MLB Free Agency Rumors: Dodgers Made Similar Contract Offer To Yu Darvish...

MLB Free Agency Rumors: Dodgers Made Similar Contract Offer To Yu Darvish As Cubs, But It Was Contingent On Shedding Salary

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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The top starting pitcher on the free agent market finally made his decision on Saturday, as Yu Darvish reportedly agreed to a six-year, $126 million contract with the Chicago Cubs. Incentives can bring the possible value of the deal to $150 million.

Darvish had received interest from several teams this offseason, but the Cubs willingness to add on an additional sixth year may have ultimately gotten the deal done, as up until that point there were only reports of the right-hander holding five-year offers.

While it seemed unlikely due to their desire to remain below the luxury tax threshold, a reunion with the Los Angeles Dodgers was also a possibility. Darvish himself expressed a desire in returning, in some part to atone for his World Series struggles.

According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, the Dodgers were involved in talks with Darvish up to his agreeing to terms with the Cubs:

Heyman went on to add that the Dodgers’ offer to Darvish was similar to that of the Cubs, but hinged on shedding salary:

Darvish bolting for the Cubs could have serious implications in the National League moving forward. The Cubs and Dodgers have met in each of the last two NL Championship Series, with each team winning one matchup.

Additionally, it adds another layer to Cubs owner Todd Ricketts referring to the Dodgers as his organization’s ‘biggest nemesis.’ Earlier this winter, Chicago signed Brandon Morrow to a two-year contract.

With Darvish now off the market, it will be interesting to see if the Dodgers now pivot to one of the other top starters on the market like Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn, or if they decide to continue with their plan of staying below the luxury tax in 2018 and look to upgrade at the non-waiver trade deadline.