The New York Yankees are eager to put the disappointing 2023 season behind them. For a franchise steeped in championship lore, wrapping up the season with a losing record—breaking a 30-year streak of winning seasons—is a pill hard to swallow.
However, whispers from the inner corridors of Yankee Stadium suggest that the off-season might hold unexpected, and perhaps, exhilarating prospects. While the baseball fraternity is abuzz about Shohei Ohtani's potential move in 2024, the Yankees seem to be charting their own course.
Sources intimate that General Manager Brian Cashman has shifted the crosshairs from Ohtani, and is now eyeing Japanese sensation, Yoshinobu Yamamoto. This revelation has taken many by surprise, especially given Ohtani's free agency status and his team's struggle to clinch a post-season spot.
Randazzo Reveals Yankees' Pivot
Esteemed Yankees journalist Joe Randazzo recently dropped a hint on Twitter. Quoting an insider, Randazzo's tweet read: “GM Cashman is honing in on Yamamoto as a top priority, seeing Ohtani as a more challenging prospect”.
This strategic move recalls the 2013 off-season when the Yankees splurged a whopping $155 million to secure Masahiro Tanaka. Cashman's 2017 decision to opt for Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton over Shohei Ohtani faced its share of criticism.
As Stanton's performance hasn't fully met the Yankees' lofty expectations, Cashman might view this off-season as a chance to reset the narrative. However, Randazzo has shed some light on the Yankees' thought process. According to his sources, Ohtani's preference leans toward West Coast teams, making it an uphill task for East Coast franchises, including the Yankees, to woo the 2021 AL MVP.
The tweet hinted, “Ohtani's inclination is the West Coast, pushing the Yankees to consider alternate strategies”. As the off-season drama unfolds, there are questions galore. Is the pursuit of Yamamoto a masterstroke, or are the Yankees risking it all on an up-and-comer? Fans may remember the Los Angeles Angels took a similar punt with Ohtani in 2017.
As anticipation builds, one thing is clear: the Yankees are ready to make waves this off-season, just not in the way most anticipated.