Our Pledge To You


Cubs’ Rizzo, Russell, Contreras react to Yu Darvish signing

The Cubs signed Yu Darvish Saturday — four days before the Cubs pitchers and catchers are set to report to spring training in Mesa, Arizona.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was midswing at the golf course when his brother broke the news to him that the Cubs finally filed their final spot in the rotation.

“I shanked [the swing], so I was pissed at my brother,” Rizzo joked with the media Monday.

RELATED STORY: Several Cubs players already in Arizona ahead of spring training: Pictures 

Cubs players react to the team signing Yu Darvish. | Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

But on a more serious tone, Rizzo said he believes Darvish is a solid addition to the Cubs rotation and the right-hander puts the Cubs in a “good position from top to bottom.”


“We already have a really good rotation and getting another ace in that rotation that’s full of ones and twos, it’s something that’s going to carry us throughout the season,” Rizzo said. “It’s the longevity of that rotation that’s going to set up our bullpen better, set up our team better. … It’s a big addition to us. Obviously, Yu Darvish had a lot of teams, a lot of offers to go to and it speaks volumes that he wanted to go here.

“[Darvish] knows how to pitch,” Rizzo continued. “He knows how to pitch to weakness and knows how to stick to corners.”

The Cubs inked Darvish to a six-year contract, with $126 million guaranteed and a chance to make up to $150 million over the course of the deal. It’s only the Cubs fourth nine-figure contract in franchise history.

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras called the Cubs’ move on Darvish “aggressive,” but said he was excited to catch Darvish.

On the other hand, Cubs shortstop Addison Russell said he believes the Cubs are getting their money’s worth with Darvish.

“It’s gonna be a big plus,” Russell told TMZ Sports. “We’re happy to have him … I’ve faced him a few times so I know what he brings to the table.”

The addition of Darvish completes a rotation that also includes Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood, which means free-agent Jake Arrieta is still looking for a home.

Rizzo told ESPN he hasn’t talked to Arrieta lately but said this unusually slow free agency has left a “sour taste” in people’s mouths.

Follow me on Twitter: @madkenney