Report: Darvish will not opt out of Cubs contract

Field Level Media

November 01, 2019 at 5:18 am.

After rebounding from a difficult first half of the 2019 season by finishing strong in his final two months, four-time All-Star right-hander Yu Darvish has reportedly chose not to opt out of his contract with Chicago and he will stay with the Cubs for 2020.

MLB Insider Jon Heyman reported Thursday that Darvish, 33, prefers to stay in Chicago instead of voiding the final four years and $81 million remaining on his deal.

That means Darvish will get his chance to build off the momentum of a dominant second half in Chicago, the first sustained success he experienced since signing a blockbuster six-year, $126 million free agent contract with the Cubs before the 2018 season.

Darvish’s first season in Chicago was a disaster, with the veteran not only struggling on the mound (1-3, 4.95 ERA) but only making eight starts with right triceps and elbow injuries.

The 2019 season did not look much better for the Cubs and Darvish, who suffered through a first half that included just two victories in 18 starts (2-4 record with 12 no-decisions) and a 5.01 ERA. But Darvish regained his formerly pinpoint control, going 4-4 with a 2.76 ERA in his final 13 starts — allowing a mere seven walks in 81 2/3 innings in the season’s second half for a glistening 0.81 WHIP.

For the 2019 season, Darvish finished 6-6 with a 3.98 ERA in 31 starts — tied for the second-most season total of his seven-year career spent with the Texas Rangers (2012-2017), Los Angeles Dodgers (2017) and Cubs (2018-2019).