Although it’s no surprise given his comments late in the year, it’s nice to have it confirmed: Yu Darvish is not opting out of his contract with the Cubs.
Yu Darvish had a big 2nd half (0.81 WHIP, 2.76 ERA, .199 BAA) and 229 Ks fir year, but he will not opt out of his deal. Has $81M, 4 years to go. He likes Chicago and had previously suggested his plans to stay.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 31, 2019
There was a time – say, April this year? – when most folks forgot Darvish even HAD an opt-out in his six-year deal with the Cubs, because it was so utterly impossible that it would ever become an issue. After all, Darvish made just a handful of mostly unsuccessful starts in 2018 before an elbow injury and subsequent surgery took him out for the year. Then, he opened the season with some of the worst control I’ve ever seen, and the dread sank in.
… but then Darvish went on such a tear that he became one of the best pitchers in baseball in the second half, and suddenly, a four-year, $81 million contract for his services (what is left on his deal now) didn’t look all that onerous. In fact, it kinda looks like a decent deal for the Cubs!
Darvish will pitch most of next season at age 33, and if the Cubs get the guy he was in the second half, he’ll be their clear ace. Regardless of any other additions to the roster, the Cubs will need it.
But, yeah, about those additions … with Darvish in the fold, the rotation currently looks like Darvish, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, and then someone from the Tyler Chatwood, Alec Mills, Adbert Alzolay, Kendall Graveman group. If that doesn’t scare you, then you’re not paying attention. It *COULD* be a serviceable rotation, but only Darvish and Hendricks are guys you’d bet on having above-average seasons in 2020. Lester could still be average. Quintana could bounce back. The back-end might see someone like Chatwood be average, too. But that’s a whole lotta mights and coulds just to be serviceable.
I’m glad Darvish is staying. But the Cubs still need to add another impactful starter.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) October 8, 2019