Yu Darvish “Out There” in Trade Talks, But Exec Guesses the Cubs Are Asking for “Babe Ruth” in Return

With the Chicago Cubs in “heavy restart” mode – to say nothing of cost-cutting mode – it’s all the more reasonable to presume that the team really is willing to listen on anyone, especially guys who make some scratch.

That doesn’t mean the Cubs would actually trade Yu Darvish, for example, but it does mean that when his name comes up in rumors, and when Jesse Rogers says he thinks it’s now more likely that Darvish is traded than Kris Bryant, we have to sit up and listen.

None of that is to say that Darvish is going to be traded, obviously. Because it seems the Cubs are taking the tack they absolutely should with a guy of his significant value: ask for the moon.

So, consider that a little more confirmation that, yes, the Cubs are open to trade talks on Darvish. But in a market starved for impact starting pitching, and with Darvish pitching at peak-performance, the ask has to be extremely high. Even in cost-cutting mode, the Cubs would otherwise be perfectly content to hang onto Darvish for the three years and $62 million remaining on his deal. It’s a bargain, and there’s no reason to move Darvish (assuming you got around his 12-team no-trade rights) just to save some salary and pick up a prospect or two.

That said, if the offer is Ruthian, then the Cubs simply have to consider it, even if it means 2021 turns into a major step-back year. Heck, the Cubs are possibly looking at that anyway, so if you’re going to “heavy restart,” well, then “heavy restart.” Sometimes that means trading the really valuable guys when they are really valuable.

For me, I don’t see any reason to consider a Darvish trade right now unless you’re getting a package of multiple potential IMPACT players and/or prospects. To a team that is aggressively pushing in for 2021, there aren’t many better additions out there than Yu Darvish. His price tag should reflect that.

As for possible trade partners, the Angels always pop into my head as a team that desperately needs to push hard in 2021 (and has the pieces to make a deal work, starting with outfielder Jo Adell). Heyman mentions the Padres, who of course have the pieces:

Also, for the record, no, the Cubs should not trade Yu Darvish for the literal corpse of Babe Ruth. He would accept his walks, yes, but I worry that the ISO would be dramatically reduced at this point. (Also, I wonder if that was a joking nod to that bizarre Zack Wheeler story from the Winter Meetings.)

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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