It seemed at the beginning of winter that the 31-year-old Darvish would surely entertain nine-figure offers, but the Yankees now think it may be possible to recruit the right-hander on a five-year deal worth between $80 million to 90 million.
Giving the Yankees some pause this offseason is the club's proximity to the luxury tax, which involves much steeper penalties under the new collective bargaining agreement. According to Cot's Contracts, the Yankees currently sit at just under $162 million in salary obligations for the upcoming season after adding Giancarlo Stanton earlier this winter. Luxury tax penalties begin at the $197-million mark this year, with escalating penalties for exceeding the threshold by $20 million and $40 million.
The Yankees have been rumored to be looking for a suitor to take on Jacoby Ellsbury's $22-million salary in 2018, though the outfielder's no-trade clause likely complicates matters even if he has been relegated to bench duties.