Shohei Ohtani
Shohei Ohtani Source:

The New York Yankees are looking to make significant changes in the current offseason. After a horrible season, the team is looking for redemption. Moreover, they need another superstar hitter, like Juan Soto or Cody Bellinger. The Yankees are overly dependent on captain Aaron Judge. Hence, the main target for Brian Cashman’s side in the offseason is lefty outfielders. Moreover, the Yankees have set their eyes on a few international players. Jung Hoo Lee is a Korean outfielder, and Brian Cashman’s side can land him pretty cheaply. Lee would only cost $50 million over five years, as per sources, for the NY side. But the big fish in the market is Shohei Ohtani. Can the Yankees get the unicorn? It doesn’t look likely.

However, the Yankees can try to land the Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto. He is much more expensive than Jung Hoo Lee, but he is definitely a superstar-free agent. He’s young and willing to start his MLB career next year. After a terrible season, it is natural to expect the Yankees to be aggressive in the offseason. But Jeff Passan of ESPN suggests that the Yankees are not in the mix to land the two-time MVP, the biggest name in the open market right now. However, Passan reports that the Bronx Bombers are favorites to land Yoshinobu Yamamoto.


Why Are Yankees Not In The Mix To Land Shohei Ohtani?

Shohei Ohtani Aaron Judge
Shohei Ohtani Aaron Judge Source:

Passan noted why the NY side might hesitate to sign the unicorn for a record deal in North American sports history. They already have some very expensive players on their roster. For instance, looking at the roster, there are Aaron Judge, Carlos Rodon, Gerrit Cole, and Giancarlo Stanton. Now, the Yankees owe this quartet over $513 million in the next four seasons. Hence, signing an even bigger deal can be too risky for the franchise. Moreover, the days of the Bronx Bombers when they were the “Evil Empire” are gone. They don’t care about giving out the big bucks to secure the biggest free agents anymore.

But the Yankees have enough pitching power. However, Yamamoto is a present-day sensation. Many teams would line up to bid for him. He has a 70-29 career record with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. Last season, Yamamoto had a 1.21 ERA and went 16-6. He also got 169 strikeouts over 164 innings. Hence, if they don’t get Ohtani, then Yamamoto must be a pretty good consolation prize. Albeit, he won’t be able to help them with hitting.   

The Bronx Bombers Had Been Through Tough Times Lately

Franchy Cordero Yankees
Franchy Cordero Yankees Source: Pio Deportes

In the last few years, the NY side did not have many seasons worth remembering. Prior to the last season, they generally made it to the playoffs but would not go very far. However, in 2023, the Bronx Bombers found a new low. They failed to make the postseason. Moreover, they finished with an 82-80 record. It raised concerns over the team’s roster. The organization realized it was high time to make some profound changes.

Hence, the Yankees started the offseason by releasing six players, including Franchy Cordero and Domingo German. They just did not fit into their roster anymore. Moreover, the Bronx Bombers realized later that they must do something to bolster their offense. Last season, the NY side had the second-worst batting average in the league. They were only better than the Oakland Athletics.