Yankees general manager Brian Cashman's interest in signing right-hander Yu Darvish is "very real" because he believes the slowly developing free-agent market may translate into a "reasonable price" for Darvish, according to the New York Daily News.
Darvish is a four-time All-Star in five Major League seasons, posting a 3.86 ERA in 31 starts between the Rangers and Dodgers last season. He pitched well down the stretch for Los Angeles after being acquired at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, and posted a 1.59 ERA between the National League Division Series and NL Championship Series. He was hit hard for nine runs (eight earned) in 3 1/3 innings over two World Series starts.
Overall, the 31-year-old Darvish owns a career 3.42 ERA and 11 strikeouts per nine innings. If the Yankees were to sign him, he would join a starting rotation that already features Luis Severino, who finished third in American League Cy Young Award voting last season, as well as former All-Stars Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and CC Sabathia.
Cashman has stated the Yankees want to remain under the luxury tax threshold of $197 million for 2018, and signing Darvish would likely require the club to unload salary elsewhere via trade in order to keep payroll below that figure.
The Yankees, who also traded for NL Most Valuable Player Giancarlo Stanton earlier this offseason, came within a win of reaching the World Series for the first time since 2009 last October.
The Yankees, Rangers, Cubs, Astros and Twins previously had been reported as finalists for Darvish, but Darvish also said there is another team in the mix.
The first five teams come according to a report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Jeff Wilson -- and the mystery team from Darvish himself.
Darvish tweeted Wednesday night that he knows "one more team is in."