On Thursday, YES Network play-by-play man Michael Kay said on his ESPN Radio show that the Yankees made an offer of $160 million over seven years to free agent starter Yu Darvish at some point during this offseason, but then pulled it off the table when the 31-year-old righty didn’t initially agree to it.
On Friday, Darvish refuted that report.
“They don’t give me offer yet,” Darvish said on his Twitter account.
They don’t give me offer yet🤔 https://t.co/Zlp4KPLdzr
Although Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman confirmed on WFAN Radio that he has spoken to Darvish’s representatives, it would be difficult for both sides to reach an agreement. Considering that one of New York’s prominent goals is to get under the $197 million luxury tax threshold by next winter, the club would likely have to shed more payroll in order to make room for a player like Darvish. In this case, reliever David Robertson and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury could be considered trade candidates.
“Well, he’s obviously a tremendous pitcher,” Cashman said of the team’s interest in Darvish on WFAN. “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.”
Darvish, who owns a 56-42 record and 3.42 ERA in five Major League seasons, 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 Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Jeff Wilson, who broke that story on Wednesday.
Whether or not the Yankees want to pursue Darvish, NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty reported on Friday that discussions between New York and Darvish’s representatives don’t appear to be serious.