Yu Darvish's main goal with Cubs: 'To beat the Dodgers'

Yu Darvish Stats | Baseball-Reference.com

Yu Darvish's main goal with Cubs: 'To beat the Dodgers'

That leaves Arrieta, who some consider to be an even better pitcher than Darvish, even though he's replaced the former Chicago Cubs' ace in the rotation. And Mike Montgomery, who likely would have taken the rotation spot now filled by Darvish, has not yet shown that he can match that kind of durability as a starter, even with Darvish's injury history acknowledged.

Before Darvish, the Cubs had brought on board Brandon Morrow and Steve Cishek to fortify the back end of the bullpen.

Ultimately, the Cubs came to Darvish because of a unique market stalemate that saw his price drop below the projections of many. Darvish could help them grow, and if they meet expectations, Although the Cubs will pay Darvish $20 million per season as he enters his mid-30s, the Cubs will still have plenty of money to work with due to their relatively cheap pitching with the team controlled pitchers.

Thanks to the addition of Darvish, this postseason could have a much different outcome.

The Cubs went 92-70 in the regular season, then edged the Washington Nationals, 3-2, in the NL Division Series.

Aug 23 2017 St. Petersburg FL USA;Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Steve Cishek on the mound at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Now, if he remains somewhere close to his insane 11.04 strikeouts per nine innings, he'll easily take over the all-time lead from Randy Johnson, who averaged 10.61. Smyly will spend at least most of this season recovering from Tommy John surgery in the middle of 2017. He has 1,021 strikeouts in 832.1 career innings pitched spanning five seasons.

Hosmer is the best of the group, and when all is said and done, he might walk away with the biggest contract this offseason.

According to Ken Rosenthal, free agent slugger J.D.Martinez is "fed up" with the Red Sox and may sign elsewhere. While adding, say, a Jason Vargas or Chris Tillman on a one-year deal is probably more palatable for the Phillies, Arrieta could fall into their laps. However, he was 3-8 at Coors Field - the Rockies' home field - and 5-7 on the road, so he has the potential to thrive at Wrigley Field. "I think that will only be motivation for him". "But I know who he is as a person and we'll be interested to see what he ends up doing this year".

Everything seems to be coming together for the Cubs after getting trounced by the Dodgers in the NLCS a year ago and, in my totally expert and non-biased opinion, I'm having visions of seeing the Commissioner's Trophy make its return to the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field. From Triple-A to Single-A Short Season, Texas's farm affiliates finished below.500 on the year. It also signals warm weather, which is much needed after 18 inches of snow was dumped on the Chicago area last week.

For the Chicago Cubs, one of those silly-but-great February traditions - the first-day-of-spring-training news conference with the triumvirate of Manager Joe Maddon, General Manager Jed Hoyer and team president Theo Epstein - found itself, by necessity, usurped by one of those silly-but-great traditions that typically come in December or January: the unveiling, complete with the ceremonial donning of cap and uniform, of the team's shiny, new, high-priced acquisition.

Sky and BT pay £4.46bn for UK Premier League rights
BT, which spent £960 million on 84 matches at the last auction in 2015 , confirmed it is in the running to acquire more matches. The Premier League have released details of the confirmed broadcasters for the next TV deal which spans 2019-2022.

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