MLB insider’s revelation casts a shadow on Yankees pursuit of Shohei Ohtani

Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani pitches against the Kansas City Royals on April 21 at Anaheim Stadium.

Last Updated on October 6, 2023 at 12:16 pm by Sara Molnick

MLB news continues to link the New York Yankees to Shohei Ohtani. However, they are likely to face challenges in their pursuit of the Angels’ two-way player, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post,

“Word is Shohei Ohtani doesn’t love pitching in Yankee Stadium,” Heyman wrote Thursday.

Shohei Ohtani’s pitching performance in Yankee Stadium hasn’t been stellar, with 11 runs allowed in just 3 2/3 innings over two starts. However, he himself mentioned that he doesn’t keep track of his statistics by the stadium, and he didn’t hold a negative impression of Yankee Stadium, as he stated in an interview with the Los Angeles Times’ Sarah Valenzuela in April.

Also, the two-way star may not return to pitching until 2025 due to elbow surgery. But his future team is certain to look at him to pitch once he is ready for it.

Yankees face tough competition for Shohei Ohtani

shohei-ohtani
X-@ohtanisuperstar

The New York Yankees had previously shown interest in Shohei Ohtani when the Los Angeles Angels were considering trading him before the August 1 deadline, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

However, the Angels decided to focus on their playoff aspirations instead of trading him, setting up Shohei Ohtani to become one of the most significant free agents in the upcoming offseason, despite his ongoing recovery from a UCL tear. He is expected to be ready to bat on opening day, as reported by Reuters.

According to Jon Heyman, the Boston Red Sox are considered a significant contender to sign Shohei Shohei Ohtani, and sources have also linked the Los Angeles Dodgers as the team likely to pursue him. The Los Angeles Angels may not let him go easily.

While Shohei Ohtani’s pitching future remains uncertain as he recovers from major surgery, his offensive prowess is expected to continue to shine. This could be especially important for a team aiming to contend in 2024, featuring a lineup led by seasoned veterans like Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton.

Shohei Ohtani enters Yankee Stadium for warm up before the Angels play the Yankees, June 30, 2021, in New York.
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Shohei Ohtani is coming off his most impressive hitting season to date, boasting a .304/.412/1.066 slash line with 44 home runs in 135 games with the Angels.

The Yankees struggled with their team batting average in 2023, ranking only above the league-worst Oakland Athletics. Adding a hitter of Shohei Ohtani’s caliber would be a game-changing move for the New York club, despite his ongoing recovery from injury. However, as Heyman noted, they’ll need to address the player’s reservations about pitching at Yankee Stadium before pursuing him further.

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