Yu Darvish isn't giving up on the Yankees landing him just yet.
The righty hurler is reportedly waiting for the Yankees or Dodgers to clear enough cap space to sign him out of free agency, per MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal. Darvish may be waiting, but Rosenthal says the Yankees would likely have to get Jacoby Ellsbury off their books, which has been hard to achieve so far this offseason.
"(The Yankees) would need to trade a big salary, probably Ellsbury to get this done," Rosenthal said. "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."
The Yankees, who are adamant about staying under the $197 million luxury tax threshold, believe they could sign Darvish for a "reasonable" 80-90 million over five years.
"He's obviously a tremendous pitcher," Cashman said. "Do we recognize Yu Darvish as a unique talent and a premier starting pitcher available in this marketplace? The answer to that question is yes. Would we in the end be one of the last teams standing? I can't answer that. But I have talked to Joel Wolfe, his agent. I can acknowledge that."
As of now, the Yankees have about $15 million left to spend on free agents, but they could have a lot more if Ellsbury's $68 million over the next three years can leave New York's cap.
Other teams that have been connected to Darvish are the Brewers, Cubs, Twins, Rangers, and Phillies. However, the Dodgers appear to be Darvish's favorite.
Pitching with the Rangers and Dodgers last season, Darvish went 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA in 31 starts, recording 209 strikeouts in 186 2/3 innings.