The name of Yu Darvish has flown around on social media as a Mets trade target. Cubs are rumored to be shedding payroll and Darvish is owed 59 mil over the next three years (19.7 AAV). Is it worth spending money and assets for Darvish?
If Darvish is avaliable, he is arguably the best starting pitcher on the market. Yes, Bauer has been great in 2020, but Darvish has a far superior career. Plus, Darvish has shown he is still able to be dominant with less fastball velocity. He will definitely make the Mets rotation better and will slide in as a very strong #2 behind deGrom.
According to MLBtradevalues, Darvish owns a 20.1 value. This is including his contract, which shows how good he was. In 2020 Darvish pitched to a 2.01 ERA with a 2.23 FIP. He struck out at least 11 per nine for the fourth straight season, showing he still owns swing and miss stuff. Overall Darvish owns a 3.47 ERA/3.43 FIP over 1127 innings in his career. So lets take a look at his current success.
Darvish success isn’t in his velo. He sits in the 16th lowest percentaile in fastball velo, mostly because of his heavy cut fastball use (4 seamer reaches 97mph). This is very important considering his age, because he gets success with spinrates. Darvish is in the 98th percentaile in fastball spin, which is tremendous and sustainable getting into the mid 30’s.
Darvish mostly throws his cutter (43.6%). He has a ridiculous 2681 RPM on that pitch. That’s a crazy amount of spin. Beautiful thing to see in Darvish’ pitches is that only one of his 6 pitches have a spinrate under 2400 (Splitter), which he uses the fewest (4.9%). His highest spin rate in on his slider (2789 RPM). His highest whiff percentage is on his 4 seamer (42.8 Whiff%), which still provides a crazy 2582 RPM. It shows he has the ability to move every pitch and have success with it.
Darvish made the adjustment to throw his 4 seamer less after he got hit hard on it in 2019. With him throwing the cutter more and the 4 seamer less, it made his 4 seamer more effective. Although his cutter was hit slightly better, it wasn’t as drastic as the difference in 4 seamer stats. A welcomed adjustment that showed in his 2020 success. Shows his ability to still adjust the usage of his arsenal.
It’s no surprise after doing research, I have faith Darvish can keep his high level of performance up. Now lets look at how a trade with the Cubs might look. We have mentioned Darvish still had value, so it won’t be cheap. Via my friend Mike Conte, I was able to find a trade I would make. It gives the Cubs on under controlled and cheap bat, let them shred money and give them a solid prospect.
I have no idea if the Cubs are looking for this type of deal, but to me it could be a possibility. Another type of trade could be adding Kimbrel and his 17mil contract in the trade, to add a lot of negative value in the trade. This makes the money obviously more, but the level of players given up less (see and example on the photo below). This will mean the Mets adding 37 mil on the payroll. Something the Cubs will totally do IMO.
Any interest in this type of trade to add a very strong starter?
Photo from ESPN