The Chicago Cubs signed free-agent pitcher Yu Darvish to a six-year, $126 million deal on Saturday afternoon, according to multiple reports.
The deal is the richest of the offseason and could springboard other signings with less than two weeks to go before the start of spring training. Darvish could earn up to $150 million with incentives over the life of the contract, according to The Athletic, which was the first to report the signing.
Darvish, 31, joins a starting rotation that includes Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood. He is 56-42 with a 3.42 ERA in five big-league seasons with the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers.
The four-time All-Star also has started six postseason games, going 2-4 with a 5.81 ERA.
Last season, Darvish went 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA in 31 starts with the Rangers and Dodgers. He had 209 strikeouts in 186 2/3 innings. During his career, he has 1,021 strikeouts in 832 1/3 innings.
The Cubs wanted to bolster the front end of their rotation after losing to the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series in 2017. Darvish figures to replace fellow right-hander Jake Arrieta, who remains available on the free-agent market.
Other free agent pitchers who have yet to sign include Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb, Andrew Cashner, Jason Vargas and Jeremy Hellickson.
Several teams including the Milwaukee Brewers could intensify their pursuit of Lynn and Cobb after losing out on Darvish.
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