Earlier this month, the Yankees missed out on a prized Japanese pitcher when Shohei Ohtani informed them he wasn’t interested and instead chose the Angels. Now, as the Bombers have made it abundantly clear they would like to add another starter — in addition to bringing back Sabathia on a one-year deal — the Yanks may have their sights set on another prized Japanese arm.
Coming off the heels of apparent stalled negotiations with the Pirates for 27-year-old righty Gerrit Cole, the Yankees and GM Brian Cashman may be interested in acquiring 31-year-old right hander, Yu Darvish.
Darvish, an All Star in 4 of his 5 seasons in Texas, was traded to the Dodgers at last year’s trade deadline as L.A. made their run to the World Series. Dominant in his first two postseason starts for L.A., Darvish struggled mightily in the World Series in his two starts against the Astros, which could potentially be hurting his market.
In a free agent class headlined by Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn, Darvish may be the most talented of the bunch. Averaging a dominant 11.0 K/9 ratio since his debut in April of 2012, Darvish could be yet another hard throwing strikeout pitcher adding to a rotation boasting Luis Severino, Sonny Gray and his fellow countryman Masahiro Tanaka.
A lot seems to lineup with the Yankees and Darvish as they hunt for another piece to deepen an already strong rotation. The fact that they could add Darvish without having to part with top prospects as they would for Gerrit Cole, Michael Fulmer or even Patrick Corbin must be enticing for Cashman.
However, the biggest question that still remains: would they be able to sign Darvish and remain UNDER the $197 million luxury tax threshold that Cashman has made a top priority?