Cubs announce 6-year deal with Darvish

Dennis Wierzbicki- USA Today Sports

News originally broke on Saturday about the right-hander's six-year, $126 million deal with Chicago.

Following the signing of free agent starter Yu Darvish, here's a look at the Cubs' odds to win the 2018 World Series.

The Cubs have added veteran right-hander Steve Cishek to the mix, and lefty Brian Duensing is back after quietly having a good season past year. Position players will work out for the first time February 19.

They overpaid for Darvish, going to a sixth year to lock up a guy who is coming off a awful World Series - pitch-tipping or not.

Darvish also boasted a 27 percent strikeout rate and 7.6 percent walk rate last season, and the latter is especially appealing for a Cubs team that had the seventh-highest walk rate in the league in 2017. And he struggled in his postseason stint with the Dodgers, posting two of his worst starts ever. Last year, Arrieta posted a decent 14-10 record with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.218 WHiP, but only threw 168.1 innings in his 30 starts. During his Major League Baseball career, he is 38-22 with a 2.94 ERA. Given his velocity along with an array of hard-biting breaking pitches, Darvish still has the stuff to be one of the best pitchers in the league, which is why he was so highly-coveted this winter. It's easily the greatest day of the year.

But if the Cubs don't start churning out some better young arms at some point soon, they are going to have a problem.

Cishek threw well for the Seattle Mariners last season, going 3-2 with a 2.01 ERA in 49 games.

Jose Quintana should feel more comfortable as a Cub heading into spring training after last summer's trade from the White Sox. A full five and a swingman, whether he likes it or not, in Mike Montgomery. In doing so, the Cubs are climbing away from the no-man's-land between the top contenders and the tankers, ensuring that Kris Bryant and Co.'s most cost-effective seasons are spent pursuing another championship. Outfielders Jayson Heyward (14th pick in 2007), Kyle Schwarber (fourth in 2014), Albert Almora, Jr. That said, getting more innings of good pitching from Darvish wins out from a value standpoint. Sometimes, the best-laid plans find a way to go astray. Heyward's two Gold Gloves with the Cubs and his undisputed leadership qualities are valuable, to be sure, but a little more offensive production would help the team and take some of the pressure off the other hitters in the lineup.

Lorenzo Cain signed for eight figures when he agreed to a five-year, $80 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Cardinals, who just a few seasons ago were 100-game winners but have since failed to make the playoffs in consecutive years, will have the return of young phenom Alex Reyes to their staff, but they can no longer count on the once-steady Adam Wainwright to anchor their rotation.

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