Chicago Cubs: Yu Darvish, RHP
I ended Chatwood with a “for now,” because, after last season, nothing is guaranteed. Especially costly free agent contracts. Yu Darvish made just a handful of starts, threw 40 innings, and was the biggest single-season bust of 2018. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m implying that the contract entirely is a bust. Not at all. But you can’t deny that first season of his six-year deal should be flushed.
Darvish came in last season with the fans far from embracing him like they did most free agent pitcher signings. After the World Series, many didn’t feel he was worth it, even after it came out he was tipping his pitches. Most fans knew the price would be high, and wanted to see the Cubs keep Jake Arrieta if they were going to spend that kind of flow. But in came Darvish–briefly–before he was right back out.
This season has been a different one for Darvish. His teammates have rallied around him. He’s doing his interviews without an interpreter, and says he feels “as good as ever.” That doesn’t always speak to results. But the 97 miles per hour he’s been hitting with fastball is impressive. I think for Darvish, outside of the injury, was that he didn’t feel part of the team. Whatever happened during the offseason seems to have changed that, and we expect big things from him here at Cubbies Crib.