While the Cubs are getting some phone calls on veteran righty Yu Darvish, the team ultimately can’t move him on its own accord. That’s because his contract includes full no-trade rights for the time being. (That’ll turn to a dozen-team no-trade list at some point in 2020.)
In theory, the Cubs can sort out a swap and then leave it to the prospective acquiring team to convince Darvish to waive his protection. But that may be an uphill battle — if it’s possible at all. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter), Darvish “has no intention” of agreeing to a swap.
It seems that Darvish is quite fond of playing in Chicago, even if the team is at least listening to scenarios that might involve moving his contract. He certainly seems to have settled in at Wrigley after a calamitous, injury filled 2018 season. In the just-completed campaign, Darvish worked to a 3.98 ERA with 11.5 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 over 178 2/3 innings. He continues to be prone to the long ball but also managed to carry a personal-high 13.4% swinging-strike rate.
Darvish already bypassed a chance to opt out of the remaining four seasons and $81MM left on his contract. That seemed like a rather obvious decision at the time, but it’s now fair to wonder just how well the 33-year-old might have done on a market that is doling out huge contracts to top starters. At minimum, the Cubs would presumably be able to offload a major chunk of what it owes Darvish — if, that is, he’s even amenable to considering the possibility of wearing a new uniform.