A day after free-agent starterthe as one of his six – not five – preferred destinations, general manager Brian Cashman confirmed the team has been in contact with the coveted right-hander.
"Do we recognize Darvish as a unique talent and a premier starting pitcher available in this marketplace? The answer to that question is yes," Cashman said Thursday during an appearance on WFAN, according to. "Would we be, in the end, one of the last teams standing? I can't answer on that. I have talked to Joel Wolfe, his agent. I can acknowledge that."
The Yankees, who topped the luxury tax for the 15th straight season, have been cautious in their approach to free agency. As of Thursday, the club had not presented Darvish with a formal offer, sources confirmed to. New York has been connected to a number of other high-profile pitchers, such as ace , southpaw , and righty .
Followingthe team could retain at least half of outfielder 's salary in a potential trade, Cashman admitted the Yankees do have some freedom to spend, although things might get complicated.
"(Darvish is) obviously a tremendous pitcher," Cashman said. "I can't answer it directly. I would just say that we do have some flexibility. To create more flexibility, the higher the cost of the player, 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."
Along with the Yankees, the, , , and , and a mystery team are under consideration by Darvish.
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