NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Yu Darvish refuted a report Friday that he received a long-term contract offer from the Yankees.
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.”
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told WFAN on Thursday that he has been in contact with Darvish’s agent. He indicated that the salary Darvish is likely to command — north of $20 million annually — 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 also said he may only be able to make one more significant acquisition this offseason and is torn on whether to reinforce the rotation or add a veteran infielder.
MORE: Palladino: Yankees Should Wait Out Darvish, Not Make A Big Trade
And even if Cashman ultimately prioritizes the rotation, he may prefer to pursue a younger, cheaper and controllable pitcher. The Yankees have reportedly been involved in trade talks for the Pirates’ Gerrit Cole, the Tigers’ Michael Fulmer, the Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin and the Royals’ Danny Duffy.
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.