MLB Rumors: Yu Darvish is forgoing free agency to stay with the Chicago Cubs, per multiple reports. The former Texas Rangers ace signed a 6 year, $126 million deal with the Cubs after the 2018 season, and after getting a base salary of $25 million in 2018 and $20 million in 2019, Darvish had the right to opt out of the remaining 4 years, $81 million within five days of the World Series ending.
Darvish, 33, seemed unlikely to exercise his opt out rights, due to a bad 2018 year that saw him pitch just 40 innings with a 4.95 ERA while battling injuries, and then a slow start to 2019. However, after putting up a 5.01 ERA in 97 innings over 18 starts before the All Star break, Darvish was stellar in the second half, with a 2.76 ERA in 81.2 IP over 13 starts. That strong stretch run led to some speculation that he might give up the guaranteed money and re-enter the free agent pool.
That being said, given Darvish’s age, injury history and heavy workload in his early years, it seems unlikely he was going to get a better deal than the $81 million he currently has locked in with the Cubs. As a result, it looks like he’s going to be pitching on the North Side for the next few years.