Yankees reportedly among finalists for free agent Yu Darvish

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Yu Darvish
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Yu Darvish /
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It seems the Yankees may have finally closed the door on the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes. However, another premier name in the starting pitching market appears to be on their radar.

According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Yu Darvish has narrowed the Yankees down as one of his five potential landing spots. Darvish, 31, is coming off a solid 2017 campaign going 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA across 31 starts between the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers.

At the conclusion of the regular season, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion the right-hander would be handsomely paid, and that still likely will be the case. However, Darvish’s dismal World Series performance (2 GS, 3.1 IP, 8 ER) certainly has caused his appeal to drop.

However don’t be fooled by Darvish’s lackluster Postseason, he without a doubt has the ability to be one of baseball’s most elite starters.

The Japan native has showcased an impressive 56-42 career record to the tune of a 3.42 ERA, .219 BAA and an 11.04 K/9 since coming to the United States in 2012.

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So with the type of resume that Darvish boasts, why are we in the middle of January and he still remains without a team?

It’s simple. Handing out big money contracts to free agents already in their 30s is old school.

The days of overpaying players like Jacoby Ellsbury and Zack Greinke for an extended amount of years are over. Instead, the game has turned to the importance of developing and acquiring players who have a future rather than a past.

However, this new mindset could ultimately allow a front-end starter like Darvish to fall into the Yankees’ lap, despite their stated intentions to get under the $197 million luxury tax.

It’s almost guaranteed the Yankees will fall below the tax threshold for 2018, and if Darvish is to command around $20 million a year, a potential deal is hard to imagine.

But if the price for the right-hander has dropped significantly, then Yankee fans can certainly dream.

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Is it likely? Probably not. Nonetheless, if general manager Brian Cashman can swindle a deal in his favor while also pulling off another salary dump, then why not?