After losing in the National League Wild Card two of the last three seasons, the Chicago Cubs looks at moves to build a consistent contender. Surely the big names of Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant come up in trade talks, but dealing starter Yu Darvish could be the Cubs’ best chance for to accomplish that goal.
Yu Darvish finished second in the NL Cy Young Award race after posting an ERA of 2.01 last season with 93 strikeouts in 76 innings last season. With pitching at a premium in today’s offensive game, how can dealing Darvish actually benefit the Chicago Cubs?
Trading the likes of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez likely won’t solve any long-term issues because the Chicago Cubs would be looking for top prospects in any trades. Teams probably won’t be willing to move them for one-year deals.
Yu Darvish, on the other hand, could probably land numerous prospects, considering there is a sharp decline in available starting pitchers on the market after Trevor Bauer. Teams in need for a front-end starter have few great options remaining. Next year there will be a boatload of names such as Lance Lynn, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and others that will hit free agency. That means the time is now for the Chicago Cubs to seriously consider moving Yu Darvish.
Despite some inconsistencies, mainly due to injuries, Darvish has a variety of quality pitches that should enable him to stay competitive for the next several seasons. In addition, a trade would help the Cubs financially by removing $22 million in 2021 and nearly $60 million overall. That would allow the Chicago Cubs to use that extra cash to fill in some areas of need through free agency.
The situation for the Cubs is not ideal no matter which way they choose to address it, but their best option could be to trade a man who nearly won the Cy Young Award last season.