Well, that escalated quickly.
When the Cubs signed Yu Darvish in February 2018, it was seen as a final piece of the puzzle that would bring the Cubs back to the World Series. The rumors and signing led to an entire series on this site that I dubbed “The Daily Darvish.”
The World Series didn’t happen, unfortunately. In fact, Darvish made eight mostly mediocre starts for the Cubs in 2018 before missing the rest of that year with an injury. Returning in 2019, he had a rough first half.
But since the All-Star break in 2019, Darvish has been the lights-out pitcher the Cubs had hoped they were getting. Since that ASB, Darvish has made 25 starts and posted a 2.40 ERA and 0.882 WHIP, with just 21 walks and 211 strikeouts in 157⅔ innings. That’s definitely the ace the Cubs thought they were getting; Darvish finished second in NL Cy Young Award voting for the abbreviated 2020 season.
Now, that ace heads to the San Diego Padres:
Sources confirm to @dennistlin, @PJ_Mooney and me that the full deal is Yu Darvish and Victor Caratini going to the Padres and the Cubs receiving Zach Davies and prospects Reginald Preciado, Owen Caissie, Yeison Santana, Ismael Mena— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) December 29, 2020
I will miss Darvish and I will miss Darvish puns. It took a while, but he and Cubs fans warmed up to each other and it seemed as if he truly enjoyed playing for the Cubs and living in suburban Evanston. He was funny on Twitter and he was one of the big reasons the Cubs didn’t have a single COVID-19 case among players through 2020, as he told his teammates he’d go back to Japan if they didn’t take the pandemic seriously.
The return seems to be quantity over quality. Two of the prospects are in the Padres’ top 30 per MLB Pipeline, and one is a 2020 draft pick who has not played a professional game. Looks like the Cubs are re-stocking the system and trying to save money.
Zach Davies always pitched well against the Cubs for the Brewers; he’s another soft-tosser like Kyle Hendricks, but is just 28 and should be a solid rotation piece.
I’ll have more on this tomorrow and BCB’s Sara Sanchez will have a full analysis of this deal also on Tuesday.
As the Rolling Stones might have sung:
Yu can’t always get what Yu want
But if you try sometimes
Yu just might find
Yu get what Yu need
I wish Darvish all the best in San Diego. Presuming we have a full season in 2021, the Cubs won’t see him more than once or twice.
Or maybe in the postseason. That’d be fun.
Yu Darvish to the Padres for Zach Davies and four prospects...
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