Cubs News: Appreciating Yu Darvish’s drastic evolution since 2018

Yu Darvish / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
Yu Darvish / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images) /
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Yu Darvish / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /

NL Cy Young runner-up Yu Darvish came to the Cubs in 2018 amidst a lot of hype.

February 10, 2018. The Chicago Cubs had reached an agreement with free agent pitcher Yu Darvish. Six years for $126 million. Darvish had five MLB seasons under his belt since coming over to the United States from Japan. His resume included four All-Star appearances and a career 3.42 ERA, 3.30 FIP and 11.0 K/9.

Despite the woes of the 2017 World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers, expectations were obviously high. This signing was basically replacing fan-favorite Jake Arrieta in the rotation, who went on to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. There was some concern with Darvish, especially regarding how he pitched in the World Series the year prior and his history with injuries.

Fast forward to 2020 where Darvish finished second in the National League Cy Young voting and put up an NL best 2.23 FIP in 12 starts. There is so much that happened in between the day he signed and the end of the 2020 season. Some highs and some lows. The journey for Darvish as a Cub is a fascinating one, and something worth exploring in detail as he is now halfway through his six-year deal.