SAN DIEGO – Yu Darvish found out things move fast when San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller is wheeling and dealing.
The right-hander didn’t think he’d be traded away by the Chicago Cubs but was caught up in Preller’s vortex. Within the span of about 24 hours this week, the Padres obtained left-hander Blake Snell in a big deal with Tampa Bay, finalized a $28 million, four-year deal with South Korean slugger Kim Ha-seong, a deal that could be worth $34 million over five seasons if a a mutual option is excised and contains $1 million annually in performance bonuses. San Diego then obtained Darvish in another blockbuster deal.
Darvish found out about it on social media.
“When I woke up that morning I saw the Snell trade go down and I thought nothing’s going to happen,” Darvish said through an interpreter during a videoconference Thursday. “I wasn’t expecting the Padres to make another move but I was receiving phone calls within the hour and I found out on Twitter, yeah.
“I wasn’t expecting to be traded and obviously this happened in one single day so I was pretty shocked. Not in a bad way,” Darvish said.
After running out of starting pitching during their first postseason appearance in 14 seasons, the Padres added two aces in moves that solidify them as one of baseball’s best teams and should make for an interesting NL West race against the eight-time defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 34-year-old Darvish was 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA in 12 starts for Chicago during the pandemic-shortened season and finished second in the NL Cy Young Award race. He has three years and $59 million left on the $126 million, six-year deal he signed with the Cubs before the 2018 season.
Chicago will send San Diego $3 million in $500,000 installments on the first day of each month from April through September in 2021, offsetting a portion of Darvish’s $22 million salary. He is owed $19 million in 2022 and $18 million in 2023.