Chicago Cubs: Three possible landing spots for Yu Darvish

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 23: Yu Darvish #11 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the third inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox at Wrigley Field on August 23, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 23: Yu Darvish #11 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the third inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox at Wrigley Field on August 23, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

If the Chicago Cubs want a sizeable return for Yu Darvish, dealing with the San Diego Padres would be smart.

Let’s unpack the possible connection with the San Diego Padres. Should the Chicago Cubs trade Yu Darvish, the one team who could, and is willing to, send back the biggest haul of prospects in return would be the Padres.

Other than the AJ Preller/Darvish connection from their time with the Texas Rangers, the Padres are in desperate need of rotation help after already losing Mike Clevinger for 2021. Trevor Bauer is on the market and is a target, while Sonny Gray is also on the trade block and likely won’t command the type of return Darvish will, but if Preller identifies Darvish as the man he wants, expect the Padres to be very aggressive.

Even after trading for Clevinger, Austin Nola, and bullpen help at last season’s trade deadline, the Padres kept the vast majority of their top prospects.

Assuming Dinelson Lamet, Chris Paddack, and top prospect MacKenzie Gore would not be included in any deal, the Padres still have the prospect depth to make a deal happen.

When you have a group that includes CJ Abrams, Robert Hassell, Ryan Weathers, Luis Patino and plenty of other fringe-Top 100 prospects, the Chicago Cubs could set themselves up nicely by dealing with the Padres for Darvish.

The Padres are going to have to land an impact starting pitcher at some point this offseason if they want to contend with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Adding Yu Darvish would certainly make a statement.