The San Diego Padres weren't done spending money just yet as Spring Training inched ever closer, as they agreed to a very lucrative extension with ace starting pitcher Yu Darvish. The six-year deal will keep Darvish in San Diego until he is 42 years old, meaning he will likely end his career here.
Darvish has had a bit of a nomadic career for someone as popular and talented as him. After starting out with the Texas Rangers, getting traded to the Dodgers as a deadline rental, and re-establishing himself as an elite pitcher with the Cubs, Darvish has found a home in San Diego.
Darvish is still a high-end starter, as evidenced by his two seasons with the Padres. After making an All-Star team during his first season with the club, Darvish became one of the biggest ASG snubs after winning 16 games and posting a 3.10 ERA. The Padres wanted to keep him, but Darvish was blown away by how much they valued him.
Shingo Horie, Darvish's interpreter, jokingly said that he was surprised that such a contract was even in the works, believing that this was a prank at first. Once he found out that this contract was indeed a real offer, it looks like Darvish wasted no time putting pen to paper on this deal.
“I'm just tremendously honored to be in their plan," Darvish said during his press conference after agreeing to this very lucrative deal. "Obviously, this organization is going the right way as far as winning games, and just being considered as part of that piece is very comforting."
Yu Darvish signed an extension with the San Diego Padres.
The Padres have plenty of rotation questions outside of Darvish and Joe Musgrove. Blake Snell has not shown the ability to pitch deep into games, Nick Martinez will have much more responsibility, and Seth Lugo will need to transition from being a reliever to emerging as a starter.
Darvish, at the very least, can go deep into games and lean on his postseason experience. Having Juan Soto and Manny Machado will obviously do wonders for San Diego, but they won't be able to break through and make it to the World Series without someone like Darvish eating playoff innings.
The Padres are going all-in on the next few years, as evidenced by them frontloading most of Darvish's deal. Darvish is aging like a fine wine, which bodes well for San Diego's contention chances.