Chicago Cubs: Yu Darvish is ready to be this team’s long-term ace

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish will not opt-out of his six-year $126 million contract. Darvish has four years and $81 million remaining on his deal.

When Yu Darvish signed his massive deal back with the Chicago Cubs in February of 2018 there was much talk about the opt-out in his contract after two years. If Darvish wanted to test the free-agent market again this would be his chance to.

Coming into 2019 the idea of Darvish opting out of his deal was a non-story because of the disappointing debut campaign for Darvish. In 2018 Darvish only appeared in eight games posting a 4.95 ERA before being shut down for the year with an elbow injury.

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Coming into 2019 Darvish was a real wild card. We only saw a glimpse of him in 2018 and it was not great, to say the least.

During the first half of 2019, the big right-hander struggled but was healthy for the most part which was encouraging. In 18 starts before the break, Darvish had a 5.01 ERA and struggled with giving up home runs (20) and walking batters (49).

Everything seemed to change for Darvish at the All-Star Break. During the second half of the season, he was one of the most dominant pitchers in all of baseball, posting a 2.76 ERA in 13 games during the second half of the season and seeing his strikeout numbers go way up. There was no secret that Darvish was the Cubs’ best pitcher in the second half of the season.

Darvish’s second-half tear was the only reason why the topic of him opting out was even brought up again. Because if Darvish didn’t do what he did in the second half of the season there would be no reason to go and test out the free-agent market again, especially how it been the last few years.

There is no secret that Darvish loves playing in Chicago. Darvish spoke highly of how his family views him playing for the Cubs.

"“My kids and my wife love Chicago, especially the kids. They only care about the Cubbies. So, I don’t think [I will opt out]. … This organization is perfect for me.”"

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Darvish will be entering his age 33 season in 2020 and after the second half of the season that he had it will be no surprise that the Cubs will lean on him heavily. After what we saw down the stretch this year, I think I can speak for most fans when saying that I am glad that Yu Darvish will be on our team for years to come.