Yu Darvish is a free agent this offseason and is going to be one of the most sought-after players on the open market. After being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, the former Texas Rangers star struggled a bit. Now, Darvish will have his pick of teams to begin the next chapter of his career.
According to Richard Justice of the MLB website, the Chicago Cubs could be a landing spot for Darvish. They are losing Jake Arrieta and John Lackey to the free agency market and Darvish would be a huge step in the right direction to fixing their rotation.
Last season split between the Rangers and Dodgers, Darvish finished with a 10-12 record and a 3.86 ERA. He started four games for the Dodgers in the postseason, struggling with a 2-2 record and a 6.14 ERA.
While the numbers last season may not look impressive, the Cubs cannot afford to let that scare them away.
At 31 years of age, Darvish is going to negotiate what could be the last big contract of his career. Chicago may be willing to give more than a four-year deal, which could be right around the length that the star pitcher is wanting. Darvish may ask for six years, which still could be possible if the Cubs decide to be aggressive in their pursuit of him.Spotrac currently has Darvish's market value at $23.6 million per season. If that price range does end up being accurate, the Cubs could afford him. Theo Epstein may not be willing to pay quite that much, but the two sides could certainly work on getting something done that they both like.
Chicago still has Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks, and Jon Lester at the top of their rotation. Adding a piece like Darvish to the list would make them one of the top rotations in the majors once again.
Epstein and the Cubs are also widely expected to sign former Tampa Bay Rays' pitcher Alex Cobb this offseason. He has shown mutual interest in joining the Cubs to reunite with Joe Maddon and Jim Hickey. A rotation of those five pitchers would certainly be an upgrade over what the Cubs had to work with last season.
Outside of the Cubs, Darvish is likely to have quite a few potential suitors. MLB Trade Rumors lists the Cubs as their prediction as well. They also state that the Phillies, Cardinals, Astros, and Twins could be potential landing spots.
Expect to see the Cubs be extremely active in free agency and on the trade market this offseason. Darvish may not end up with the Cubs, but they seem extremely likely to be one of the top free agency destinations for him.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]