Reporter discusses if Yankees will pursue Ohtani
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Reporter discusses if Yankees will legitimately pursue Shohei Ohtani

There's yet another indication the New York Yankees won't actively pursue Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani in free agency. 

For a piece published Tuesday, Yankees reporter Bryan Hoch of the official MLB website told Matt Hladik of The Spun why the Bronx Bombers likely won't "become a legitimate factor" in a bidding war for Ohtani assuming the 29-year-old hits the open market after this season. 

"They've added so many of these huge contracts here that to add another one that's going to be $500M-$600M, I just don't know where is the limit for this Yankee team," Hoch explained. 

Specifically, Hoch mentioned the deals attached to slugger Giancarlo Stanton, reigning American League Most Valuable Player Aaron Judge and ace Gerrit Cole as reasons for why Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner won't hand Ohtani a historic check before next season. 

According to Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record, Stanton ended the 2022 campaign with five years and $160M guaranteed on his contract that includes a full no-trade clause. Cole signed a nine-year, $324M contract with the Yankees in December 2019, while Judge put pen to paper on a nine-year deal worth $360M shortly before last Christmas. 

In late June, Yankees reporter Chris Kirschner of The Athletic noted how Steinbrenner has "said on numerous occasions that a team doesn’t need to spend over $300M per season to win a World Series." Hoch echoed Kirschner's words and added the Yankees would probably "have to offload something" significant to have Ohtani on the books beginning next year. 

"I just don't know if the Steinbrenner family has the appetite to increase payroll to the point it would have to take to put Ohtani on the team," Hoch continued. 

It's widely believed Ohtani wishes to stay on the West Coast, and he's routinely linked in rumors and stories with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Just this past Sunday, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reported that "the Dodgers are the consensus front-runners to sign Ohtani." 

Perhaps Steinbrenner simply doesn't want to be rejected by a superstar who has already decided the Big Apple isn't for him. 

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