The Yankees believe they could acquire free agent Yu Darvish at a more "reasonable" $80-90 million for five years, two sources told John Harper of the New York Daily News on Saturday.
After landing NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton this offseason, the Yankees have been linked with various ace-caliber starting pitchers and GM Brian Cashman confirmed during the week that he has talked the agent of Yu Darvish.
Cashman sat in studio for an hour on Thursday with WFAN's Afternoon Drive and spoke highly of Darvish.
"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."
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.
"And I will continue to do my job, which is to stay engaged with what's available in the marketplace to make sure that any opportunity that does exist I share with ownership and share it in every way, shape and form so [I] can make the most informed decision for this franchise at his level," Cashman said. "And I'll leave it at that."
New York has wanted to remain under the luxury tax ahead of $197 million, which would give them more flexibility in what is expected to be a highly-touted free-agent class next offseason.
Darvish, 31, earned $11 million last season, and MLB Trade Rumors projects him to be worth a six-year, $160 million deal. Several teams, including the Cubs and Dodgers, have reportedly expressed interest in Darvish as well.
On top of Darvish, the Yankees have been heavily rumored to be in trade talks with the Pirates over Gerrit Cole. Even if they fail to trade for Cole or sign Darvish, they still have a formidable five pitchers in their rotation with Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery.