We’ve long known that, despite insiders’ hopes that Shohei Ohtani might choose the Big Apple and make baseball a little more interesting, he’d never be a member of the New York Yankees. No matter the cost involved.
In 2017, when he made the Yankees the first team eliminated from his free agent chase after Brian Cashman all but declared the team to be in love with the slugger/DH, that was that. That was the long-term death knell of the relationship. Hope was extinguished that day. It’s that simple.
But if Ohtani’s never going to take Hal Steinbrenner’s $400 million, the least he could do is not sign with the Yankees’ No. 1 rival in Boston.
According to Peter Gammons, who’s still as plugged into the Boston scene as anyway, Ohtani is interested in the Red Sox, though a number of factors still stand in the way of the relationship coming together. Somewhat mind-numbingly, Gammons insists that Ohtani’s partnership with and affinity for New Balance’s CEO Jim Davis is a major factor in the interest developing. Yup. Every random Bostonian who made the New Balance connection when Ohtani first nabbed that sponsorship … was right. They were right. HOW WERE THEY RIGHT?!
Oh. So cool. Hopefully, the Red Sox let Masataka Yoshida’s need for DH reps (???), Ohtani’s surgery, and the fact that they’re pitching-bereft distract them from potentially pursuing the literal face of baseball. Please. By all means. Let those annoyances get in the way.
Whatever. Aaron Boone and the Yankees never wanted him anyway.
At this point, the Baseball Gods sending Ohtani to Boston as the savior would be the last free agency straw — and by far the most impactful — of the Aggrieved Yankees Fan Era of 2018-Present. If Ohtani declares his preference for the Sox not because he vibes with Alex Cora, loves the ballpark, or digs the yellow jerseys, but because he loves New Balance CEO Jim Davis? That would be a crushing new random low for Yankees baseball and a gutting representation of how history can turn on a random whim.
Hopefully, the bidding escalates too far for the Red Sox comfort and this particular tale doesn’t advance beyond “interest.”