— The Cubs have reportedly agreed to terms with free agent Yu Darvish. It’s supposedly a six-year deal worth $126M, with a possibility of reaching $150M. The deal also reportedly includes no-trade protection and opt-outs.
Darvish by many accounts wanted to sign with the Dodgers and was waiting to see whether they could unload enough salary -- mainly in the form of Matt Kemp — to free up the money and stay under the luxury tax threshold. Evidently, he got tired of waiting. I suppose I should be more concerned about this, but it’s delusional to think that the Pirates are going to be competitive with the Cubs for at least several more years, so who cares? Well, Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb probably care. We should see soon whether the Logjam Theory for the slow free agent market will hold true.
A source says that Yu Darvish's opt out with the #Cubs is "earlier'' than three years into his contract. (That would lead me to believe it's 2 years, but I don't take anything for granted at this point).— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) February 10, 2018
— But, hey, the Pirates have signing news of their own! They’ve officially announced the signing of outfielder Daniel Nava. You can see his smiling face and Phillies cap on their NRI roster page. (Hopefully, he won’t start on a Robert Andino Photo Regression this year.) So take that, Theo!
— The Pirates have also signed (sub. req’d) 19-year-old Mexican outfielder Fernando Villegas. I have no idea whether he’s a real prospect or not. Mexican prospects don’t necessarily sign with US teams at age 16 the way the top Dominican and Venezuelan prospects do. In fact, they don’t sign with US teams at all. They’re required to sign with Mexican teams, which then sell the contracts to US teams. The Mexican team, in Villegas’ case Saraperos de Saltillo, gets to keep 75% of the player’s bonus. (Insert Nutting joke here.)
By Pirates Prospects’ count, the Pirates have now signed 45 players since the international signing period began last July 2. Four of them are from Mexico, so the Pirates seem to be ramping up their efforts in a country they’d ignored for a number of years. They also were reportedly interested in another outfielder, as well as a catcher, from Mexico. I don’t know whether anything has or will come of those efforts. The Pirates’ remaining bonus pool limit is probably somewhere in the mid-six figures now.
UPDATE: John Dreker reminded me that the Mexican catcher the Pirates are scouting just turned 16 and can’t sign until July 2.