In the midst of what can only be described as a trying season, the New York Yankees found a glimmer of hope as they recently swept the World Series champions, the Houston Astros. Yet, despite the flash of brilliance, the team remains embroiled in a season-long struggle.
With the 'Baby Bombers' being their beacon of promise, the lingering thought of 'what could have been' remains, specifically surrounding two-way sensation, Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani, the Japanese marvel who's consistently pitted against Yankees’ star Aaron Judge in AL showdowns, once teased the possibility of donning the pinstripes.
A potential Bronx addition shortly after Judge's standout MLB debut, Ohtani's decision to pass on the Yankees for a West Coast team surprised many, especially given General Manager Brian Cashman's open admiration and pursuit of him.
Ohtani's Bronx Bypass
Brian Hoch's deep dive into the dynamics behind Ohtani's decision, as detailed in his book, The Baby Bombers: The Inside Story of the Next Yankees, reveals Cashman's perspective. Hoch writes, "Cashman viewed Ohtani as a 'perfect fit', aligning with the team's pivot to youth.
Yet, by early December, the Yankees found themselves sidelined in the Ohtani race, watching him sign with the Angels”. The reason? A noted preference from Ohtani for smaller markets, deviating from the typical allure the Big Apple holds for many stars.
This shift in direction by baseball’s unicorn pushed Cashman to recalibrate. The Miami Marlins, helmed by baseball legend and former Yankee Derek Jeter, became the focal point of Cashman's scouting endeavors. Hoch continues on page 339, shedding light on the consequent acquisition.
With Ohtani off the list, Cashman zeroed in on Giancarlo Stanton, who, in 2018, became a Yankee with a jaw-dropping $325 million deal. While the 'what ifs' linger, the Yankees remain a force in the MLB landscape, and their moves, both past and present, will undoubtedly continue to be a point of discussion for baseball enthusiasts and analysts alike.
As Ohtani inches closer to free agency after the 2023 season, fans and professionals are set for another rollercoaster of speculation and surprise.
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