If the Cubs plan on rebuilding, Yu Darvish could play a key role in the process.
Of all the current players on the Chicago Cubs roster mentioned in trade talks these days, there is one who arguably has the most value at the moment: Yu Darvish
Oh, yea the Great Bambino of course. I thought he said the Great Bambi.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Jed Hoyer and the Cubs allegedly being open to offers on untouchables on the active roster, so this news doesn’t come as a surprise. From Heyman’s sources, it sounds unlikely to happen due to the “Babe Ruth-esque” asking price for Darvish.
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While it was a small sample size, Darvish turned in one of his best seasons on a big- eague mound in 2020. These numbers alone are worth the king’s ransom the Cubs probably are asking for.
The right hander made a dozen starts spanning 76 innings, allowing just 59 hits and striking out 93 batters, while walking only 14. When it was all said and done, he went 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA.
In an offseason of uncertainty, most teams will probably stay away from a blockbuster trade like this. Still, nothing can be ruled out and Heyman believes if a GM is willing to roll the dice right now, it would probably be from a team on the rise like San Diego. The Padres are coming off a trip to the NLDS and have enough young talent to part ways if they are in a “win now” mode.
That being said, this is the perfect time for the Cubs to trade their big right-hander. At 34 years old, Darvish’s value could be at its peak. I’m not saying it’s going to happen and I certainly hope it doesn’t, but time historically catches up to the hard-throwers like Darvish around this point in their careers.
The direction of the organization also plays a large role in whether or not they see Darvish in their future. If the team decides to begin a “full-restart” mode at some-point between now and the end of the 2021 season, Darvish could have the most value in terms of bringing in prospects for that process.
There have been talks this offseason indicating how Hoyer and the Cubs want to avoid spending big money. Moving Darvish could also mean saving a significant amount of salary if the Cubs choose to allocate the funds elsewhere. Darvish currently has three years remaining (2021: $22 million, 2022: $19 million, 2023: $18 million) on his current deal with the Cubs.
I think the likelihood of Darvish trade is similar to the rumors connected to Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras. The Cubs aren’t going to make a deal unless they believe they are getting what they deserve, which is, again, probably in the neighborhood of “Babe Ruth-esque” in return. Until we get some answers for the upcoming 2021 season, teams will likely stay away from blockbuster moves until at least the trade deadline.
So like most of these rumors floating around the club these days, we’ll have to wait and see which direction the team plans on heading. Still, if there are any big trades involving current players, we will probably have the same reaction as Darvish.