The first big splash to come out of the second annual FanSided Winter Meetings was the news that prized Japanese free agent Shohei Ohtani chose the Mariners over the Yankees.
Editors Note: This article, and others, similar to follow, is part of the FanSided baseball network’s fantasy exercise, involving all 30 MLB team websites. What you’re about to read isn’t breaking news. It’s fantasy, meant to entertain and perhaps invoke stimulating conversation about what may or may not happen during the actual MLB Winter Meetings, set to take place in Orlando, Dec 9-13. Yankees fans, you may now proceed…
Ladies and gentleman, Yankees fans of all ages, I tried. I offered all I could to entice the 23-year-old Japanese Babe Ruth to come to the Bronx and be bigger than Godzilla.
But Ohtani and his representatives preferred the Pacific North West; home of Starbucks, rainy weather and no NBA team to root for.
The Mariners lucked out, securing Ohtani with a far less lucrative offer than we laid out on the table.
To surmise, we, the Yankees offered:
Our max bonus pool posting fee of $3.5 million.
A guaranteed No. 4 spot in the starting rotation.
The chance to DH 2-to-3 times per week, though, we would have had to skip days around his starts to save on fatigue.
Built-in team mentors in Hideki Matsui and Masahiro Tanaka who would have made the tranisiton to MLB and America that much easier.
Millions and millions of dollars in potential endorsement deals here in America and abroad because of Yankee branding.
The opportunity to play for an up and coming team, one that reached Game 7 of the ALCS in 2017, and fully expects to compete for a World Series title each and every year.
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I honestly don’t think I missed out on appealing to Ohtani and his representatives on any key faculties.
The information I received from Ohtani’s people, is that he very much liked:
- The strength of our minor league system.
- Our pristine and up-to date-facilities.
- “Resources for cultural assimilation” New York has to offer.
- The marketability of New York as a whole.
Yet, even though the Mariners could only offer $1.5 million in bonus money — the fact that Seattle is a six-hour plane ride closer to Japan, has the highest percentage of Japanese outside of Hawaii and is currently courting Ohtani’s good friend Yu Darvish, is the reason, we, the Yankees are left in the lurch.
I was assured not having a manager in place had nothing to do with Ohtani’s final decision.
While we whole-heartedly respect Mr. Ohtani’s decision, we feel he missed out on a terrific opportunity to play here in New York. We wish him nothing but the best, except of course, when he faces us.
Have no fear, Yankees’ fans. At Noon today, the FanSided league office will be announcing a doozy of a trade we pulled off. It more than makes up for loss of Ohtani’s power. Stay tuned…