Yu Darvish Dodgers
Yu Darvish #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts in the first inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017 in Los Angeles. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Dodgers want to sign Yu Darvish. Darvish reportedly wants to return to L.A. Making a deal work, however, might not be so simple.

Los Angeles isn’t ready to give Darvish the contract that he’s looking for until they can lower their payroll. According to Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times, that would mean dealing players like Yasmani Grandal, Logan Forsythe or Hyun-Jin Ryu. None of those players have been mentioned prominently in trade rumors, indicating that there isn’t much of a market for them.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi has reported that the Dodgers want to free up about $10 million for next season before signing Darvish. That could allow them to potentially make a deal before the 2018 MLB trade deadline and remain below the $197 million luxury tax threshold.

If the right-hander no longer feels like waiting for an offer from the Dodgers, he certainly has other options. Sources have told Morosi that the Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins are still heavily involved in the pursuit of Darvish.

The Cubs are reportedly unwilling to give Darvish more than a four-year contract. The 31-year-old is likely looking for a five-year contract worth close to $100 million, though he probably hasn’t received such an offer from a team that figures to be among the top World Series contenders.

The New York Yankees have been linked to Darvish this offseason. Like Los Angeles, New York is looking to keep their payroll low enough that they’ll be able to make trades during the season that won’t put them above the luxury tax threshold. Playing for the Yankees might have to mean earning somewhere between $16 million and $17 million per season.

The Dodgers traded for Darvish before last year’s trade deadline, and he was a big part of the team getting to Game 7 of the World Series. Darvish pitched well leading up to the Fall Classic, but he suffered two losses against the Houston Astros.

Darvish leads all starting pitchers with 11 strikeouts per nine innings since he signed his first MLB contract with the Texas Rangers in 2012. He’s got a career 3.42 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.