MESA, Ariz. — When Seiya Suzuki recently visited Yu Darvish’s home in the San Diego area, the two Japanese players compared recruiting videos they received from the Cubs. The professional and sleek production was created specifically for Suzuki, showing how the team travels and featuring players and their wives who explained their comfort level in Chicago, hitting on the big ideas the Cubs once emphasized during their negotiations with Darvish. The sales pitch still resonated with Darvish even after the Cubs traded him to the Padres midway through a six-year, $126 million deal.

Suzuki listened to Darvish and his wife, Seiko, describe their experiences in Chicago. Daytime games at Wrigley Field made it possible to follow the rhythms of normal work, eat breakfast with the family in the morning and get home in time for dinner. Darvish appreciated the support and patience of Cubs fans and Cubs staff as he battled injuries in his freshman season in Chicago in 2018. Darvish turned to the team’s Ivy technology and felt a sense of freedom on the mound, finishing second in the 2020 National League. Vote for the Cy Young Award.

As the initial shock wore off, Darvish graciously handled trade news, which for the Cubs dealt with both a declining agricultural system and budget cuts to baseball operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. . Landing in a great place like San Diego definitely helped with the transition. But Darvish harbored no bitterness toward the Cubs, considering Nao Masamoto, the team’s video coordinator/Pacific Rim liaison, and Vijay Tekchandani, the director of major league travel and clubhouse operations, to be close friends. .

Although the Padres also targeted Suzuki, Darvish shared his honest opinion on the Cubs: You’re going to love it.