The Yankees reportedly have interest in free agent RHP Yu Darvish, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, who says the Dodgers have interest in retaining Darvish -- who they obtained from the Rangers last summer.
The Cubs met with Darvish earlier this week, while the Rangers and Astros are also interested in signing him, according to reports.
Darvish, 31, had a 3.86 ERA (3.83 FIP) and 1.16 WHIP with 209 strikeouts in 186 2/3 innings last season for the Rangers and Dodgers.
He was largely dominant in the NLDS and NLCS for the Dodgers, but struggled in the World Series, allowing nine runs (eight earned) in 3 1/3 innings (two starts), though SI recently reported that Darvish was tipping his pitches during the series.
For his career, Darvish has a 3.42 ERA (3.30 FIP) and 1.17 WHIP with 1,021 strikeouts in 832 1/3 innings over five seasons.
The Yankees' rotation in 2018 is currently expected to include Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray, and Jordan Montgomery, but they have been seeking another starter.
Along with their interest in Darvish, they have been linked to trade candidates Michael Fulmer (Tigers), Gerrit Cole (Pirates), and Patrick Corbin (Diamondbacks).
One has to wonder the extent of the Yankees' interest here. Is it merely to throw a wrench into others' plans, a way to suggest to the Pirates and Diamondbacks, who the Yanks have discussed trades with, that they are moving away from those discussions? Or is it legitimate in that they will submit a bid?
Darvish, despite some potential issues, is arguably the cream of this free agent pitching crop, which could net him a deal in the six-year, $150 million area. At this time, a signing like that would push the Yankees back above the luxury tax threshold and force another cash swap (or two) to remain under the mark. Much of the reason the Yankees have been active in the trade market is due to the lack of substantial expense it would mean to the payroll.
So, as we've noted several times this season and in year's past, the Yankees are in on seemingly every high-priced free agent, until they make the move or the player signs elsewhere. It's the nature of the beast, despite their best efforts to try and demonstrate otherwise.