Saving their best pitching move for last, Cubs finally sign Yu Darvish

Saving their best pitching move for last, Cubs finally sign Yu Darvish

Saving their best pitching move for last, Cubs finally sign Yu Darvish

After almost an entire winter of speculation and reports connected Darvish with the Twins and several other clubs, the best available free agent starter chose to take his talents to the North side of Chicago. However, the Dodgers are hoping to stay under the luxury tax threshold in 2018 and couldn't clear enough money in order to afford Darvish.

The much-anticipated free agent pitcher made it known that he was looking for at least six years and over $100 million.

With Darvish joining Jon Lester, Jose Quintana and Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs find themselves vaulted back into favorite status in the National League. He pitched well for Los Angeles to close out the regular season, but struggled in the World Series, leading some to believe he was tipping his pitches. They waited out a long winter as baseball's hot stove went on the fritz, and they stuck to an offer they can defend in the name of winning. Darvish's primary gains by landing with the Cubs is premium run support and a boost in terms of strikeouts, considering he spent much of his USA career pitching at Texas' Globe Life Park, which severely deflates them.

Whether the Cubs and team president Theo Epstein admit this or not, the team probably wasn't expecting to sign a free agent of Darvish's caliber - and price tag - going into the offseason.

The Cubs have reached the NL Championship Series in each of the last three years.

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The Cubs have faith that Darvish's World Series flop was the exception, not the rule.

At 31 years old, Darvish no longer looks like the ace he was at his best in 2013 when he finished second in AL Cy Young voting. As an Astros player told Sports Illustrated, Darvish - who always pitches out of the stretch - tipped his pitches by the way he moved the ball into his glove from the set position.

With pitchers and catchers set to report to Major League Baseball spring training camps next week (and free agents who haven't signed holding their own training camp in Florida), teams and available players may be getting more serious about agreeing on some deals.

That narrative could very well be debunked over the next couple of weeks, if Darvish's signing is any indication.

Hopefully for Arrieta he hears these rumors or agent Scott Boras does so he can start negotiating with a team or teams and come to an agreement on something more short term with a high annual salary. After his World Series disaster, Darvish apologized to Dodgers fans.

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