In a blockbuster deal on Monday night, the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres were involved in a seven-player deal. The principal players involved in the deal are both starting pitchers, as the Padres acquired Yu Darvish, and the Cubs acquired Zach Davies. Other players involved in the trade according to Rogers Sportsnet are catcher Victor Caratini (heading to Chicago to San Diego), and prospects Reginald Preciado, Yeison Santana, Owen Caissie, and Ismael Mena (heading from San Diego to Chicago). Preciado and Santana are both shortstops, while Caissie and Mena are both outfielders. All four prospects the Padres are sending to the Cubs do not have Major League Baseball experience.
Darvish of Habikino, Japan is joining his fourth Major League Baseball team. In addition to pitching with the Cubs, he has pitched for the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers.
In 2020, Darvish had the best season of his eight-year Major League Baseball career. He posted a record of eight wins, and three losses, with an earned run average of 2.01. In 76 innings, Darvish gave up 17 earned runs, 59 hits, and 14 walks, to go along with 93 strikeouts, and a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 0.96. Darvish’s eight wins led the National League, and was tied with Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Indians for the most wins in Major League Baseball.
Known for his strikeouts, Darvish has averaged 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings, which is a Major League Baseball all-time record. He also had 277 strikeouts with the Rangers in 2013, which led Major League Baseball. Darvish was also an all-star with the Rangers in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2017.
Davies, a native of Puyallup, WA, is joining his third Major League Baseball team in the Cubs. In addition to the Padres, Davies has pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers.
In 2020, Davies had a record of seven wins, four losses, and an earned run average of 2.73. In 12 games, Davies pitched 69 1/3 innings, and gave up 55 hits, 21 earned runs, and 19 walks, to go along with 63 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.07. Like Darvish, you could argue that Davies had the best season of his career in 2020.
Caratini, a native of Ponce, Puerto Rico, batted .241 with one home run and 16 runs batted in. During his 116 at bats, he scored 10 runs, and had 28 hits, seven doubles, 12 walks, 38 total bases, four times hit by a pitch, an on base percentage of .333, and a slugging percentage of .328. Caratini, who is a personal catcher for Darvish, registered his lone home run for the Cubs in 2020 in a 10-0 Cubs win over the Chicago White Sox on September 25.