By Ross Sutton
According to multiple reports, Yu Darvish has signed a 6-year deal worth $126 million in guaranteed money. This deal could be worth up to $150 million if all incentives are met, but that is unlikely as Ken Rosenthal has reported that Darvish would have to win multiple Cy Young awards during that time in order to collect the full $150 million. This is extremely important for the rest of the available starting pitchers as this finally sets the going rate for a top starter, allowing pitchers not as good as Darvish to be able to come up with an idea for reasonable deals. This might be wishful thinking, but this could very well start a rapid domino effect of remaining free agents signing with teams. I think this will motivate the teams that thought they could sign Darvish to move quickly in signing other starting pitchers.
For the Cubs, this is a huge signing. Now the Cubs starting rotation will feature Jon Lester, Yu Darvish, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood in whichever order Joe Madden decides to use them. Considering the Cubs will only pay Darvish an average annual salary of $21 million, this seems to be a pretty fair price on one of the game’s top starting pitchers. The aggressiveness shown by the Cubs in making this move seems to be their answer to the division rival Brewers making a splash about two weeks ago when they acquired Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain. By signing Darvish, the Cubs have greatly improved and in my opinion, they are now the favorites to win the NL Central as the Brewers currently lack depth in their starting rotation.
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