Padres acquire RHP Yu Darvish in blockbuster trade with Cubs

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FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2020, file photo, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish throws during the first inning in Game 2 of the team's NL wild-card baseball series against the Miami Marlins in Chicago. The San Diego Padres traded for another big arm on Tuesday night, Dec. 29, acquiring Darvish in a blockbuster deal with the Cubs. The Padres got Darvish, catcher Victor Caratini and cash from the Cubs for right-hander Zach Davies and four young minor leaguers. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller reunited with an old friend in another blockbuster move Tuesday night.

The aggressive Padres got Yu Darvish in a trade with the Chicago Cubs, adding another ace to their rotation after announcing a deal for Blake Snell earlier in the day. During his time in Texas' front office, Preller scouted Darvish before the Rangers acquired the Japanese right-hander in 2012.

“His last season and a half has been as productive as anybody in the game. He's a force,” Preller said Tuesday night. “So I think getting back on the phone with him, catching up for a few minutes, really looking forward to being around him every single day again.”

The Padres got Darvish, catcher Victor Caratini and $3 million from the Cubs for right-hander Zach Davies and four young minor leaguers. The switch-hitting Caratini caught Darvish in Chicago and batted .241 with 16 RBIs last season.

“We've had interest in Victor for a few years now,” Preller said. “I think he's been a guy that, just on his own, we feel like is a quality catching option for us.”

Davies went 7-4 with a 2.73 ERA in 12 starts for San Diego this year. The package of prospects headed to Chicago includes Owen Caissie, an 18-year-old outfielder who was selected by the Padres in the second round of this year's amateur draft.

The 34-year-old Darvish was 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA in 12 starts for Chicago during the pandemic-shortened season, finishing 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 payments of $500,000 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.