth year, we’ll do the deal today.”

From a non-monetary perspective, signing Darvish improves the Cubs rotation, starting depth, and bullpen. It’s a win-win-win.

UPDATE: An extremely interesting update from Jon Heyman, which suggests maybe Darvish wasn’t just waiting around on the Dodgers all along:

If I had to guess, the Dodgers’ offer was in the same ballpark *BUT* they could actually complete the deal until they moved other money (a $21 million AAV hit this year would have pushed them over their self-avowed goal of staying under the luxury tax cap). Maybe the offer was slightly under the Cubs, maybe it was already a close call for Darvish anyway, and maybe he just decided to stop waiting around on the Dodgers. But, hey, it they had a legit offer on the table that was close to the Cubs, and he chose the Cubs anyway? That’ll make for a heckuva great introduction to the Cubs.

UPDATE 2: A little bit on the incentives, which, again, I sure hope he hits:

UPDATE 3: While the Dodgers were lurking, they weren’t willing to tack on that extra year and “weren’t all that close” to the Cubs’ final bid:

UPDATE 4: It’ll be very interesting to see the particulars on these:

UPDATE 5: Early opt-outs are “in” and Darvish might have received one that comes before the three-year mark of his contract. Johnny Cueto and Masahiro Tanaka’s opt-in after the 2017 season is an example of what the other side looks like:

The Jason Heyward deal also had a couple opt outs (the second of which includes a playing time requirement to kick in) and some no-trade protection. This front office had previously been loath to include those kinds of things, but ultimately you get the deal done and deal with the fallout later. Eh hem.

UPDATE 6: There’s the opt out detail:

So, Darvish can opt out after year two. That’s pretty unlikely to be exercised at age 33, but it does give him some protection if he has two blowout seasons and prices skyrocket for starting pitchers.

There is a lot to like about Darvish’s deal and how it shapes the 2018 Cubs in the middle of their competitive window. Today is a good day.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.