In an interview with WFAN Radio’s The Afternoon Drive show Thursday, Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman revealed that he has spoken to Darvish’s agent, Joel Wolf, while also admitting that it would be somewhat tricky to complete a deal for the 31-year-old righty.
“Well, he’s obviously a tremendous pitcher,” Cashman said of Darvish. “I can’t answer it directly. I would just say that we do have some flexibility. To create more flexibility, the higher the cost of the player, if it’s a trade or a free agent signing — then I’m not going to say what the number is — I would have to create more financial room so we do not trip up that luxury tax when the dust settles at the end of this year, unless ownership changes their mind on that.
“Do we recognize Yu Darvish as a unique talent and a premier starting pitcher available in this market place? The answer to that question is yes. Would we be in the end one of the last teams standing? I can’t answer on that. I have talked to Joel Wolf, his agent. I can acknowledge that.
“And I would continue to do my job, which is to stay engaged with what’s available in the marketplace to make sure any opportunity that does exist I share with ownership and share it in every way shape or form so he can make the most informed decision for this franchise at this level and I’ll leave it at that.”
On Wednesday night, Darvish took it upon himself to confirm a list of six teams that he reportedly has interest in playing for next season. One of the six teams happens to be the Yankees, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who broke the story.
In five Major League seasons, Darvish owns a 56-42 record and 3.42 ERA in 131 games (832.1 IP), but his market value has diminished due to poor performances in last season’s World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In two starts (Games 3 and 7) against the defending champion Houston Astros, Darvish allowed eight runs in 3.2 total innings. He also allowed a career-high 27 home runs between his time with Los Angeles and the Texas Rangers in 2017.
If the Yankees are inclined to make a deal for Darvish, the biggest challenge for Brian Cashman would be finding the money to do so. For a team aiming to get under the $197 million luxury tax threshold in time for next winter’s historic free agent class, Cashman would have to move pieces to make room for Darvish, who could potentially see an annual salary above $20 million.
The entire interview with Cashman can be accessed in the audio player below.