Yankees turning their attention to ace Yu Darvish

After weeks trying to land Gerrit Cole in a trade, the Yanks may be going a different route

Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish | AP

In the Yankees' quest to find an additional starting pitcher to round out an already-strong rotation, the club could be turning its attention to the biggest name on the market: Yu Darvish.

The Yankees like Darvish, according to a report from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman on Friday morning, and they would seriously consider signing the free-agent right-hander if the price is right.

Darvish and Jake Arrieta have been expected to command the largest deals among starting pitchers on the free-agent market this offseason. Darvish is a four-time All-Star with some of the most electric stuff in baseball, and he had a 3.86 ERA and 209 strikeouts between the Rangers and Dodgers last season, although he struggled for Los Angeles in the World Series.

The 31-year-old has met with some of baseball's top contending teams since free agency began, including the World Series champion Astros and the Cubs. The Twins have also been interested in Darvish.

New York, meanwhile, has been previously linked to some of the front-end starters on the trade market since signing veteran CC Sabathia on a one-year deal to return to the team in 2018.

Those reported trade targets have included the Pirates' Gerrit Cole, the Rays' Chris Archer and the Tigers' Michael Fulmer. The Yankees also been looking at free agent Alex Cobb, according to Heyman, as well as possibly some additional free agents.

But Darvish would be the highest-profile acquisition of the bunch, if the Yankees could swing it. It might be tough to pay Darvish and still squeeze under the $197 million luxury tax after their other moves this offseason.

But maybe it can be done -- teams seem to be trying to wait out Darvish for his price will drop, Heyman points out, and if the Yankees could move salary in a trade, namely Jacoby Ellsbury's (although he has a full no-trade clause), that would also help.