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SF Giants Target: Chicago Cubs Ace Yu Darvish On The Trade Block

Sep 25, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) throws the baseball in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) throws the baseball in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports
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SF Giants, Chicago Cubs, Yu Darvish
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) delivers against the Cleveland Baseball Team during the first inning at Wrigley Field. (Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports)

A report revealed that the Chicago Cubs have had trade conversations surrounding ace Yu Darvish. If available, the SF Giants would seem like an obvious fit.

The San Diego Padres “have been in contact” with the Chicago Cubs to discuss the availability of ace Yu Darvish, according to a report by Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. With an obvious need in the starting rotation, it stands to reason that the SF Giants could become involved if he becomes available. Per Acee’s report, “signals from team sources have been mixed on how far along those talks are,” but given expectations that the Cubs will cut payroll this offseason, it’s not out of the question that Darvish could be on the block.

Darvish is already 34 years old and has three years and $59 million in guarantees left on his contract. However, he finished second in this year’s National League Cy Young voting and is coming off back-to-back strong campaigns. In 2020, Darvish completed 76 innings across 12 starts, struck out 93 batters, walked just 14, and posted a 2.01 ERA. Multiple injuries have depleted San Diego’s rotation heading into 2021, and Darvish would present an obvious upgrade. Of course, the same could be said of their division-rival.

Thus far in the offseason, the Giants have retained starting pitcher Kevin Gausman and added right-hander Anthony DeSclafani to replace Drew Smyly, who signed a one-year deal with Atlanta. With southpaw starter Tyler Anderson still on the open market, the Giants have one open spot remaining in their rotation. Furthermore, starting pitching was San Francisco’s most glaring weakness this season and could have been in line for an upgrade even if everyone was set to return next year.

At the moment, little is known about the Cubs’ willingness to move Darvish. The right-hander was one of their most valuable players in 2020 but is also slated to be one of their highest-paid players for the foreseeable future. Obviously, Chicago would like to move Darvish’s contract while acquiring top prospect compensation in return. However, given the dearth of spending expected this offseason, it’s hard to see that in the cards.

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If the Chicago Cubs are having conversations about ace Yu Darvish, it stands to reason that the SF Giants would be interested as well. Of course, coming off a career year, many teams would be interested in the 34-year old. However, the Giants are believed to be among the few teams willing to take on payroll this offseason. That could prove incredibly valuable in any bidding war for Darvish.

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