By Bruce Levine–
CHICAGO (670 The Score) — The Cubs aren’t letting a holiday malaise or slow-moving market stop their pursuit of pitching.
After signing four pitchers in the past nine days, the Cubs have eyes on landing a bigger catch: free-agent right-hander Yu Darvish. The Cubs are showing interest in Darvish, a source said.
Darvish and Jake Arrieta are considered the top starters available in free agency, and Darvish’s camp has also had talks with the Twins and Astros lately.
The 31-year-old Darvish was 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.16 WHIP for the Rangers and Dodgers in 2017, when he was dealt to Los Angeles at the deadline. He had a 10.1 strikeout-per-nine-innings rate and a 2.8 walks-per-nine-innings rate. Darvish has a career 3.42 ERA.
Some concern remains from Darvish’s performance at the end of the season, as the Astros crushed him twice in the World Series.
Darvish had Tommy John surgery in 2014, then missed all of 2015. He made 17 starts in 2016 and 31 starts in 2017, when he was an All-Star.
Darvish initially signed a six-year, $60-million deal with the Rangers ahead of the 2012 season.
The Cubs were looking intently at free-agent right-hander Alex Cobb a week ago. It’s unclear how that may play out, though. The price and length of the contract that Cobb was seeking an the Winter Meetings was prohibitive in the Cubs’ mind, a source said recently.
No starting pitcher’s contract has exceeded three guaranteed years in free agency this offseason. The Cubs’ addition of right-hander Tyler Chatwood on a three-year, $38-million deal is the largest for a pitcher to this point of the offseason.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.