Lodi News-Sentinel

Padres, Yu Darvish agree to six-year, $108 million extension

- STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS — Jeff Sanders,The San Diego Union-Tribune

SAN DIEGO — Yu Darvish, at 36 years old, penned arguably the best season of his career.

The Padres are betting quite a bit that there’s plenty more where that came from.

The two sides have agreed to a six-year, $108 million extension that will run through the 2028 season, two sources confirmed for the Union-Tribune.

MLB.com first reported the extension as Darvish prepares to leave the team for what could be a lengthy stay with Team Japan in the World Baseball Classic.

Darvish, who turns 37 in August, had been set to enter free agency after this season.

Instead, both he and Joe Musgrove give the Padres longterm assurances for the rotation beyond 2023 and Darvish, with his average fastball velocity still sitting in the mid-90s, looked far from the twilight of his career last season.

Darvish tied a career-high with 16 wins in 2022, posted the lowest WHIP (0.95) of his career and averaged 5.32 strikeouts for every walk, the second-best ratio of his career. His 194 2/3 innings (3.10 ERA) were also the second-most he’s thrown in the majors, a total likely would have easily eclipsed 200 had the Padres not employed a six-man rotation for a large stretch of the season to keep their starting pitchers fresh for the postseason.

And Darvish certainly was fresh, striking out 23 batters over 25 innings (2.88 ERA) over four starts as the Padres reached the NLCS for the third time in franchise history.

The season was something of a rebound for Darvish, who was dogged by back and hip issues while posting a 6.16 ERA after the All-Star break in 2021. Before that, he’d gone 7-3 with a 3.09 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 105 innings to earn his fifth All-Star invite in his first year in San Diego.

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