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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Yu Darvish signs with Cubs | MLB.com

Darvish turns 32 in August.

Darvish and the Cubs agreed to a six-year deal on Saturday that guarantees the right-hander $126 million, two sources told MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi and Carrie Muskat. The Cubs could not immediately confirm the signing because it was pending a physical exam.

Darvish’s $126 million contract would be the largest free-agent deal so far this offseason. Sources told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal that the contract includes incentives that could push its total value to $150 million, though Darvish would have to win multiple Cy Young Awards to reach that figure. The contract includes an opt-out clause and no-trade protection, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 10, 2018 at 06:09 PM | 66 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, free agents, yu darvish

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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: February 10, 2018 at 06:26 PM (#5623031)
Man. I don't know about this. Probably doesn't help that I still remember his final outing of the season so well.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:00 PM (#5623039)
We'll have to see the detail (opt-outs, deferrals, etc.). The vagaries of the baseball age-calculation aside, it's his age 31 season so this takes him through age 36. When you figure that two years ago Cueto, a year younger, got 6/$130 with an opt-out, it's hard to complain too much. Cueto had been a better pitcher pre-FA but did miss most of 2013 and the home stretch of 2015 was ugly enough (but two very find postseason starts) some of us thought he might be hurt.

Zimmermann, 2 years younger at FA, signed for 5/$110 on a fairly similar but healthier track record -- of course he's been pretty bad in Det.

I suppose it largely comes down to what would it have taken for Arrieta, Lynn or Cobb. Possibly not a coincidence that Darvish is not a Boras client. I'm not sure where the price break point for me is for Arrieta vs Darvish. I mean obviously and easily, I'd take Jake at 4/$80 but I doubt that was the call. Arrieta is a year older (or half a year if you insist) and my gut tells me Darvish is the better gamble so I think I probably still lean Darvish over Arrieta at 5/$100. Lynn and Cobb are a bit harder to judge as, correctly or not, I rate each a step below these two.

Anyway, Darvish, Q, Hendricks, Lester, Chatwood could be a really nice rotation. I'd still like some more AAAA insurance to supplement Monty but I can't complain.
   3. TomH Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:10 PM (#5623042)
K/9 active leaders
Rank Player (yrs, age) Strikeouts per 9 IP Throws
1. Chris Sale .......... (8, 28) 10.5472 L
2. Stephen Strasburg (8, 28) 10.5414 R
3. Max Scherzer ... (10, 32) 10.1956 R
4. Corey Kluber ...... (7, 31) 9.9074 R
5. Clayton Kershaw. (10, 29) 9.8605 L

Yu at 11.0, but need 168 IP to meet the 1000 OP rqmt
   4. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:12 PM (#5623043)
This is a fair deal for both sides.
   5. The Duke Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:13 PM (#5623044)
Looks like a killer deal for cubs. Guarantees them a playoff spot over next couple years and they are loaded up for a WS run. The brewers and cards should throttle back - they can only hope for wild card. Opt out after 2019 makes this more like a 2/40 deal. Post Harper, kershaw and Machado, darvish will look good in 2020. Hard to argue with this.

   6. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:16 PM (#5623045)
Could work out well, but could blow up very quickly. I fine with moving on from Darvish.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:23 PM (#5623048)
The opt-out makes it look even more like Cueto ... but then a less-good deal than Cueto. Incentives add a bit of extra risk for the Cubs but apparently to get the full $150 he'd have to win a couple of CYA and I'm hoping he hits all of his incentives.

#3 -- I saw in one of the write-ups that Darvish has made the AS team 4 times which surprised me a bit given he doesn't have a lot of dominant seasons. No doubt the stuff and the Ks impress the managers plus his first half ERA of 3.24 is a lot better than the 2nd half 3.65 (but K/BB and K/9 are higher in 2nd half). Given he missed 1.5 years to injury, he's been an AS in every season he's been "eligible" to be an AS. I suppose that's one way in which the world has changed a bit -- if FOs still cared about such things, imagine how much an FA starter who'd been an AS every year would fetch. (Of course if they were looking at wins, he'd probably have come cheaper.)
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:24 PM (#5623050)
If the staff stays healthy, what does this mean for Butler? I'm looking at the Cubs rotation and it looks to be Darvish, Lester, Hendricks(the true ace), Quintana and Chatwood.
   9. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:30 PM (#5623052)
If the staff stays healthy, what does this mean for Butler? I'm looking at the Cubs rotation and it looks to be Darvish, Lester, Hendricks(the true ace), Quintana and Chatwood.

Montgomery is also ahead of Butler on the SP depth chart. So unless someone gets hurt, probably looking at limited MLB innings.
   10. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:34 PM (#5623054)
Butler sucks. He's probably like 9th in the depth chart, behind Montgomery, Tseng, Mills and hopefully passed by Alzolay this year.
   11. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:35 PM (#5623055)
It's debatable whether Hendricks or quintana is the "ace" but Darvish is also right there at least the next couple seasons.
   12. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:39 PM (#5623057)
The Cubs don't have a true ace like Kershaw, Scherzer, or Sale. What they have are 4 pitchers who would be cromulent #1s on playoff contenders.
   13. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:43 PM (#5623060)
The Cubs don't have a true ace like Kershaw, Scherzer, or Sale. What they have are 4 pitchers who would be cromulent #1s on playoff contenders.

Darvish projects as one of the top dozen or so SP in MLB. If that's not a "true ace," then the term is meaningless.
   14. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:45 PM (#5623061)
From 2015-2017, IP > 500, sorted by ERA+:

Hendricks #7
Lester #16
Q #22
Darvish did not qualify. His 123 ERA+ would be tied with Lester if it did.
   15. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:47 PM (#5623062)
Darvish projects as one of the top dozen or so SP in MLB. If that's not a "true ace," then the term is meaningless.


Bad choice of words. No brainer Ace. As in the one guy you want to start game 7. We are on the same page.
   16. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:48 PM (#5623063)
"Projects" != what he has done

That is, Darvish was still recovering from TJS in 2015. He's now thrown nearly 300 post-TJ and looks fine.

Last year's postseason notwithstanding, there aren't more than a dozen pitchers that I'd rather have starting in a must-win game than Darvish.

   17. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:51 PM (#5623064)
Whatever. Some people have to argue because they have to argue.
   18. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:57 PM (#5623066)
LOL. Concessions accepted.
   19. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 10, 2018 at 08:04 PM (#5623068)
LOL. Concessions accepted.


Oh FFS!. Are you agruing Darvish is Kershaw, Scherzr, or Sale? That's all I'm saying. Did you miss #12 when I said hes a cromulent #1 on a playoff contender? none of the Cubs starters are lights out WOW! #1 guys. 4 are reasonable #1s. If you want to keep arguing with someone who agrees with you, have at it.
   20. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: February 10, 2018 at 08:11 PM (#5623071)
Jesus Christ, calm the #### down. All I've said is that he projects as one of the best dozen or so starting pitchers. And that looking at what he did in 2015-17 isn't necessarily informative, given that he was still recovering from TJS for half that time.
   21. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: February 10, 2018 at 08:20 PM (#5623075)
Awesome.

Very happy with this. Who cares if it's an overpay, the Cubs have the money. Still lacking an ace, but 4 #2s will play and I'm a big believer in Chatwood. Lester, Quintna, Darvish, Hendriks and Chatoowd? Thrilled with that.

Happy Cubs fans pours himself an 8th drink tonight.
   22. The Honorable Ardo Posted: February 10, 2018 at 08:25 PM (#5623077)
Darvish's opt-out is after three years, not two. The Cubs have a whole rotation intact for 2018-2020:

Darvish (6-year deal, can opt out after 2020)
Lester (3 years remaining on his 6-year deal)
Quintana (signed for $9M this year, with 2019 and 2020 club options for $11M and $13M)
Hendricks (under club control through 2020)
Chatwood (3-year deal)

Drew Smyly is rehabbing and waiting in the wings, too.
   23. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: February 10, 2018 at 08:25 PM (#5623078)
Woooooooo!!!

CUBS ####### CUBS!!!!
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: February 10, 2018 at 08:48 PM (#5623080)
Zimmermann, 2 years younger at FA, signed for 5/$110 on a fairly similar but healthier track record -- of course he's been pretty bad in Det.

not to be all Debbie Downer, but he's who came to mind.

for the Cubs crowd here: if Darvish is slow out of the gate, the Cubs are not in first place, and Arrieta is pitching better for less elsewhere - how long before the bleacher bums turn on Darvish?

I picture, given the recent WS win, Cubs fans as a python who is still digesting that massive prey - so therefore not prone to gobbling up a passing creature just yet. hence, I ask
   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 10, 2018 at 09:02 PM (#5623082)
The grace period is at least two years, a unit of time known as a 'Heyward.'
   26. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: February 10, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5623083)
Oh, are you asking what happens if evil slips from its seams and the lord protectors of all that is good and right, led by their new samurai is unable to turn it back?

It could be bad. Non-Cubs demons may suck the flesh off of humanity and Dominican chits may spawn into gorgons. Nobody wants that.

I suggest everyone root appropriately.
   27. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: February 10, 2018 at 09:43 PM (#5623084)
(22) The opt-out is after two years. I don't know where three comes from.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: February 10, 2018 at 09:47 PM (#5623085)
Darvish's opt-out is after three years, not two. The Cubs have a whole rotation intact for 2018-2020:

To go along with our entire position player lineup plus Happ for the next 4 years.

"Aces" ... I'll go with the Misrlou camp although it depends on how big the gaps are and that will vary from year-to-year. But I suspect there are at least a few seasons where the gap between, say, #12 and #20 is smaller than the gap between, say, #9 and #12.

As an extreme example of what I mean, here's the top X "CF" (by JAWS) sorted by WAR:

Mays 156
Cobb 151
Speaker 134
Mantle 110
Griffey 84
DiMaggio 78

... then 10 guys between 60 and 70. Beltran is 8 WAR behind Joe D (who did that in 3300 fewer PAs) and only 1.6 WAR ahead of Lofton and just 9.5 ahead of Edmonds. Beltran may be the 7th best CF of all time but he's clearly not in the elite (or all-time greats or inner circle or whatever).

So similarly, not that pitcher WAR is definitive but for 2015-17, JA Happ is 17th with 11 and DeGrom is 8th at 13. The gap between #8 and #12 is just 0.6 WAR. DeGrom is then 1 full run behind Arrieta at #7 and a little over 2 behind Verlander in #5. None of those gaps are particularly large over a 3-year period but a gap of 1 WAR followed by a group of 5 pitchers within 0.6 WAR of one another suggests the gap is "real." Which doesn't necessarily mean the #12 guys didn't pitch like an ace necessarily -- conveniently, those are the guys who averaged 4+ WAR but it's hard to make a case that there is any clear difference between the pitchers above a line and below a line once you get past #7.

By the way ... Arrieta #7, Quintana 15, Hendricks 19, Lester 25. The Cubs aren't gonna see Arrieta's 2015 again but if Darvish can duplicate what Lester did the last 3 years and Lester and Chatwood can be average or better, I'm pretty happy.

SP is a hard job. For 2015-17, only 28 starters made it to 9 WAR (rounded) and only 58 to 6 WAR. Maybe we just need to start thinking of SPs similar to how we think of Cs -- they usually don't get enough PT to reach the "average" 2 WAR. Shark (5.4 WAR) is at #60, Martin Perez (4.2) is at #74, even Matt Harvey still sits #86. (At least if we limit it to 300+ IP.) Only 123 guys even qualify at 300 innings and 6 of those have been below-replacement. Just 42 made it to 500 innings, only another 16 made it to 450. It doesn't look any better over 5 years -- 24 at 900+, another 25 at 750+. Maybe you really should never sign a SP to more than 4 years.

Depending on where you put $/WAR, Cubs are paying for about 12-18 WAR ... 12 being a bit disappointing, 18 being a nice bonus. Not bothering with comps ... For ages 31-36, 1996-2017, 48 pitchers (including a few closers) made it to 12 WAR. At the lower end, it's hardly a murderer's row -- Lieber, Trachsel, Vazquez, Schmidt. JA Happ is there already with two seasons to go, Jeff Fassero made it in 4 seasons. Obviously a lot of guys fell by the wayside due to injury, etc. but it's not expecting a lot out of Darvish to think he'll do at least as well as Trachsel or Vazquez.

At 15-18 WAR you pick up David Wells in 4 years, El Duque in 5 years, Rick Reed in 5 years, Woody Williams, Iwakuma, Dempster, Buehrle, Pettitte.

The Cubs aren't paying him close to ace money, they're paying him durable #2 money. If he has a couple of ace seasons (then take what you get) or 900 innings of 105-115 seasons, the Cubs get pretty much what they paid for.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: February 10, 2018 at 09:49 PM (#5623086)
not to be all Debbie Downer, but he's who came to mind.

Yep, Zimmermann is an obvious comp ... and back when he signed it, my gut told me he was the best bargain. Hopefully my gut got it right this time.
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 10, 2018 at 10:42 PM (#5623093)
The Cubs aren't paying him close to ace money, they're paying him durable #2 money.

I don't think we know what ace money is anymore. Seems like most of what we consider market setting FA deals are now viewed as huge overpays by the team.

Darvish is a 3.5-4.0 WAR pitcher. If you project 3.5 with the standard 0.5 WAR decline you get 3.5, 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.5, 1.0 for 13.5 WAR, or if he's a 4.0 win pitcher, 16.5 WAR . Thatt's ~$7.5-9M per win, with no incentives hit. That's fair, but certainly no steal. The 2 year opt-out, truncates the upside severely.

I think this is a deal the Cubs had to make, given where they stand, but I'm glad my team didn't make it. I've been deathly afraid of a Darvish signing causing a Gardner trade, which would leave the Yankees with a more expensive, and worse team.
   31. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:51 AM (#5623114)
I don't think I see a Zimmermann comp at all. Their only real similarity is age at the time the contract was signed. Darvish is a better pitcher with a worse injury history.
   32. Voodoo Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:55 AM (#5623115)
still lacking an ace


I'm a fanboy, but Hendricks is an ace.

And if he's not I except Yu and Lester to vie for that status as well.

Cubs are stacked going into 2018.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: February 11, 2018 at 02:04 AM (#5623116)
Of course we know what "ace" contracts look like -- Verlander $28 per, Scherzer $30, Kershaw $31, Price $31, Greinke $36 (or whatever). Price might turn out to be a mistake due to injury, Greinke is overpaid/overlong at those years/$ but 5/$160 would have been reasonable.

But sure, this is solid #2 money and if he only puts up 13.5 WAR over the next 6 seasons then he's been a solid #2. Over the last 6 seasons, only 41 pitchers amassed 12.5 or more WAR and 3 of those were relievers. We're talking Fister, Estrada, the end of Lackey's career. Despite all his injuries, Adam Wainwright has made it to 15 WAR (#23) at ages 30-35 as an example what a top pitcher with health problems might still achieve.

I don't like the WAR trajectory though -- for pitchers it's much more about health than performance decline. If Darvish struggles to make it to 800 innings in his Cub tenure then he's unlikely to hit that 12.5 WAR (there are a few recent exceptions and he can do it if he pitches like he has). If he makes it to 900 innings, he's a very good bet to reach 12 WAR. He's much more likely to have a WAR pattern that goes 4, 1, 1, 2, 3, 1.5 with 200, 50, 120, 180, 180, 150 innings (excellent, hurt, rehab, adjusting to worse stuff, masters worse stuff, getting old) than anything close to a smooth decline. Heck, he's unfortunately probably more likely to go 4, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 than that smooth decline. (CC -- 3.5, 0, 0, 1, 3, 3)

Thing about Darvish besides the nice K rate is that he's got 15 WAR, 9 WAA in less than 650 innings. In 180 innings, that makes him a 4.2 WAR pitcher; 4.6 in 200 innings. Given their Chatwood interest, I think that's the guy the Cubs are hoping they got, even if he ends up staying only two seasons. Now the durability is questionable but for ages 26-30 in the sillyball era, there are only 23 SPs with 1 or more WAR per 45 innings. Granted, by IP, he's 19th on that list and the only folks close to him are guys who were hurt even more or haven't pitched their age 30 seasons yet. On the other hand, he's one healthy season away from Kevin Appier; it's a better IP/WAR rate than Mussina at those ages (and a lot fewer innings).

His downside, unfortunately, is Josh Johnson, Jose Rijo or Brandon Webb. Some of these guys were already done by 30, Darvish at least has made it back from his first major injury. Still, realistic comps out of this set are not overly encouraging -- Oswalt, Appier, CC put up 9-10 WAR over 31-36. But while he'll probably not reach Leiter's or Mussina's IP, they put up 21 and 30 WAR so I'll happily take 80-90% of either of those.

That said, wasn't the magic number for the 2nd TJ something like 5-6 seasons? That doesn't bode well.
   34. . . . . . . Posted: February 11, 2018 at 07:47 AM (#5623123)
Of course we know what "ace" contracts look like -- Verlander $28 per, Scherzer $30, Kershaw $31, Price $31, Greinke $36 (or whatever).


Do we? The market has changed.
   35. dejarouehg Posted: February 11, 2018 at 09:29 AM (#5623128)
I can't dismiss Yu's WS outings as it relates to the ACE argument. If going against the elite of the elite starters, to me the closest thing the Cubs have now is Hendricks, though the argument against is if he is that good, why won't Maddon let him go longer in hi-stress games.

I thought pre-TJS Yu belonged in the super-elite category.

Hope it works out for Cubs and that this isn't the pitching version of the JH deal
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 11, 2018 at 11:23 AM (#5623157)
Of course we know what "ace" contracts look like -- Verlander $28 per, Scherzer $30, Kershaw $31, Price $31, Greinke $36 (or whatever). Price might turn out to be a mistake due to injury, Greinke is overpaid/overlong at those years/$ but 5/$160 would have been reasonable.

The Price and Greinke deals are already clearly bad.

I don't know if any team is ever going to give that kind of deal to a SP again. I wouldn't.
   37. McCoy Posted: February 11, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5623159)
I'm pretty sure the darvish deal is going to look bad in three years as well. The key is the here and now. Win something before the contracts become a problem.
   38. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: February 11, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5623167)
Hope it works out for Cubs and that this isn't the pitching version of the JH deal


THe Cubs needed a SP for 2018 -- they didn't really need a RF for 2016.

Even if Yu blows up, this was a good deal that makes all kinds of sense for the Cubs. Obviously, I hope it works out well - but even if it doesn't, I think it will remain defensible.

The downside - well, beyond the "things go real bad" downside - is that the NTC puts some crimps in maneuverability in 3 years when the BRyants/Russell/Schwarbers/Baez come due.

The perfect world would probably be Darvish having two great seasons, the market improving, Darvish opting out, the Cubs just pocketing a pick because the recent focus on pitcher development starts yielding some fruits.... oh, with another title mixed in :-)
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 11, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5623173)
Even if Yu blows up, this was a good deal that makes all kinds of sense for the Cubs. Obviously, I hope it works out well - but even if it doesn't, I think it will remain defensible.

Of course it's defensible. It's a perfectly reasonable move for a win-now team. Especially with Milwaukee trying to sign him.
   40. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: February 11, 2018 at 12:30 PM (#5623184)
The one thing that gives me pause is "going first" -- will be interesting to see what happens now with Jake and Cobb.

As much as I still love the Chatwood signing, it seems pretty clear that deal was made under "pre-slow market" thinking. Probably just means 5-7 mil (over three years) difference, but if they hold off?

Hey - the risk of waiting is that you don't win the guy you want... and the Cubs got the two guys they wanted. But - setting aside some relievers maybe - it sure looks like the Chatwood and Darvish probably come out of a slow offseason/bad market better than everyone else.
   41. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 11, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5623185)
Man. I don't know about this. Probably doesn't help that I still remember his final outing of the season so well.

Cheer up, the Cubs won't play the Astros again until 2019.
   42. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 11, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5623193)
I'm not sure why people are relatively down on this deal, beyond the usual winner's curse and FA SP things that would apply to any deal. Even with the no-trade and opt-out pieces, this is still coming in below nearly all projections as well as prior year comps. Ideally you're not signing a SP for 6 years, but in this case it sure seems like it's the reason the AAV is so low so I'm sure the Cubs are really expecting a whole lot out of the last couple seasons of the deal. The Cubs are surely benefiting from the slow depressed market.

I don't know if any team is ever going to give that kind of deal to a SP again. I wouldn't.

Perhaps, the latter part. I'm sure Kershaw is going to get a deal in those neighborhoods easily, he may beat all of them, next season.

---

I'll point out again, everyone seems to be sleeping on Quintana who's projects for the highest WAR next season of the Cubs' SPs (and probably the next 3 in total).
   43. dejarouehg Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5623200)
I'm not sure why people are relatively down on this deal


First of all, it goes against Theo's own philosophies on long term contracts for starters.

Second, I'm looking at this from the once-a-century perspective that the Cubs are a - for the time being - post-season fixture and I think we saw Darvish's true colors in the WS; I'm not remotely convinced that he has the stuff to be a big game pitcher.

Third, I still live in the world where $21M a year is excessive and relative to what I'm guessing you could have finally signed Cobb to is even that much more excessive.

Fourth, if the Brewers signed him, I'd be a) happy for the Brewers - great fan base who deserve to have something to root for while b) I still don't believe it to be a genuine threat to the Cubs.

Fifth, I want to make sure there's enough $ for KB and if they're going to make large expenditures now, I'd prefer they be surer things.

With respect to Quintana, I don't know about the WAR component, but I completely agree with your sentiments.
   44. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:29 PM (#5623204)
I think we saw Darvish's true colors in the WS; I'm not remotely convinced that he has the stuff to be a big game pitcher.

Unpack that statement a bit if you don't mind...are you saying that there's something about his (pitching) stuff such that good offensive teams, like he would face in a big game, do relatively more damage against him than they do against other pitchers? Or are you assessing his mental fortitude based on a sample size of what, two games?
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:38 PM (#5623208)
Perhaps, the latter part. I'm sure Kershaw is going to get a deal in those neighborhoods easily, he may beat all of them, next season.

It seems really dumb to pay Kershaw more for his age 31-36 seasons than you did for his 27-32 seasons.

He's already started breaking down.
   46. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5623209)
On my trip to Wrigley during the 2016 season I got to see Darvish start against the Cubs -- he was filthy. So I at least am glad he will be helping the Cubs rather than playing against them.
   47. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5623214)
First of all, it goes against Theo's own philosophies on long term contracts for starters.

Rumors were the Cubs offered Arrieta 4/$110mil. How do you feel about that contract for a SP? I think getting 2 more years for $16mil total is a ####### steal (depending on how the money is allocated, it's even possible that the NPV today is less on Darvish's deal). To expand on Theo's philosophy, he said he didn't think this is the type of thing you should do regularly. So they get Lester 3 years ago and Darvish now; the rest of the rotation is on relatively cheap deals. I think this would be a bigger problem if they were handing this deals out more regularly.

Second, I'm looking at this from the once-a-century perspective that the Cubs are a - for the time being - post-season fixture and I think we saw Darvish's true colors in the WS; I'm not remotely convinced that he has the stuff to be a big game pitcher.

First, I don't think the Cubs before this deal were a lock; they were slight favorites and the path to falling short isn't exactly that far-fetched; I wouldn't call them a lock now either per se, though they're much more solidly favored and the depth is back to depth instead of part of the regular rotation. Second, that last statement is hogwash, IMO. Do you completely discount the tipping his pitches part? We're talking about a guy with *elite* strikeout numbers, I'd gladly take my chances with him over the other options.

Third, I still live in the world where $21M a year is excessive and relative to what I'm guessing you could have finally signed Cobb to is even that much more excessive.

Well, $21mil just isn't anymore, so perhaps it's time to update your scale. Isn't Cobb rumored to be looking for 4/$80mil? Sure, we'll have to wait and see, but Cobb has way more question marks than Darvish.

Fourth, if the Brewers signed him, I'd be a) happy for the Brewers - great fan base who deserve to have something to root for while b) I still don't believe it to be a genuine threat to the Cubs.

Ok?

Fifth, I want to make sure there's enough $ for KB and if they're going to make large expenditures now, I'd prefer they be surer things.

Cubs have plenty of money. Lester's deal is up before KB hits FA (so is Zobrist, Chatwood, Morrow, etc), so I don't see how this is going to be a problem for what the Cubs are capable of spending (especially whenever they get the new TV deal up and running - even if there's a bubble).

   48. Tin Angel Posted: February 11, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5623215)
#44 I'm not the OP but it was a pretty much known thing he was tipping his pitches in the world series. The Astros basically admitted it once the series was over. So it wasn't his stuff, per se.
   49. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 11, 2018 at 05:15 PM (#5623284)
Ok, so how does that have anything to do with not being a big game pitcher? Does he only tip his pitches in important games?
   50. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: February 11, 2018 at 05:54 PM (#5623293)
Second, I'm looking at this from the once-a-century perspective that the Cubs are a - for the time being - post-season fixture and I think we saw Darvish's true colors in the WS; I'm not remotely convinced that he has the stuff to be a big game pitcher.

He had a 1.59 ERA and a 14/1 K/BB ratio in two starts in the NL playoffs before the World Series.
   51. DFA Posted: February 11, 2018 at 05:58 PM (#5623294)
It seems really dumb to pay Kershaw more for his age 31-36 seasons than you did for his 27-32 seasons.

He's already started breaking down.


Interesting. I would pay a lot of money for Kershaw, but maybe I am way off 6/240. 40M per for six years sounds like a lot, because it is, but I just wonder about the amount of money being flushed into MLB. Next year's free agent class is going to be the best since? And I think a lot of teams will go crazy.
   52. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 11, 2018 at 05:58 PM (#5623295)
#44 I'm not the OP but it was a pretty much known thing he was tipping his pitches in the world series. The Astros basically admitted it once the series was over. So it wasn't his stuff, per se.

I read somewhere that Darvish felt that the baseballs being used were a but slicker and he had a hard time gripping the ball. FWIW.
   53. dejarouehg Posted: February 11, 2018 at 06:36 PM (#5623299)
I read somewhere that Darvish felt that the baseballs being used were a but slicker and he had a hard time gripping the ball. FWIW.
Many of the pitchers - both sides - felt the ball was unusually slick.


He had a 1.59 ERA and a 14/1 K/BB ratio in two starts in the NL playoffs before the World Series.

I recognize that and look forward to be proven wrong, but he conveyed all the confidence of post-season David Price, pitch-tipping or not.
I think if the Dodgers viewed it as a complete aberration, they might have been interested in re-signing him, which is the same logic many are using with Arrietta........if Theo has shown zero interest, something must be wrong.
   54. Tin Angel Posted: February 11, 2018 at 06:38 PM (#5623300)
Ok, so how does that have anything to do with not being a big game pitcher? Does he only tip his pitches in important games?


Not sure, I wasn't the one who said that he isn't one. Up until last year people were saying the same thing about Kershaw.

I read somewhere that Darvish felt that the baseballs being used were a but slicker and he had a hard time gripping the ball. FWIW.


Yeah, Verlander said that too...here's the Verducci piece on it.
   55. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 11, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5623320)
I read somewhere that Darvish felt that the baseballs being used were a but slicker and he had a hard time gripping the ball


Yet a slicker ball never seemed to bother Gaylord Perry or Don Sutton. Should've put in a call to one of the two for some advice!
   56. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 11, 2018 at 08:19 PM (#5623322)
And I've just would like to add that I think this is a really good signing by the Cubs. I know my Red Sox would prefer to be signing a bat, but I would not have been unhappy to have Darvish on the roster at that price. If you're only giving up 3.5 runs a game, you are going to win a boatload of games regardless of how rubbish your batting lineup is.
   57. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: February 11, 2018 at 08:32 PM (#5623324)
I think if the Dodgers viewed it as a complete aberration, they might have been interested in re-signing him, which is the same logic many are using with Arrietta........if Theo has shown zero interest, something must be wrong.


The Dodgers were interested in resigning him, per multiple reports - but they needed to move contracts to do so and couldn't find takers for Kemp/Forsythe/Grandal/etc.
   58. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 11, 2018 at 08:55 PM (#5623327)
57- exactly. Their offer was supposedly similar to the Cubs but contingent on moving salary, which the dodgers couldn't/didn't do.
   59. cardsfanboy Posted: February 11, 2018 at 09:35 PM (#5623337)
I don't get the people having a problem with this signing, it's a perfectly reasonable signing, and I'm not a Darvish fan, I think he's overrated but at 20mil a year, assuming he doesn't earn any incentives or opt out, he could have Tommy John surgery and still probably be worth the signing..... I automatically assume any pitcher signing for 4 or more years is going to have a wasted season, so I look at it like that, and I just don't see this as a bad signing even with that assumption...obviously if he opts out, it's a clear GREAT signing(this is what people miss, a player who opts out, almost always means he more than earned the money he was paid)

The Cubs are one of the best run franchises in the NL, and they made a good decision both short and long term with this. I don't fully believe they are better than the Cardinals of course, but I think they absolutely nailed fixing whatever weakness's they had.


edit:(to clarify I don't think the Cardinals are better than the Cubs either...just saying that the Cubs are pretty good, Cardinals are pretty good, and I think Milwaukee is also overrated)
   60. shoewizard Posted: February 11, 2018 at 10:31 PM (#5623339)
I think the issue is the concern over risk, as Walt points out. If he posts up, and doesn't get hurt again, then it'll be fine.

Cubs just better hope he was just tipping pitches in the world series and that he has a fix for that flattened out slider.
   61. Meatwad Posted: February 12, 2018 at 12:29 AM (#5623351)
Word has it they reached out to jake with the same contract offer or close to the same as darvish and he turned it down before darvish signed.
   62. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 02:40 AM (#5623354)
First of all, it goes against Theo's own philosophies on long term contracts for starters.


Theo's one of the best GMs in the game and probably one of the best of all time, but he's always had a bit of a penchant for overbidding on FA.

Second, I'm looking at this from the once-a-century perspective that the Cubs are a - for the time being - post-season fixture and I think we saw Darvish's true colors in the WS; I'm not remotely convinced that he has the stuff to be a big game pitcher.


This strikes me as nothing more than emotional response. "Big game pitcher" is basically a bullshit dump, and Darvish has pitched well in important games before. The only real ? about him is if he's hurt. He often is.

I think the contract is long for a guy with Darvish's injury history. But the dollars are on the low end of expectations, and when he's healthy he's one of the best pitchers in the game. The downside risk is not in some vague "not a big game pitcher" thing, but in the health of his joints.

Also, the Cubs have money coming out of their ears. If they want to extend Bryant, they will.
   63. shoewizard Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:41 AM (#5623368)
Some Thoughts I had regarding Japanese Starting Pitcher Types and Trends.
   64. McCoy Posted: February 12, 2018 at 09:46 AM (#5623385)
The Cubs will have even more money when Heyward opts out of his contract.
   65. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: February 12, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5623388)
Word has it they reached out to jake with the same contract offer or close to the same as darvish and he turned it down before darvish signed.


Now THAT'S interesting... I think that if it's either Jake or Yu on the same deal that Darvish signed, I'm glad we got the latter.

Theo's one of the best GMs in the game and probably one of the best of all time, but he's always had a bit of a penchant for overbidding on FA.


Meh - I think he's been snakebitten by two big OF contracts that blew up in his face.

I suppose the jury is still out on the Lester contract (depending on how much you think flags fly forever), but the Cubs probably just need another ~4 WAR or so over the next four years to come out OK on it. If last year marked the start of a decline that will only accelerate, he may not get there, but if it was just a hiccup and he can get back to even 2015 levels - it'll be fine.
   66. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: February 12, 2018 at 09:54 AM (#5623389)
The Cubs will have even more money when Heyward opts out of his contract.


It didn't work last year probably because I started the bandwagon too late -- but I would like to put in an early plug for Operation Stuff the ASG Voting with Heyward votes to help make this happen.

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