Cubs have a recent history of free agent pitchers starting slow

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Yu Darvish / Chicago Cubs
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Cubs: To say year 1 of the Yu Darvish deal was a disaster is an understatement

The Cubs landed free agent hurler Yu Darvish in the winter of 2018. It was a six-year, $126 million deal which was seen as very risky by some. Darvish had come off a historically bad World Series performance with the Dodgers the year before, and already had an injury history.

His first year as a Cub was beyond disastrous. He made eight starts from April through May before suffering from tendinitis and elbow issues, which would eventually result in him missing the rest of the season. Of the eight starts he made that year, only three of them were of quality. The right-hander pitched to a 4.95 ERA, 4.86 FIP, 21 walks in 40 innings and seven home runs against. He gave up five earned runs in 4 1/3  innings in his Cubs debut.

Darvish returned in 2019, and the results still were not good the first two months. In his first 12 starts, he posted a 5.02 ERA, 5.38 FIP and .364 OBP against. It was June 5 and onward where he would become the ace of the staff.

His final 31 starts as a Cub from that date through 2020, he pitched to a 2.89 ERA, 249 strikeouts, 29 walks and .204 average against in 193 2/3 innings pitched. That sample size is pretty much a full normal season for a starter. Darvish ended his Cubs tenure with a 3.60 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 1.11 WHIP and 11.3 K/9 in 51 starts.