Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres both losers so far in the Yu Darvish trade
Chicago Cubs fans know the acquisition of starting pitcher Zach Davies hasn’t exactly worked out well. Not only has Davies not pitched well for the Cubs after turning a breakout 2020 season with the San Diego Padres, but the team was unable to unload him and get anything in return at the trade deadline (which was probably a big reason why they acquired him in the first place).
However, in case you haven’t been paying attention, things haven’t exactly been going well for the Padres, either. San Diego was among National League favorites heading into the 2021 season, largely because they had brought in Yu Darvish and Victor Caratini from the Cubs for Davies and prospects, among other moves.
Instead, after a solid first half, they’ve fallen apart down the stretch and are now on the outside looking in for an NL Wild Card spot (the Giants and Dodgers have distanced themselves in the West). Their problems were exacerbated by a heated exchange between stars Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis, Jr. in the dugout during Saturday night’s game against the Cardinals.
The Chicago Cubs still have a chance to win this trade in the end
While Davies has not been good, both Darvish and Caratini have fallen far short of expectations as well. After finishing second in NL Cy Young Award voting in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Darvish’s ERA has ballooned from 2.01 to 4.13. While he had a solid outing Saturday night against the Cardinals, before that he’d had a 7.67 ERA since the beginning of July. Overall, he’s gone from giving up 0.6 home runs per nine innings to 1.5.
Caratini, meanwhile, had shown a lot of promise with the Cubs and even was thought to be good enough to be the starting catcher on many MLB teams back when the trade was made. Instead, he’s struggled mightily at the plate, posting an AVG/OBP/SLG slash line of .218/.301/.311 with San Diego this year. Overall, he has a negative WAR of -0.1.
Now, there’s still time for Darvish to turn things around and San Diego isn’t out of the postseason chase yet. However, given how the Padres went all-in on this season, it’s safe to say at this point that the trade has been a disaster from their perspective. The only plus side for them so far is that they didn’t have to give up any of their best prospects.
However, at this point, it looks like the Cubs are the only ones who have a chance to win this trade. They did acquire four prospects, including two, Reginald Preciado and Owen Caissie, who currently rank in the organization’s top 10, according to MLB.com. Though they are both a ways away from the big leagues, if even one of them becomes a solid major league player, the trade will be a win for the Cubs.
Jed Hoyer has taken a lot of heat for his moves with the Cubs over the past year, but there’s still a great chance that this trade could work in the Cubs’ favor. Hopefully, we’ll be able to look back on this trade fondly a few years from now.