Having failed in their bid to land Japanese pitching sensation Shohei Ohtani, the Chicago Cubs apparently have set their sights on another pitcher from Japan: Yu Darvish.
Multiple reports Monday said Cubs president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer had flown to Dallas to meet with Darvish and his representatives. The Cubs did not confirm those reports.
The 31-year-old Darvish would fill a hole in the Cubs' starting rotation, which now includes Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and recently signed free agent Tyler Chatwood. Lefty Mike Montgomery, a swingman, also will be considered for the rotation once spring training starts in February.
Jake Arrieta, who won the Cy Young Award while with the Cubs in 2015, is still on the free-agent market.
Darvish, who began his big-league career with the Texas Rangers in 2012, has a lifetime record of 56-42 with an ERA of 3.42 and WHIP of 1.18.
This past season with the Rangers and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Darvish went 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA and a WHIP of 1.16. He beat the Cubs 6-1 in Game 3 of the National League championship series, with the only run against him coming on a home run by Kyle Schwarber.
In the World Series against Houston, Darvish was 0-2 with a 21.60 ERA. For his career in the postseason, he is 2-4 with a 5.81 ERA.
In addition to Chatwood this off-season, the Cubs have signed relievers Brandon Morrow, Steve Cishek and Drew Smyly.