The deal could be worth up to $150 million with incentives, and also reportedly includes opt-out and no-trade clauses.
Darvish will join Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana, and Tyler Chatwood in what will be a very strong rotation. Darvish's 2017 season had its ups and downs, including a disastrous performance in the World Series, but ultimately he still had a productive year. Saturday, news broke by The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal that Darvish would be headed to Chicago, pending a physical. Theo Epstein has turned the Cubs into one of - if not the - prime free agent destination during his tenure.
He has averaged 11 strikeouts per nine innings over his career, which is the highest ratio in Major League Baseball history for pitchers with more than 100 career starts - ranking just ahead of Randy Johnson and Chris Sale, who are tied for second at 10.6. The top free agent pitcher on the market finally signing could get those wheels turning. Both the Dodgers and Yankees may have moved on Darvish sooner had those clubs not been concerned with exceeding the luxury tax threshold for this season. He's still an excellent starting pitcher to build a rotation around and will immediately make the Cubs more risky as they chase a World Series title in 2018 and beyond.
Post-Tommy John, he is 17-17 in 48 starts with a 3.70 ERA and 341 strikeouts.
With the addition of Darvish, at least in my mind, Chicago is once again the team to beat in the National League.
At 31 years old, Darvish no longer looks like the ace he was at his best in 2013 when he finished second in AL Cy Young voting. The other notable starting pitchers on the free agent market - Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, and Lance Lynn - all received qualifying offers from their original teams, and any other team that goes on to sign them will have to give up a draft pick.