Yu Darvish held a press conference on Thursday to discuss his trade from the Chicago Cubs to the San Diego Padres. While Darvish seemed excited to be heading to San Diego, he was puzzled as to why the Cubs traded him away and are cutting payroll instead of trying to compete.
ESPN's Jesse Rogers found this Darvish quote particularly interesting:
He further said he was "shocked" by the trade:
Darvish is right to not understand it. The Cubs won the National League Center in 2020 and could have competed again in 2021, in what should be a weak division. Yet, for some reason, they're looking to sell and cut payroll. Billionaire owner Tom Ricketts is crying poverty despite doing quite well. Major League Baseball set revenue records for 17 consecutive seasons entering 2020, the league's owners are going to be just fine.
It makes no sense for the Cubs to not "go for it" right now but it appears they're waving a white flag. They shipped out a guy who finished second in NL Cy Young voting for a fourth starter and four teenaged prospects, none of whom were inside the top 10 in the Padres' system. It was a trade that made little practical sense unless the Cubs plan to tear the whole thing down.
Darvish has a right to be shocked by that decision.