Darvish Confirms Cubs Meeting, Indicates Another Tuesday and Perhaps More (Updated)

We learned Monday afternoon that the Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer had flown to Dallas, presumably with the intent of meeting with Yu Darvish. That presumption was confirmed by Jon Heyman and then by Darvish himself in a pair of tweets Monday evening. The free agent pitcher didn’t just admit that he’d met with the Cubs, he shared what may be very significant details about his future.

Below are the original tweets with the Japanese text, followed by a translation of the first by Kazuto Yamazaki (who actually speaks the language) and of the second by an online tool (which I suppose could actually refer to me, but in this case was Google). Those of you who tried to use Twitter’s online translation tool no doubt understand exactly why it’s important to have proper context in these situations, particularly when interpreting characters that don’t correlate exactly to English letters.


There were so many opportunities to speak as many questions as I had quite a lot of questions and I was pretty tired because I used the brain pretty much so I was the most tired in the last ten years. I will try on my English tomorrow again [emphasis mine] (^ ^) After all it is faster to retreat than to retreat than to retreat. I went to the Dodgers and noticed (^ ^)

A few things absolutely leap off the page here, the first of which is that Monday’s meeting lasted three-and-a-half hours. Even with Darvish speaking for himself and being very deliberate in what he was saying, that’s a long-ass time to be sitting down with someone. While it’s possible Darvish asked so many questions because he wanted assurances from the Cubs brass that all the Horry Kow t-shirts and Rising Sun bandannas had been eradicated, I’d like to think there was more substance to the talks than that.

And maybe I’m reading too much into this, but the fact that he wanted to meet sans interpreter tells me that he’s very comfortable with Epstein and Hoyer and that he wanted no barriers between them. On one hand, you could say that using an interpreter would mean that Darvish wanted to be sure to understand and be understood more clearly. What it tells me, though, is that he wants to take another step forward in his career and to do something new and different.

Things get really interesting in the second tweet, which indicates that it was mentally draining for Darvish to speak English throughout the long meeting. Again, this says to me that he really wanted to impress his potential employers and to accommodate and/or show respect to them. Or something like that. Then comes the coup de grâce: I will try my English again tomorrow.

While this could just be a matter of ordering his food or trying to carry on a conversation with his neighbor in English, the context of the statement sure makes it sound like Darvish and the Cubs are going to be talking again in short order. You don’t sit down with someone for that long if you’re not serious about it and you damn sure don’t schedule a follow-up if things aren’t getting even more serious than what was already assumed.

You don’t need to know how to read tea leaves to see that the Cubs’ pursuit of Darvish has rapidly gained steam over the past few days. It went from kicking tires to a serious pursuit once it was established that Alex Cobb wanted too much money. Of course, Darvish is going to want a lot of money as well, so it’ll be very interesting to see where this lands if it indeed ends up where I think it’s going to at this point.

And where I think it’s going is that Darvish is wearing blue pinstripes in 2018 and many years to follow. The money and years of this deal are going have a significant impact on future payrolls, which means the Cubs may have to get creative down the road with some other moves. But we’ll worry about all that once there’s an actual agreement (right, Cubs Insider’s resident worry-wart, Brendan Miller?).

Still, you have to agree that it feels like that’s where this is headed.


It turns out that the part about trying his English again tomorrow was indeed referencing another meeting, just not with the Cubs. FanRag’s Jon Heyman reported Tuesday afternoon that Darvish was meeting with the Astros.

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