Yankees have ‘checked in’ on two-way superstar

MLB: All Star Game-National League at American League, yankees, shohei ohtani, mets
Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

If the New York Yankees were in top form and required the final piece to attain their World Series goal, players like Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto would undoubtedly be on their radar. However, pursuing these superstars in the immediate future seems unlikely given their current trajectory. Instead, the team may wait until free agency to potentially make a move.

A Shift towards Value Players

The Yankees’ current preference leans towards value players with control over multiple years, even though they have been linked to Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger, who will likely require an extension post the 2023 season.

Checking in on Ohtani

Despite the Yankees’ situation, they have shown interest in Ohtani, the 29-year-old in the middle of a dominant, MVP-worthy campaign. Jon Heyman of the New York Post relayed this information in a B/R video, stating that “most contending teams have checked in” on Ohtani.

[su_posts template=”templates/list-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”1622326″ offset=”1″ order=”desc”]

Ideal Scenario for the Yankees

In an ideal world, the Yankees would win all their upcoming games before the trade deadline, positioning themselves as major market buyers. While this is less than likely, the Angels are considering offers for Ohtani, one of the game’s greatest players.

Ohtani’s current statistics include a .299 batting average, a .398 OBP, a league-leading 36 homers, 77 RBIs, a 23.4% strikeout rate, a 13.9% walk rate, and 183 wRC+.

Ohtani’s Dual Talents

Ohtani’s metrics aren’t limited to his batting prowess. His pitching skills have also been impressive, with a 3.71 ERA, almost 12 strikeouts per nine, a 78.5% left-on-base rate, a 45.2% ground-ball rate, and a 19.8% HR/FB ratio across 111.2 innings. Despite allowing a significant number of home runs this year, Ohtani has proven to be an above-average pitcher capable of delivering top-tier performances.

[su_posts template=”templates/list-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”1622326″ offset=”4″ order=”desc”]

The Challenge with Ohtani

However, the challenge with Ohtani lies in his expiring contract. As he prepares for his first entry into free agency, it’s anticipated that he could secure upwards of $500 million over a decade. While the Yankees have the financial flexibility to make a considerable offer, trading their farm system to the Angels wouldn’t guarantee Ohtani’s long-term commitment to the Yankees.

Ohtani’s Preference

Ohtani ultimately gets to decide his future. It’s well-known he favors the west coast, making the Los Angeles Dodgers an ideal fit. Given the Yankees’ current standing, they would likely prefer to take a shot at Ohtani during free agency instead of acquiring him now to boost a team that clearly isn’t capable of making a deep playoff run without a fully fit Aaron Judge and multiple other acquisitions.