The New York Yankees might not be done adding to their rotation, as the Bronx Bombers are trying to find a way to sign Yu Darvish.
According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, the delay in Darvish getting signed is that the Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers are trying to clear enough salary so that they can sign him.
Per sources and reports, delay on Darvish seems to be stemming from number of factors: Efforts of #Yankees and #Dodgers to clear salary; entrance of new teams such as #Brewers into bidding; Darvish’s agents waiting to get their price. @RobertMurrayFRS, @McCulloughTimes on it.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 31, 2018
The Yankees are believed to have roughly $15 million to spend on free agents. Darvish could command $20 million or more a season, which would be out of the Yankees price range, per Mike Mazzeo of the New York Daily News.
“(The Yankees) would need to trade a big salary, probably (Jacoby) Ellsbury to get this done. What are the odds of the Yankees or Dodgers doing such a thing? Probably somewhat slim, but that’s why this thing isn’t over just yet,” Rosenthal said on MLB Network, per Mazzeo.
Ellsbury still has three years and $68 million left on his contract, which contains a no-trade clause. Even if Ellsbury approved a potential destination, the Yankees would have to eat a substantial portion of the money left on his deal. That might not give the team enough wiggle room to meet Darvish’s asking price and still stay under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman praised the free agent and explained why they are interested in Darvish earlier this month.
“Do we recognize Yu Darvish as a unique talent and a premier starting pitcher available in this marketplace? The answer to that is yes,’’ Cashman told WFAN, per Pete Caldera of NorthJersey.com. “We’ve been working hard toward this (payroll) goal…And I do think there are things we can do to create more flexibility if we so choose. And that’s why you stay in touch with players as high end as Yu Darvish, amongst others out there.’’
The Bronx Bombers’ primary free agent pitching target was Shohei Ohtani, who ultimately signed with the Los Angeles Angeles. Besides the Dodgers and Yankees, the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, and Philadelphia Phillies are also interested in Darvish. According to Andy Mccullough of the Los Angeles Times, Darvish’s first choice is to return to the Dodgers.
Last year Darvish was 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA. In five seasons, he has a 56-42 record with a 3.42 ERA. While he’d be a great addition for the Yankees, they shouldn’t exceed the luxury-tax threshold to fit him in.