To say that the 2017 season ended in an unflattering way for Chicago would be an understatement. The Cubs were forced to confront the fact that a dynasty would not be an easy thing to build. Still, Chicago wouldn’t let this get them down and instead the Cubs would leap into action during what would otherwise be a slow-paced free agency period. Chicago would land numerous big arms for their rotation, signing Tyler Chatwood from the Colorado Rockies while acquiring Brandon Morrow from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Most important of all, however, was Chicago’s stunning signing of ace hurler Yu Darvish.
Under the guidance of Theo Epstein, the Chicago Cubs have been a ringer in their annual hunt to compile top-level talent through the free agency system. Chicago actually is last in the MLB in innings pitched by former prospects so that means that the Cubs have had to continually hit big in free agency. The addition of Tyler Chatwood to a 3 year/$38 million struck a chord with fans as he offers upside and youth at a team-friendly price. However, the addition of Yu Darvish to a 6 year/$126 million contract may end up being the steal of the entire free agency period.
The unofficial stagnation of free agency signings, fueled in large part by super-agent Scott Boras’ refusal to negotiate, led many to believe that a guy like Darvish would not be signed for anything under $150 million. However, it appeared that Darvish wasn’t intent on waiting and that signing with a top-tier team took precedent over everything else. Darvish’ annual cap hit of just $21 million makes him an incredible deal for the foreseeable future. Add in the fact that Darvish has an opt-out option after two years and we have the makings of a deal that could end up being juicy for both sides of the contract.
With the addition fo Darvish, the Chicago Cubs are retaking momentum from the Milwaukee Brewers for the top spot in the NL Central. A rotation of Lester – Hendricks – Quintana – Darvish is as good of a top four as you are going to find in all of baseball and the Cubs have to realize that they are once again going to be knocking on the door of the next baseball dynasty.