Cy Young runner-up Yu Darvish is receiving trade interest from around the league, and given their cap situation, the Chicago Cubs should consider any offers.
The Cubs are on record saying they want to compete now and have no interest in selling their talent, but they may have to. They’re not yet close to contending for a title in 2021, and their most prized possession is a 34-year-old pitcher who isn’t getting any younger. If they were smart, they would grab value for Darvish now and go and find more long term talent. Ya know, the type of players who won’t command a $22 million salary next year.
Chicago’s payroll situation is littered with poor investments like Jason Heyward’s eight-year, $184 million contract. The Cubs wouldn’t have a problem affording either Darvish or Heyward, but the combination of the two is financially untenable. If the Cubs want to compete soon, they have to get creative now.
Trading Yu Darvish doesn’t mean the team has stopped trying to win games. Teams have traded aging stars in the past and continued to win. It’s not impossible, so newly hired GM Jed Hoyer has some major work to do.
Contenders usually have helpful talent
If the Cubs do what I’m suggesting, then contenders will probably come calling for Darvish. The Yankees and Dodgers seem to prefer aging players with a large salaries. Gary Sheffield and Randy Johnson come to mind.
The best part about these franchises is that they always have a surplus of young talent because of their international investments. This is why the Cubs should feel comfortable dealing Darvish to a major market. If they can trade a 34-year-old ace for a couple 21-year-old assets who can help the Cubs win for the next decade on the cheap, then BINGO. Yes, it stinks to deal away a guy who just narrowly lost an NL Cy Young race, but it’s just business.
Jed Hoyer has given no indication yet that Yu Darvish is on the block, so we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.