Cubs Sign Yu Darvish to Six-Year Deal

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The Cubs landed one of the biggest names on the Major League Baseball free agent market Saturday, when they agreed to a deal with starting pitcher Yu Darvish, according to The Athletic. Yu Darvish is joining the Chicago Cubs.

A person with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on Saturday on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement. The other notable starting pitchers on the free agent market - Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, and Lance Lynn - all received qualifying offers from their original teams, and any other team that goes on to sign them will have to give up a draft pick. The 31-year-old right-hander was among the top players available in a slow-moving free agent market this winter.

Cubs sources disputed earlier reports they were close to a deal, noting that while communication lines were open after their meeting, no progress had been made toward a conclusion.

Darvish will join Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood in the Cubs' rotation, and Chicago will expect to challenge for another World Series championship with their newest free agent on board. A team like the Cubs will be gunning to win it all this year, and they'll count on Darvish to help win some big games.

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Aside from the Yankees trading for Giancarlo Stanton, the Cubs are the clear victor of a slow offseason, signing two starting pitchers, a closer in Brandon Morrow and relief help in Steve Cishek and Brian Duensing. His career totals include a 3.42 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP and a 3.30 FIP.

Darvish is a four-time All-Star but has had injury problems, and he missed the 2015 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. For one things, Darvish was famously awful in the World Series previous year, and his two bad performances - whether they were because of a slider-proof baseball or because he was tipping his offspeed pitches - probably cost the Dodgers a World Series title.

Darvish began last season with the Rangers but was sent to the Dodgers ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.

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