Yu Darvish extension: Padres hand out six-year, $108 million deal to 36-year-old pitcher, per report

The San Diego Padres have signed their first-class player to a long-term contract, the team announced on Thursday. The Padres and right-hander Yu Darvish agreed to a six-year, $108 million extension. reports The contract is for 2023-2028. Darvish was supposed to earn $18 million this year, so that’s essentially a five-year, $90 million extension.

Darvish, 36, was scheduled to become a free agent after 2023 and the deal extended his 41-year season. It’s unlikely he’ll be a productive pitcher at this age, but a) the New York Mets just signed Justin Verlander when he was 41, and b) several free agents have signed long-term contracts through the 40-year season this off-season, including the San Diego’s 11-year contract with Xander Bogarts.

The Padres had two reasons for signing Darvish to a six-year deal. First, the extra years reduce his competitive balance sheet payroll tax, which is the average annual contract value. Six years and $108 million is $18 million a year, or only 23rd among starting pitchers. We could even consider it a four-year, $108 million contract ($27 million a year, more or less the current rate for a pitcher of Darvish’s caliber), with two additional years for CBT purposes.

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Yu Darvish


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Second, San Diego is trying to win in the short term while Juan Soto is still under team control (two years to free agency) and others like the Bogarts, Manny Machado, Joe Musgrove and Fernando Tatis Jr. are in their prime. . Keeping Darvish gives the Padres the best chance of winning the 2023-24 season, even if the 2026-28 season is terrible. The Padres are nothing but all-in on a gift.

Certainly, Machado may withdraw from his contract after the end of the seasonPlus Blake Snell is in the last year of his contract. The Padres could move on to renew Machado next, though his refusal would send him to the open market at age 31, about the same age as Aaron Judge this offseason. It may take the judge’s money to convince Machado to drop the waiver.

It should be noted that Padres CEO AJ Preller was doing international scouting for the Texas Rangers when the team originally signed Darvish back in January 2012, so the two have a long relationship. The Padres acquired Darvish from the Chicago Cubs two years ago in a six-player deal that was largely (but not entirely) due to the Cubs’ pay cuts.

Darvish threw 194 2/3 innings with 197 strikeouts and a 3.10 ERA last year. Over 10 MLB seasons, his ERA was 20 percent better than the average pitcher, adjusted for the league’s approximate stadium and offensive environment. Darvish has received the votes of Cy Young for four seasons and has been runner-up in 2013 and 2020.

FanGraphs values ​​San Diego’s 2023 CBT payroll at $267.1 million.. That is well over the $233 million threshold and close to the $273 million fine that would move their 2023 first-round pick 10 spots back.


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