Cubs Yu Darvish turning out to be one of the best deals out there

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

With the massive free-agent deals taking place this offseason, we take a look at why Yu Darvish’s contract signed in 2018 is looking like a steal for the Cubs.

When the Cubs signed Yu Darvish for six-years and $126 million back in 2018, it made a lot of heads turn and everyone wondered if this would be another flop. The righty was coming off a season in which he was traded to the Dodgers from the Rangers at the deadline, proceeding to give up nine runs in three and one-third innings in the World Series, with five coming in Game 7.

In addition to this, season one in Chicago was a nightmare and it felt like another way the over-valued contract was upon us. Now, as we enter 2020, the deal for Darvish is turning to be one of the best in baseball.

Going back to year one in Chicago, Darvish did not have a good time. He lasted just 40 innings, with a 1-3 record and 4.95 ERA, before being shut down for an injury. A worst-case scenario by far and Cubs fans wondered what to even make of the situation. It almost seemed like he was written off and that we needed to find a low-cost alternative for the rotation. It was a long 2019 off-season for Darvish, but safe to say, he has turned a corner.

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To summarize his turnaround, teams have actually called the Cubs to inquire about trading for Darvish. The righty displayed utter dominance in the second half of 2019. In 13 post-All-Star break starts, he posted a K/9 of 13, a 2.76 ERA with seven walks through 118 innings.

It took Darvish a little bit to become 100 percent and get himself into full form, so for the sake of this article, we will consider his first-half numbers as a stepping-stone and use his second-half stats as a comparison.

Gerrit Cole signed the big-money contract of the off-season, inking a nine-year deal with the Yankees for a whopping $324 million.

Cole finished 2019 with a 2.50 ERA (seventh in baseball) and a league-leading 13.82 K/9. Compare that to second-half Darvish with 13 K/9 and his 2.76 ERA and he’s right there. I’ll take those numbers for $15 million less per year any day.

The other deal that makes Darvish’s contract so appealing is that of Zach Wheeler. Wheeler signed a five-year, $118 million with the Phillies. Wheeler finished 2019 with a record of 11-8, an ERA of 3.96 with a nine K/9. Peak Darvish outdoes these numbers, at a mark that is $2.6 million less per year. Sign me up.

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The Darvish deal has taken its time to come to fruition, but I believe heading into 2020 his contract is one of the most valuable out there. With the amount of money being thrown at big free agents this off-season, signing Darvish for what we did seems like a steal. Hopefully, he can build off his 2019 season, while continuing to be the lovable guy that he is. As of right now, I would say the Cubs have a new number one starter moving forward.