On Thursday, Michael Kay reported on his ESPN radio show that the Yankees offered the four-time All-Star pitcher a seven-year, $160 million contract but withdrew it when Darvish didn’t accept it within 48 hours.
But on Twitter on Friday, the free agent right-hander responded to someone urging him to sign with the Yankees by saying, “They don’t give me offer yet.”
Several hours later, however, Darvish returned to Twitter to clarify that there actually was an offer made “but the numbers are not correct.” He did not disclose the terms of the offer or say whether it still stands.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told WFAN on Thursday that he has been in contact with Darvish’s agent, but he did not acknowledge that an offer was made. Instead, he indicated that the salary Darvish is likely to command could be a sticking point for the Yankees, who have an undisclosed, self-imposed salary cap. The Yankees are determined to stay below the $197 million luxury tax threshold in 2018.
“The higher the cost of the player, if it’s a trade or a free agent signing … I would have to create more financial room so we do not trip up that luxury tax when the dust settles at the end of this year, unless ownership changes their mind on that,” said Cashman, who called Darvish “a tremendous pitcher.”
The Yanks’ GM added that he may only be able to make one more significant acquisition this offseason and has been wrestling with whether to reinforce the rotation or add a veteran infielder.
The Yankees’ rotation currently includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and CC Sabathia. If they don’t sign another pitcher, Jordan Montgomery would likely return as the No. 5 starter.
Darvish, 31, was 10-12 last season with a 3.86 ERA and 209 strikeouts. He, however, struggled mightily in the World Series, allowing nine runs over two starts, both in which he failed to get out of the second inning.
Over five seasons in the majors, Darvish is 56-42 with a 3.42 ERA and 1,021 strikeouts.