Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 11:45pm


The San Diego Padres acquired pitcher Yu Darvish and catcher Victor Caratini from the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Zach Davies, infielders Reginald Preciado and Yeison Santana, and outfielders Owen Caissie and Ismael Mena.

What does it give the San Diego Padres
First, the Padres landed left-handed starter Blake Snell from Tampa Bay. Now they get righty Darvish from the Cubs. These two moves should greatly improve San Diego's starting rotation in 2021, especially since veteran Mike Clevenger will miss the campaign due to Tommy John surgery. Darvish, like Snell, should benefit greatly from pitching half the time at PETCO Park. The Pads also received switch-hitting catcher Victor Caratini in this deal. The latter should at least share catching duties with Austin Nola in '21. Caratini is another solid addition for San Diego.

What does it give the Chicago Cubs
For the Cubs, this has the appearance of a cost-cutting move for a franchise that seems headed for a rebuild. Davies is the only player of the five acquired from San Diego with MLB experience. He will provide some of the missing innings from Darvish's departure, but Davies has far less dominant stuff. Preciado and Santana are young infield prospects, while Caissie and Mena are young outfield prospects. None of the four is considered a blue-chip prospect at this time, so Chicago went for quantity and prospect surplus here. Did the Cubs receive enough in return for Darvish and Caratini?

Fantasy impact
Darvish should see a nice spike in fantasy value with the move to San Diego, while Caratini could see more playing time with the Padres (he was stuck behind Willson Contreras in Chicago, though he saw plenty of time as a DH in 2020). Caratini is the better fantasy bet than new teammate Nola at present time. Fantasy leaguers involved in keeper drafts do not need to select any of the four prospects acquired by the Cubs for the time being. Just keep an eye on their progress in 2021.