The Padres could come up with a nice offer to convince the Cubs to make a trade for Yu Darvish.
The Chicago Cubs have a lot of big decisions to make in the near future and may end up handing out a fortune to one or two core players. Moving a contract like Yu Darvish’s could help that cause as the team enters a new era.
Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune recently mentioned the San Diego Padres have been talking with the Cubs about a deal for Darvish. There would be plenty of objections to such a deal including Darvish being owed a total over $60 million between 2021-2023. But let’s look at a potential trade that could work to get this deal done.
Padres could offer a deal featuring legitimate top talent
While the Padres may want to dump salary of their own in such a deal, that would defeat the purpose of such a move for the Cubs. So focusing on prospects is the best place to start.
One realistic package would be the Padres sending pitcher Luis Patino to the Cubs as the headliner of the deal. He is the No. 3 prospect in the San Diego system and made his MLB debut in 2020. Patino is only 21 years old and has 279 strikeouts in 234 innings of minor league work.
This would give the Cubs and MLB-ready pitcher who is still years away from reaching his peak. The benefit for the Padres is getting a proven veteran who can anchor a rotation that will be without Mike Clevinger in 2021. The team wants to chase a championship and this helps that goal.
Another prospect such as catcher Blake Hunt could sweeten the deal. He is ranked No. 14 overall in the organization and could compete to be the catcher of the future in Chicago if Willson Contreras isn’t signed long-term.
The Padres look like a legitimate contender and the loss of Clevinger looms large. Dinelson Lamet also dealt with injuries so landing Darvish could ensure the Padres keep that contention window open while they continue to pay Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer large fortunes.
The benefit for the Cubs is moving Darvish’s money at a time when that may need to be allocated on one or two key players. Or the Cubs may decide to rebuild and keeping a 34-year-old Darvish around doesn’t make much sense in that case.