Posted by: gravessack | February 11, 2018

No, Yu Didn’t!

Five years and around $100 million apparently was not enough to entice Yu Darvish. Those were the terms that the Twins reportedly offered this year’s top free agent pitcher earlier this week. General Manager Thad Levine really wanted Darvish to secure the number 1 spot in the rotation, especially that Ervin Santana won’t be back until at least mid-April after he had surgery on his right middle finger February 6. The dream became for naught when Darvish made his much-anticipated decision.

After several weeks of negotiations and whittling down his preferred teams, Darvish chose to sign with the Chicago Cubs on a six-year, $126 million contract on Saturday.Chicago Cubs logo Darvish could make $150 million with incentives and can opt-out after the second year of the contract. The Brewers made a legitimate offer for him also; however he felt that the Cubs had the best, longest deal for him. The Twins minus was that they were unwilling to offer an opt-out clause. One must wonder: if the Twins had, would Darvish be a Twin? The other club in the running was the Dodgers. I feel that he picked the team that could win now, and ultimately, close relationships did not matter. (Levine was the assistant GM in Texas when Darvish was there.)

Darvish will join the Cubs as possibly the front-line starter at the start of spring training. The 31-year-old, who has an overall record of 56-42 in five years, will join fellow starters Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana, and Tyler Chatwood. With the almost certain loss of Jake Arrieta, Darvish will try to assert himself as the leader. To do that though, Darvish has to slay his demons of last year, when he went 10-12 and recorded 209 strikeouts with Texas and the Dodgers.

His downfall was really felt in the World Series in October.Yu Darvish pitching in a World Series game in 2017 for the Los Angeles Dodgers Darvish was very below average, posting a 21.60 ERA, along with 9 hits and 9 runs in 2 starts against the eventual champions, Houston. Additionally, he was accused of tipping his pitches during those starts. Darvish is good enough to get back to pitching like his first four years in the league, and I believe he will do just that.

And so with hours to go until Twins pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers, they are still searching for their significant free agent starter. The flood gates should open up now and free agents start signing with teams. Hopefully, Levine immediately tries to coax second-tier pitchers Arrieta, Alex Cobb, or Lance Lynn to sign here. The Darvish signing must have been a slap in the face to the front office. Then again, they have some other options that they must not pass up if they want to keep up the team’s progression!

Written by: Michael L. Sack

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