The news broke Saturday afternoon that the Cubs signed free agent pitch Yu Darvish to a $150 million dollar deal for 6 years ($126m plus incentives). I instantly wonder, “Why not Arrieta?*” At least we know Jake. We know his work ethic. He’s pitched some clutch games, and won. I hope this works out.
Color me skeptical. Then I remember the Cubs fired stellar pitching coach Chris Bosio at season’s end. This could have been a factor in going with Darvish. I am on record as saying the Bosio firing is going to end up being a bad decision. Time will tell. MLB.com has a nice comparison piece on both pitchers that is worth a read.
On paper, it gives the Cubs a formidable starting rotation 1-4: Lester, Hendricks, Quintana, and Darvish–not necessarily in that order. Darvish will likely command the #2 spot. If they stay healthy, they should win a lot of games in 2018. The Cubs hitters, who had a bit of a down year in 2017, should get back to hitting in the new year. Rizzo is in his prime, Bryant, Russell, and Schwarber have another year of experience. It will be interesting to see how a slimmer Schwarber hits.
Spring training is only a few days away. Thus begins the grind of regular season baseball.
*It has been revealed that the Cubs did call Arrieta and let him know they were about to sign Darvish for the numbers posted above, and made him an offer.