Yu Darvish Still Has Concerns About Playing, But is Not Currently Considering Opting Out

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Yu Darvish Still Has Concerns About Playing, But is Not Currently Considering Opting Out

Chicago Cubs

Yu Darvish’s perspective will always be something I remember as a benchmarking device when I think back on 2020 and the pandemic.

All the way back at the Cubs Convention in mid-January, when he was asked about the outbreak of a novel coronavirus in his native Japan, Darvish expressed much more concern than anyone else was at the time. Perhaps it was his personal geographic connection, or perhaps he was simply a lot wiser than most of us were at that time. He was right to be concerned. Obviously.

Even now, as he prepares to pitch in MLB’s abbreviated 2020 season amid the now-worsening pandemic, Darvish is still concerned. He is not ready to say for sure that he wouldn’t consider opting out at some point this year, but much of that rides on what he sees from his teammates. And so far, that’s been good.

Like all players, Darvish is entitled to his personal and familial perspective on playing this year. If at any point he no longer feels comfortable, then he should feel empowered to opt out without anyone perceiving it as him “leaving” his team. I say that now, because I want to make sure, for our part, we’re communicating this clearly to fans. I don’t care what the state of the season is or the success or failure of the Cubs – if a player and his family decide at any point they need to be done, then that’s just fine.

For now, though, Darvish is here. His teammates are taking this very seriously. And if he makes a go of it this year, I really do believe Darvish is going to dominate. He was in such a good place in the second half last year, and seemed to be carrying it forward into the spring.

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.