DALLAS — The Chicago Cubs are making a pitch for Yu Darvish.
The free agent right-hander says he had a “very good meeting” on Monday with Cubs officials. Darvish tweeted a statement in Japanese confirming the get-together amid reports that Chicago executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were in Dallas to speak with him.
Darvish is one of the top starting pitchers available this offseason, and the Cubs have been busy filling holes on their staff. The NL Central champions already have signed free agent starter Tyler Chatwood and relievers Brandon Morrow and Steve Cishek.
Darvish was 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA last season for the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers. The four-time All-Star pitched well in a pair of playoff starts but was hit hard by Houston in the World Series, losing both his outings as the Dodgers were beaten in seven games. A Sports Illustrated report said Darvish was tipping his pitches in the Fall Classic.
Darvish also used the meeting to sharpen his English. The 31-year-old says he did not bring a translator because “I wanted to put myself in a more challenging stage regarding my English.”
The 3 1/2-hour sit-down left Darvish “very tired,” but he says he “will work hard again tomorrow speaking English.”