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Cubs Trade Rumors: Yu Darvish Won't Waive No-Trade Clause Amid Interest

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2019

FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2019, file photo, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, in Chicago. Starting pitcher Darvish and outfielder Jason Heyward are staying with the Chicago Cubs, who exercised their $11.5 million option for 2020 on left-hander José Quintana on Saturday, Nov. 2, and declined their $6.5 million option on lefty Derek Holland, which triggered a $500,000 buyout.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish reportedly has "no intention" of waiving his no-trade clause before or during the 2020 season. 

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Darvish loves being with the Cubs and does not desire a trade. While Darvish has a full no-trade clause for 2020, it becomes a limited no-trade clause from 2021-23.

Per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, teams inquired about Darvish's availability during the winter meetings.

The Cubs signed Darvish to a six-year, $126 million contract in 2018, and Darvish exercised his four-year, $81 million player option in October, meaning he is under contract through the 2023 season.

After an injury-plagued 2018 that saw him make only eight starts, the 33-year-old Darvish bounced back last season. In 31 starts, he went 6-8 with a 3.98 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 229 strikeouts over 178.2 innings pitched.

Although it can be argued that Darvish is no longer in his prime, his 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings marked his highest strikeout rate since 2016 and the third-highest rate of his career.

In five healthy seasons as a member of the Texas Rangers, Darvish was named an All-Star four times. He was also successful after getting traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017, as he went 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in nine starts for the Dodgers.

Playoff success has eluded Darvish, though, as he owns a career postseason ERA of 5.81, including a 21.60 ERA in two World Series starts for the Dodgers in 2017.

After missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2014, the Cubs are clearly looking to shake up their roster. Third baseman Kris Bryant and catcher Willson Contreras have been mentioned as trade candidates, but it doesn't look as though Darvish will be an option.

Assuming Darvish isn't going anywhere, the Cubs' starting rotation may remain largely unchanged in 2020 with Darvish, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana and Kyle Hendricks as the top four in no particular order.

The biggest change the Cubs have made thus far is parting ways with World Series-winning manager Joe Maddon and replacing him with David Ross.

That alone could help spark a Cubs team that disappointed last season, but failing to improve elsewhere may leave the Cubs lagging behind the Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals in the National League.