The crazy-dull baseball offseason is finally leaning into the "Hot Stove" season.
The Cubs have reportedly reached an agreement with free-agent pitcher Yu Darvish:
Again: Darvish to #Cubs, six years, $126M, pending physical, sources tell The Athletic. Chance to get to $150M range through incentives.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 10, 2018
The two sides have been linked since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer paid Darvish a visit down in Texas in mid-December that lasted several hours.
There've been several Darvish links and rumors since then, but the Cubs finally reached an agreement with the 31-year-old right-hander Saturday afternoon. This comes after the Cubs inked a deal last month with veteran catcher Chris Gimenez, who emerged as Darvish's personal catcher in Texas in 2014.
Darvish is a four-time All-Star who finished second in American League Cy Young voting in 2013 and ninth in the award race during his rookie season in 2012.
He missed all of 2015 with Tommy John surgery, with the injury also sapping big chunks out of his 2014 and 2016 seasons.
Darvish went 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA last season with the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers, striking out 209 batters in 186.2 innings. He has 1,021 career whiffs in 832.1 innings, good for an 11.0 K/9 rate.
Darvish shut down the Cubs in the NLCS last fall, limiting the high-powered lineup to just a solo homer in 6.1 innings. But he was rocked in two World Series appearances, surrendering 9 runs (8 earned) on 9 hits and 2 walks while getting just 10 outs. However, he was supposedly tipping his pitches - an easily-correctable problem if that was, indeed, the issue that led to his Fall Classic struggles.
This gives the Cubs arguably the best rotation in baseball, with Darvish slotting in with Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood. Mike Montgomery provides depth as the next man up out of the bullpen if anybody were to miss time with an injury.
The addition of Darvish only boosts the Cubs' profile as one of the top World Series contenders in baseball.
And it's safe to say Willson Contreras is fired up about the addition.