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MLB Rumors: Yu Darvish a Yankee (or Ranger) target at $16-18 million per year?

The New York Daily News says the Yankees think they could possibly land Yu Darvish for 5 years, $80-90 million

MLB: JUL 23 Rangers at Rays Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

MLB Rumors: Yu Darvish, target of the Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, and several other teams, has been believed to be seeking something along the lines of the 7 year, $175 million deal Stephen Strasburg currently has with the Washington Nationals. However, in today’s New York Daily News, John Harper says the New York Yankees think “its possible they could get [Darvish] for five years, $80-90 million”.

Now, I realize that the free agent market has been cold, to the point of freezing, this offseason, as teams look to re-set their luxury tax figures and slow play the market in anticipation of next year’s superclass. That said...Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn were seen as guys who would get 5 years, $80 million. Surely Yu Darvish is going to get more than that, right?

And if Yu Darvish can’t get more than that — if the price is below $20 million per year for five years to land him — the Rangers have to sign him, right? Darvish, by all accounts, would like to return to Texas, and the Rangers would like Darvish back if the price is right. I’m not sure how the price could get much righter than $80-90 million over five years for Darvish. That’s basically number three starter money.

Jeff Wilson had earlier identified the Yankees, the Rangers, the Chicago Cubs, the Houston Astros, and the Minnesota Twins as the five teams Darvish was picking from, although Darvish, on Twitter, said there was at least one more team in the mix. With the Astros having landed Gerrit Cole yesterday, it appears unlikely that they would be strong contenders for Darvish, although I don’t think you can count them out entirely.

Nevertheless, we are 30 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting, and the top four starting pitchers on the market — Darvish, Lynn, Cobb and Jake Arrieta — are not only not signed, they aren’t seeming to be the topic of much discussion. Word has been that now that arbitration cases are largely resolved as of Friday, teams can turn their attention back to the free agent market, but it is still something of a mystery as to what that market is really going to look like.

The Rangers have said all along they weren’t getting involved in the high end of this year’s market. But if Darvish is looking at a contract where the AAV is $1X rather than $2X over 5-6 years, I’m not sure how the Rangers could justify passing on him.