After months of waiting, it finally happened.
Based on the guaranteed $126 million, Darvish will earn an annual average of $21 million per year. In Game 7 at Dodger Stadium, he was booed from the field, having recorded five outs and allowed five runs. The Chicago Cubs added Tyler Chatwood to the rotation and Steve Cishek to the bullpen.
Arrieta, Lynn and Cobb would appear to be the next free-agent options for clubs seeking to complete their rotations.
The Cubs have been rumored to be in the running for Darvish for months as they look to fill the void left behind by former Cy Young victor Jake Arrieta.
An All-Star in each of his four full seasons (he missed all of 2015 and part of 2016 because of Tommy John surgery), Darvish in 131 career starts is 56-42 with a 3.42 ERA.
He'll likely slot into the Cubs rotation either as the team's ace or their number two.
With pitchers and catchers set to report to Major League Baseball spring training camps next week (and free agents who haven't signed holding their own training camp in Florida), teams and available players may be getting more serious about agreeing on some deals. With Jon Lester and Jose Quintana at the top, the Cubs still needed one more starter to assemble a strong top three to compete with the Dodgers and Nationals for the National League pennant. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Darvish will make $126 million with the chance to make $150 million through incentives. He spent part of his offseason working out with Clayton Kershaw near Dallas.
But it gets better.
One of the big appeals to Darvish, aside from being one of the best starting pitchers in all of baseball, was the fact that he was not eligible to receive a qualifying offer from the Dodgers, and because of that he had no draft pick compensation tied to him. Theo Epstein has turned the Cubs into one of - if not the - prime free agent destination during his tenure.
The Yankees surfaced as a possible destination for Darvish, but considering ownership's mandate to stay under the $197 million luxury tax, they wouldn't have been able to give him the contract the Cubs did, at over $20 million per year.
With so many free agents still unsigned at this unprecedented late date, many of them plan on conducting their own spring training camp in Bradenton, Fla., starting next week.