Yu Darvish announced last night that he will be posted to play in the United States, but exactly how aggressive the Yankees will be in their pursuit of the Japanese starter depends on how much you believe Brian Cashman when he says the Yankees are not in a financial position to make a huge splash this offseason.
“Sometimes, if you like somebody a great deal, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be in a position to participate,” Cashman said. “I think, obviously he’s extremely talented. If he’s going to get posted, it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out and how everybody on this side of the fence – meaning all Major League clubs – how they decide to or not to participate, and at what level. But that’s all for another day.”
Cashman has not ruled out a pursuit of Darvish. In fact, he’s spoken highly of him, and there are plenty who expect the Yankees to be major players in the Darvish bidding. But this morning, Cashman wouldn’t say whether he’ll submit a bid. In fact, he seemed to be creating the impression that he won’t be especially active in the process by comparing the Darvish situation to when Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado were free agents.
Beltran hit the market when the Yankees had Bernie Williams in center field. Delgado hit when they had Jason Giambi at first base. Now Darvish has hit when the Yankees have CC Sabathia at the top of the rotation and a significant commitments already attached to their payroll.
“We’ve got a lot of depth (in the rotation),” Cashman said. “Can we add to it? We’d like to. But is it realistic? It’s not necessarily that realistic because for me to be able to push through something, I’m probably going to have to overpay to do that. And that’s a tough thing to do, especially when you’re sitting with a lot of talent, a lot of people you could slot in and (have them) do this job. It’s just, do you want to bet on somebody doing it significantly better at the expense of payroll flexibility going forward or (the loss of a prospect in a trade)? I’m OK with the balancing act. I’m OK with the decision making. I didn’t expect much, and it’s hard to improve on what we already have.”
That said, Cashman readily admits that he’s prioritized improving his rotation, and Darvish is certainly the top arm available now that C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle have signed with the Angels and Marlins. The Angels and Marlins have been aggressive spenders this winter. Is the potential of Darvish enough to kick the Yankees into action?
“There’s been a lot of discussion over the last few years about him coming over,” Cashman said. “It’s just one of those things where you kind of wait and see if he gets posted, then obviously everybody on this side of the fence will evaluate him about whether they want to participate or not… He’s extremely talented, but in terms of how it transitions and everything else like that, I wouldn’t even want to speculate. He’s obviously got a great deal of ability.”
Associated Press photo