Free agent Darvish meets with Cubs' brass

December 18th, 2017

CHICAGO -- Still in the market for a starting pitcher, Cubs executives met with free agent , according to a tweet by the right-hander.
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer flew to Dallas on Monday to meet with Darvish, according to a report by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. The club has not commented on the meeting.

The Cubs have added to the rotation, signing the right-hander to a three-year, $38 million contract, but are still looking for another starter to join , and .

Heyman reports the Cubs also have been in touch with representatives for other free-agent pitchers, including , Alex Cobb, and . The possibility of Arrieta returning seems like a long shot because of the money his agent, Scott Boras, is expected to demand.
"The road to 'playoffville' is about winning big games at big times," Boras said during the Winter Meetings last week. "One thing that Jake Arrieta's done is he's done that for the Cubs, and they know that. I'm sure they're always going to have interest in acquiring that."
Arrieta was 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 30 starts for the Cubs in 2017, and he won Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers. Darvish beat the Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS, giving up one run over 6 1/3 innings, but did not get past the second inning in either of his two World Series starts.
Others on the Cubs' radar, who would require a trade, include the Royals' Danny Duffy and the Rays' Chris Archer, according to Heyman.
Darvish, 31, is considered the top starting pitcher on the free-agent market after posting a 10-12 record and 3.86 ERA in 31 starts combined for the Rangers and Dodgers last season. He struck out 209 over 186 2/3 innings. The Rangers and Twins also are reportedly interested in signing the right-hander.
Besides Chatwood, the Cubs have added arms to the bullpen this offseason, acquiring free agents and , and claiming off waivers. The Cubs also signed free agent Drew Smyly to a two-year contract, but he is expected to miss 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.