Proceed with caution about this report (and H/T to Brett Taylor of Bleacher Nation).
There is a report from Nikkan Sports, a large Japanese sports website, that the Cubs could be a leading candidate for the services of free agent Yu Darvish.
Here’s the report in its original Japanese.
Here’s how Google Translate renders that in English:
Last year the world's first cubs emerged as the dominant candidate for the transfer of Darvish pitcher (31) who became FA (free agent) from Dodgers.
Twins, Astros and others are showing strong interest, full-fledged teams with abundant financial capabilities participate. For the end of the year, fierce battles have been spreading.
Amusing, as are many translations that come through Google Translate. Obviously, “Last year the world’s first cubs” refers to the Cubs being World Series champions a year ago.
Whether Google Translate is rendering “dominant candidate” properly, or what Nikkan Sports’ source for this claim is, is unknown.
(I like “For the end of the year, fierce battles have been spreading.” Great imagery.)
Given what I posted earlier Friday and what appears to be about $27 million worth of “room” in the 2018 payroll before the Cubs hit the luxury tax, the Cubs could probably afford to sign Darvish. Doing that would likely not leave much room for any further help in the bullpen, so management would have to make a choice here.
Darvish is 31. He had a solid season in 2017 before getting pounded by the Astros in the World Series. That, reportedly, was because he was tipping his pitches; that’s something that presumably can be fairly easily fixed.
Signing Darvish would give the Cubs a top-notch rotation, but perhaps at the expense of the bullpen. Would you do it?
Lastly, I know we have some readers here who can read Japanese. If any of you can provide a more accurate translation of the Nikkan Sports article for us, please do.