Why Yu Darvish is a ultimate risk-reward signing for a title-chasing Cubs

The Chicago Cubs struck behind in a NL Central arms race, inking Yu Darvish to a six-year agreement value a guaranteed $126 million.

The deal, that could compensate Darvish adult to $150 million overall, fills a vivid area of need for a group that’s done a NLCS 3 years in a row, with a small something else thrown in for good measure. With Jake Arrieta filing for giveaway group and John Lackey retiring, Chicago indispensable starting pitching help, even after nabbing Tyler Chatwood on a rather suppositional three-year pact.

This is some-more than only a big-revenue group stuffing a hole by throwing income during a problem, though. By signing a four-time All-Star, a Cubs perked adult what had been a still offseason for one of baseball’s glorious teams, and a shockingly still Hot Stove deteriorate for MLB as a whole.

The Cubs holding this prolonged to pointer Darvish isn’t merely a duty of a slow-moving offseason. Few big-ticket giveaway agents of new selected have brought this distinguished a mixed of risk, and reward.

When he calls it quits one day, Darvish will go down as one of a biggest prodigies in ball history. Six-foot-five, clever and athletic, with blazing fastball quickness and a pleasant array of violation pitches, he was already a luminary during Tokohu High School in Japan. With that stardom came a frightening workloads that managers store on star pitchers in their query for a desired Koshien National High School Baseball Championship. It was Darvish’s 2004 no-hitter in that contest that rocketed seductiveness in a vast righty into orbit.

By age 18, Darvish was banishment high-leverage innings during a pro level, for a Nippon Ham Fighters. At age 19, he led a Fighters to their initial streamer in 25 years, while banishment 149 2/3 innings and clocking a 2.89 ERA. That’s a good antithesis of wunderkind pitchers, of course: The gorgeous ability during a immature age that creates scouts drool also make doctors and trainers recoil during a awaiting of rebuilding a shop-worn arm during some indicate in a future.

In Darvish’s case, that reversal didn’t stand adult until a decade after that enchanting no-no, with bend inflammation knocking him out for a widen run in 2014, followed by Tommy John medicine a following March. Going underneath a blade didn’t delayed him down during first, though; on a contrary, Darvish’s fastball spiked to career-high levels after his lapse from surgery.

But after an considerable 17 starts in his 2016 lapse season, Darvish posted some of a misfortune numbers of his vital joining career in 2017, with his ERA spiking to a nearby career-worst 3.86, in vast partial due to a career-high 27 homers he surrendered over 31 starts. Still, Darvish stays one of a many inclusive strikeout artists in baseball, ranking seventh among MLB starting pitchers in K rate given given his return.

Darvish also suffers from a incorrigible condition of being a pitcher. While a rate of Tommy John surgeries has forsaken rather from recently terrifying rise levels, presaging how a pitcher will transport over a subsequent 6 seasons is a fool’s errand of a top degree. As data-heavy and details-focused as today’s front offices are, ball by and vast still doesn’t know a damn thing when it comes to presaging long-term pitching performance. Given that Darvish’s agreement could take him past his 37th birthday in what’s increasingly apropos a immature man’s sport, it’s tough not to see a red flags flashing everywhere.

The flip side to all that dejection and doom is there are genuine rewards to be had here. For starters, a going rate for giveaway agents is coming $9 million per win, if we use Wins Above Replacement as a baseline. WAR is by no means a ideal measuring tool, and a panoply of other factors can and do impact how most teams compensate for talent on a open market. Still, a Cubs have valued Darvish as roughly a 2.5-win actor formed on a $21 million a year he’ll hillside in. Yes, his story of vast workloads and bend issues are alarming. He’s also going to make reduction per year than a far, far, distant reduction gifted Jordan Zimmerman got behind in 2015. That’s a happy outcome.  

There’s also this: The Cubs competence not have to keep profitable Darvish until he’s 37. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, they competence not have to compensate him for some-more than dual seasons, if Crasnick’s news of a potential opt-out clause after dual years proves to be accurate.

Most importantly, a Cubs are still rolling out a installed core led by All-Star corners Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. That core became threatened by a pretender Brewers this offseason, after Milwaukee reeled in dual toolsy-as-hell outfielders in Christian Yelich (who a Crew favourite adequate to trade mixed peculiarity prospects to get) and Lorenzo Cain (who’d been the highest-paid giveaway representative this winter before a Darvish signing).

When a Brewers made an offer to Darvish as a intensity manoeuvre de grace, a Cubs had good reason to get nervous, and to strech into their fight chest. With staff ace Jimmy Nelson presumably out until Jun and Milwaukee already loading adult on talent, design a club’s courtesy to spin to other giveaway agents such as Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb, with a probability of an Arrieta signing appearing as a tasty approach to serve stoke what could be an electrifying NL Central competition (even if some of a computers don’t agree). With Darvish off a board, don’t be astounded if this winter’s stand-off breaks, and a other poignant arms still out there get scooped adult in a subsequent few days.

One renouned account that emerged final tumble embellished Darvish as an overly supportive essence who folds underneath pressure. His nauseous outings in Game 3 and Game 7 of a World Series, in that Darvish became only a second pitcher in World Series story to final fewer than dual innings in dual opposite starts, incited whispers into frightened screams.

Color me skeptical. Sportswriters adore both post-hoc research and psychoanalyzing players roughly as most as adore Springsteen. Barry Bonds was a adorned jerk of a actor who couldn’t come by in a purchase … until he annihilated all in his trail during a Giants’ 2002 run to a Fall Classic. Alex Rodriguez was a prima donna stat-padder who saved his home runs for 8-0 games … until he put a Yankees on his behind and led them to their 27th World Series climax in 2009.

Baseball’s playoffs strike us with a dreaded one-punch of misleadingly little representation sizes and heightened stakes, that can means to remove a minds and pull half-baked theories, rather than only usurpation a concept law that sometimes, bad things only happen. Darvish crapped a bed in dual true starts, with a whole ball universe examination … and also dominated in his dual prior 2017 postseason starts, permitting a singular run in both his NLDS and NLCS outings final year.

The Cubs have World Series aspirations of their own, and there’s a good possibility Darvish will get mixed opportunities to infer his eagerness in October. The intelligent income says that this understanding will still penetrate or float formed on how good his oft-used golden arm binds adult underneath a 30-start grub of mixed unchanging seasons, not a uncanny randomness that washes over playoff baseball. Yu can gamble a residence on it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » appearance » Widgets » and move a widget into Advertise Widget Zone