The San Diego Padres’ whirlwind off-season continued Monday night as they reportedly acquired right-hander Yu Darvish from the Chicago Cubs as part of a seven-player deal.
The trade, which was first reported by MLB.com, comes one day after San Diego landed left-hander Blake Snell from the Tampa Bay Rays. The Padres’ starting rotation now is set to include Snell, Darvish, Dinelson Lamet, Chris Paddack and MacKenzie Gore, with injured veteran Mike Clevinger is set to return from Tommy John surgery in 2022.
The Padres also acquired catcher Victor Caratini from the Cubs, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported. In exchange, the Cubs acquired right-hander Zach Davies and four minor-league prospects: shortstop Reginald Preciado, outfielder Owen Caissie, outfielder Ismael Mena and shortstop Yeison Santana.
Earlier in the day, San Diego signed free-agent infielder Ha-Seong Kim, 25, to a multiyear deal worth around $7 million a season, according to MLB Network. Kim starred in Korea, where he has hit .307, slugged 49 home runs and swiped 56 bases since 2019. He start at second base for the Padres.
The main prize of Monday night’s deal is Darvish, 34, a four-time All-Star who finished second in the voting for National League Cy Young Award in 2020. He finished last season with an 8-3 record and a 2.01 ERA in 12 starts, and he struck out 93 batters in 76 innings.
In eight big-league seasons, Darvish is 71-56 with a 3.47 ERA in 182 starts. He spent the past three years in Chicago after starting his career with the Texas Rangers and spending part of one season for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“He’s just at a point where he’s really comfortable in who he is,” Cubs manager David Ross said last season. “There’s so much to be said for that.”
Caratini, 27, gives the Padres depth behind the plate. He hit .241 with one homer and 16 RBIs in 44 games in 2019, following up on an impressive 2019 campaign in which he hit .266 with 11 homers and 34 RBIs in 95 games.
The Cubs have not announced a rebuild, but they have taken steps to break up the core of a team that captured the 2016 World Series title. Joe Maddon left as manager, Theo Epstein left as president and the team recently announced that it would not tender a contract to slugger Kyle Schwarber. Other players who could be moved include Kris Bryant and Javier Baez.
Davies, 27, figures to replace Darvish’s rotation spot, and he could give the Cubs a trade chip at the 2021 deadline. He went 7-4 with a 2.73 ERA in 12 starts last season, which was his first in San Diego after five seasons in Milwaukee.
Preciado, Caissie, Mena and Santana provide depth to a Cubs farm system that had been depleted in recent years. The first three players are still teenagers, while Santana is the oldest of the group at age 20.