5 Chicago Cubs players that the Seattle Mariners should inquire about

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 28: Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs throws to first. The Seattle Mariners should trade for him. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 28: Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs throws to first. The Seattle Mariners should trade for him. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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Yu Darvish of the Chicago Cubs delivers a pitch. The Seattle Mariners should go for him.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – AUGUST 13: Yu Darvish of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch. The Seattle Mariners should pursue him. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

The Seattle Mariners should trade for the Cy Young finalist Yu Darvish of the Chicago Cubs

Yu Darvish had another impressive season in his eight-year career in the MLB. Darvish finished second in NL Cy Young voting this past season. Darvish has been in Cy Young conversations in his first two seasons in the MLB. He finished ninth in his 2012 rookie season, and second again in 2013. I don’t think I need to do any more explaining about Darvish’s talent, so let’s get right into why I think the Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto should explore trading for him.

One of the main reasons why Darvish is even in this conversation is that he will most likely be available for trade, especially since his value is near its peak after his 2020 performance. The Cubs are looking to transition and break its core that was once successful and Darvish does have a large contract that the Cubs might want to shed. He signed a six-year deal for $126 million in 2018, which makes him a free-agent in 2024.

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Darvish does have a limited trade clause as part of his current contract and has 12-teams listed. We do not know which teams Darvish has listed, but I think the Mariners might be on it for a few reasons. One, almost exactly a year ago, Yu Darvish published a YouTube video talking about Mariners pitcher Yusei Kikuchi. The title of the video was called “I Want to save Yusei Kikuchi.” The video is in Japanese, so you need to know Japanese like me or read the subtitles to know the contents. There is also a great translation I found of the video.

But, to sum it up, Darvish talked about Kikuchi’s struggles and tried to flip the narrative where Kikuchi did pretty well in his first season. Darvish tried to take the positives out of Kikuchi’s struggles, and that says a lot about Darvish’s character. He has been known as a great teammate and personality that people have enjoyed. This video surfaced in 2019, so maybe he has an interest in working with Kikuchi and the Mariners.

My second reason is that Darvish was a huge advocate for the six-man rotation. In 2014 Darvish was very vocal and pushed the Rangers organization to implement a six-man rotation to provide more rest days for starting pitchers. Yu Darvish is from Japan and has had injuries of his own so he knows the risks of five-man rotations in the USA. Japanese pitchers are accustomed to six-man rotations and that switch sometimes leads to overwork and a difficult adjustment, like many thought about Kikuchi.

Scott Servais and Jerry Dipoto are considering using a six-man rotation again this season, which might be a major influence on Darvish. Lastly, Seattle is just very attractive to Japanese baseball players. One of the reasons why is the distance to Japan. Some people don’t realize, Seattle is a Japanese tourist destination in the United States because it is closer than flying to the East Coast like New York. I think this is a big reason why the Marines have been able to attract so much Japanese talent over the years.

Starting with Kazuhiro Sasaki, Ichiro Suzuki, Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Kenji Johjima, Munenori Kawasaki, and Hisashi Iwakuma. I honestly would not be surprised if I forgot to name a Japanese Mariners player on this list. Seattle is extremely attractive to Japanese ballplayers and that is another reason why I think Darvish has Seattle on his trade list. All of these reasons lead me to believe that Darvish might like the Mariners, and it works for Jerry Dipoto because we need another ace-like pitcher.

Marco Gonzales has been amazing, but I still do not have full confidence in saying he can lead the Mariners onto a postseason run. Adding Yu Darvish on top of Gonzales would be quite the combo though. Trading for Darvish would also not be a rental because his contract does not end till 2024. This is perfectly based on our prospect projections because, by 2022 and 2023, our prospects should be firing at all cylinders. Darvish seems like the most ideal trade chip from the Cubs, but the Mariners would have to give quite a bit of prospect in return, and Seattle needs to be on the trade list.