The Yankees are ready to seriously consider free agent ace Yu Darvish, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports, but only when his asking price enters a reasonable range. They’ll still need to remain under the $197 million luxury tax threshold to make a deal work, and with Giancarlo Stanton‘s mammoth contract already on the books, their chances of securing another big name through free agency might be slim at this point.
Darvish has already attracted several suitors over the last month, with the Cubs, Astros and Twins all reportedly interested in adding the star right-hander to their rotations. The 31-year-old is coming off of his most valuable career year since 2014, one in which he produced a cumulative 10-12 record, 3.86 ERA and 3.5 fWAR in back-to-back stints for the Rangers and Dodgers. He’s expected to command upwards of $100 million in free agency, though nothing appears to be imminent just yet.
Assuming Darvish’s asking price doesn’t drop over the next few months, the Yankees still have plenty of options left to pursue. They’ve been tied to fellow free agent Alex Cobb, who is said to be seeking $20 million per year, and have also engaged in preliminary trade talks for right-handers Gerrit Cole, Chris Archer and Michael Fulmer. Heyman speculates that Cole would be the best fit of the bunch for the Yankees, as the Tigers will reportedly only deal Fulmer in a “lopsided offer” and the Rays have little incentive to move their best starter to a division rival. Trading for a frontline starter would undoubtedly require some top shelf prospects, however, which may be less appealing to the Yankees as they look to contend beyond 2018.