Last Updated on November 1, 2023 at 7:45 am by Sara Molnick
There is a possibility that the New York Yankees are going to give Shohei Ohtani a miss this offseason. The Angels’ two-way star is becoming a free agent once the 2023 World Series concludes.
During much of the last season, the Yankees were linked to Shohei Ohtani and many baseball fans continue to hope seeing him in the pinstripes. However, the latest reports suggest that the Yankees were looking beyond the Japanese star to rebuild their team.
Yankees unlikely to go for Shohei Ohtani
The Japanese phenom has caught the eye of multiple MLB teams due to his exceptional abilities on the field. As a rare two-way player, excelling at both pitching and batting, he is expected to land a historic contract within the league. Baseball insiders Jeff Passan and Jon Heyman don’t see the Yankees making any determined push to land Shohei Ohtani.
The Yankees’ camp has seemingly decided against extending an offer to the player who recently donned the Los Angeles Angels’ uniform. Although some insiders hint at the possibility of future negotiations, their immediate focus now revolves around acquiring the services of two standout players: Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes) and Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs). Both these players are ideally suited to fortify the positions urgently needed by the ‘Big Apple’ team.
The primary rationale behind the Bronx team’s restrained pursuit of Ohtani lies in the significant financial commitment involved, especially with players like Aaron Judge already gracing their roster, believes Jeff Passan. Additionally, the Dominican player Juan Soto has emerged as a noteworthy consideration in the context of the New York team’s discussions.
Odds are high against the Yankees
Jon Heyman of the New York Post created odds for the upcoming Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes based on what he’s hearing. Despite having ample money to spend and being mentioned as a possible destination for the star for over a year, Heyman didn’t give the Yankees very high odds to sign him.
“They need to do something big, and what a combo he’d make with Aaron Judge,” Heyman said. “He’d love to hit at Yankee Stadium but he’s said to not love pitching there. Odds: 22-1.”
The Yankees have the eighth-highest odds to land Shohei Ohtani according to Heyman. The Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants are tied for the best odds from Heyman at 6-1.
But Heyman gave the Boston Red Sox a real chance in the fight for Shohei Ohtani.
“The New Balance link has folks speculating Boston,” Heyman wrote Thursday. “He certainly seems to like playing there, and they can’t like finishing the last three of the last four years. Odds: 10-1.”
For Shohei Ohtani to end up in Boston, it would take a strong push from ownership to increase marketability after a few down years. It will depend on how desperate that group becomes after another last-place finish in the growing American League East.
Heyman expects Shohei Ohtani to still be able to seek a contract of around $500 million with rumors of deals approaching $600 million not being out of the question. That would be a hefty price but Shohei Ohtani would likely be worth it after hitting .304 with 78 extra-base hits including 44 home runs, 95 RBIs, and a 1.066 OPS in 135 games this season.
On the mound, he posted a 10-5 record with a 3.14 ERA, 167-to-55 strikeout-to-walk ratio, a .184 batting average against, and a 1.061 WHIP over 23 starts and 132 innings. But Shohei Ohtani’s acquisition seems unlikely for the New York Yankees.
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