Padres sign Darvish to 6-year, $108M extension through '28

February 10th, 2023

SAN DIEGO -- Yu Darvish just might end up finishing his brilliant career as a San Diego Padre.

The veteran right-hander signed a six-year extension, the club announced on Thursday, committing to a deal that runs through the 2028 season, when Darvish will turn 42. The contract is worth $108 million, sources told

Darvish was slated to hit free agency after the upcoming season. Instead, the Padres gain a measure of rotation security beyond this year. The contract is front-loaded, with Darvish slated to make $30 million in 2023, a source told’s Mark Feinsand. That’s a sizeable bump from the $18 million he was originally set to earn under the terms of the six-year, $126 million pact he signed with the Cubs in 2018. But stretched over six years, this new deal trims Darvish’s average annual value from $21 million in the 2018 Cubs contract to $18 million, for competitive-balance tax purposes.

The contract is a bit of a gamble for the Padres, who are committing a significant sum to a starter in his late 30s. But they're comfortable doing so with a pitcher like Darvish, who has flourished late in his career and is coming off one of his best seasons.

Darvish recorded a 3.10 ERA across 30 starts last season, then posted a 2.88 ERA in four postseason starts. On a staff with a number of ace-caliber arms, Darvish emerged as the Opening Day starter, and he started Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series and NL Championship Series.

With Darvish on board, the Padres have the foundation of their future rotation in place, having signed Joe Musgrove to a long-term extension last summer. Those two will anchor the pitching staff, though Blake Snell remains on course to hit free agency next offseason.

Darvish arrived in San Diego via trade following a 2020 season in which he finished as the runner-up in NL Cy Young voting. He was excellent for a half-season in '21 before injuries set him back during a rough second half.

The 2022 season, however, brought a Darvish renaissance, which he called “one of the more fun seasons” of his career. Darvish became wholly comfortable in San Diego, and when the Padres broached the subject of a possible extension last fall, he was open to it. A few months later, a week before pitchers and catchers are slated to report to Spring Training, a deal materialized.

Darvish is set to pitch for Japan in the World Baseball Classic and will join the team at its training camp, meaning his time at Padres Spring Training will be limited. Team officials have said they’re fine with that, citing Darvish’s vast experience and his regimented routine.

Across 10 big league seasons with the Padres, Cubs, Dodgers and Rangers, Darvish has posted a 3.50 ERA with 1,788 strikeouts. Last summer, he became just the second pitcher to record 3,000 strikeouts between Japan and MLB, with at least 1,000 in each league, joining Hideo Nomo.

Extending Darvish was always a priority for the Padres this winter. Darvish responded to that overture by expressing to team officials his desire to remain in San Diego. From there, it was merely a matter of dollars and cents, and lately the Padres have been willing spenders. They feel their championship window is well and truly open.

Next up? Well, the Padres have a similar objective in keeping Manny Machado in San Diego long-term. Machado can opt out of his contract after the 2023 season, but the team is hopeful he won’t reach free agency. Neither the Padres nor Machado have commented on any ongoing negotiations.