Cubs Rumors: A Padres trade for Yu Darvish would include Victor Caratini

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The Padres and Cubs are close on a trade including Yu Darvish and Victor Caratini.

The trade talks between the Cubs and Padres centered around Yu Darvish have ramped up, and are now reported to include Victor Caratini.

The pursuit of the Cubs’ ace and his personal catcher comes less than a day after San Diego traded for Blake Snell. The deal would make sense for both sides.

Caratini has been the go-to man behind the plate for Darvish over the past few years, and they are coming off the best season for the right-hander in a Cub uniform.

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Darvish 2020 statistics (12 starts): (8-3, 2.01 ERA) 76 IP 59 H 14 BB 93 SO

San Diego acquiring Caratini in a package deal for Darvish would be similar to the Cubs signing Jon Lester and his personal catcher in Boston, David Ross.

In return, the Cubs are reportedly looking to get two MLB-ready players and two prospects. Many sites suggest the Padres have a top-three farm system in baseball.

Even after sending four prospects to Tampa Bay in the Snell trade, San Diego still has high-level talent in their system. One of those players includes left-handed pitcher MacKenzie Gore, who is currently #3 on the MLB.com prospect rankings. 

Catcher Luis Campusano who is ranked #42 is also a player the Cubs might consider if they plan on moving Caratini, as well as Willson Contreras at some point this offseason.

It seems like just yesterday we were seeing the names of current Cubs like Kris Bryant and Javier Baez on that list. It feels like ages ago, but now the team has a chance to develop some of the best young talent in baseball by making this trade happen.

At 34 years old, it’s likely Darvish’s value will never be as high as it is right now. Unless the Cubs are going all-in for 2021 (it doesn’t look like they will be) there’s no sense in hanging onto an aging pitcher at his current price tag when they have a shot at establishing a good foundation for their future.

Even with the losses of Darvish and Caratini, the club could still set themselves up to be competitive next season, while gaining prospects at the same time. A team in “win-now” mode like San Diego is willing to take on the remaining three-years $59 million on Darvish’s current contract so that would also take a load off Chicago’s payroll.

Too many times, Chicago has failed to trade players at their peak values in recent years like Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora, etc. Passing up on this opportunity to build towards a better future would be another the organization would regret.