Discounted Yu Darvish should intrigue Yankees more than trade targetsGary Phillips

Men's New York Yankees Aaron Judge Majestic Home White/Navy Cool Base Player Jersey

Men’s New York Yankees Aaron Judge Majestic Home White/Navy Cool Base Player Jersey

The customized New York Yankees jerseys are in search of pitching, having been linked to just about every notable starter not named Jake Arrieta this offseason.

The latest name connected to the Bronx Bombers? According to Jon Heyman, the team has been keeping tabs on free agent Yu Darvish. This follows reported interest in trade targets Gerrit Cole, Chris Archer, Patrick Corbin, Michael Fulmer, and free agent Alex Cobb.

New York already has a five-man rotation with Jordan Montgomery, CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray, Masahiro Tanaka, and Cy Young contender Luis Severino, but Heyman notes “the Yankees are intent on adding a fine starting pitcher.” Darvish, despite coming off a relatively down season, meets that criteria.

In fact, he might be the best option of anyone the Yankees have been linked to this offseason.

While the tradeable pitchers above come cheap and are already under team control, they would also require a ransom of prospects. The Yankees have substantial depth in that department, but there is no need for them to give in to outrageous demands — plenty of which have been rumored — when there’s an arguably better pitcher available who won’t cost talent.

Of course, money is a factor, even to the Yankees. That holds especially true this winter — the team insists on staying below the $197 million luxury tax threshold. The goal is currently being met despite acquiring Giancarlo Stanton and re-signing Sabathia. However, expenses occur during the regular season — call-ups, trades, performance bonuses, etc. — so it’s not as though the Yankees can end the offseason barely under that figure and call it a job well done.

That leaves a little wiggle room, which is why, according to Heyman, the Yankees are interested only in Darvish if his price comes down. MLB Trade Rumors predicted the Japanese hurler would get a six-year deal in the $160 million range.

Frankly, that’s the only way in which wholesale jerseys online Darvish should intrigue the Yankees, simply because they do not need him. It’s the same reason they have yet to cave on packages for Cole or Fulmer. With the aforementioned five starters already on the roster and prospects Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield nearly ready, another established starter would be a luxury. A welcome one, yes — the Yankees are all-in on World Series contention — but a luxury nonetheless.

A team can never have too much starting pitching, but if Darvish joins the team, the two minor leaguers would see their MLB ETAs delayed and Montgomery would be forced back to Triple-A after an impressive rookie season. Is that a reason to ignore Darvish, a pitcher capable of throwing like an ace? No, of course not, but those factors should be considered when the Yankees are trying to figure out what they want to pay him and how close they want to tip-toe to that luxury tax line.

Darvish would be an unquestioned upgrade over Montgomery — the former would pitch without outside pressure behind Severino and Tanaka — but not every piece to a championship puzzle has to be a big one.

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