Yu Darvish ‘shocked’ by trade to Padres, but ‘forever grateful to be a Cub’

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Maddie Lee
·2 min read
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Darvish ‘shocked’ by trade, but ‘forever grateful to be a Cub’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Earlier this week, Yu Darvish woke up to the news that Blake Snell was headed to the Padres, and Darvish assumed that meant he was staying in Chicago.

“I wasn't expecting the Padres to make another move,” the former Cubs ace said through a translator.

As the day wore on, reports began to indicate otherwise. Darvish said he learned of his own trade on Twitter. By Tuesday night, the deal was official: Darvish and catcher Victor Caratini were headed to San Diego, in exchange for right-handed pitcher Zach Davies and four prospects.

“Obviously with what's happening with the coronavirus and the money that the Cubs have, I wasn't really thinking about being traded,” Darvish said in his Padres introductory press conference Thursday. “And also, they are a winning team, so I thought we would be able to compete. But obviously I was shocked. In a good way.”

Darvish credited the Cubs with his turnaround halfway through the 2019 season. He went from battling injury and inconsistency in his first year and a half in Chicago to dominating after the 2019 All-Star break. He finished second in NL Cy Young voting this season.

“In June (2019), the Cubs staff and my teammates really helped me be part of the team,” Darvish said. “they became really close, and that really helped me become the pitcher I am now.”

They also encourage him to be himself. On the mound, Darvish found the slow, plodding rhythm that he preferred before coming over the United States. In the clubhouse, he made close friends.

One of them is coming with him to San Diego. Caratini has been Darvish’s personal catcher for the past year and a half.

“Honestly, when I talked to my agent, I told him to tell A.J. (Preller, the Padres general manager,) that Caratini will be a set with me,” Darvish said. “So, if I come, Caratini's coming.”

The rest, including several teammates and Vijay Tekchandani, Cubs director of team travel and clubhouse operations, already have Spring Training dinner plans set up with Darvish.

Darvish said a lot of teammates and Cubs staff members have reached out to him since the trade. They were all pretty surprised.

“But I'm always forever grateful to be a Cub,” he said.

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