UPDATE: It's not just a finger; Rortvedt had shoulder surgery Wednesday, an entirely different injury issue than the one this article was sarcastically written about. Go figure.
When the New York Yankees sent Gio Urshela and Gary Sánchez to Minnesota prior to the 2022 season, they received third baseman Josh Donaldson and shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa in exchange, as well as a third player who doesn't exist.
Per reports, that person's name was Ben Rortvedt, and he was purported to be a catcher. Unfortunately, upon further examination, Rortvedt isn't real, though the illusion of his abilities has once again surfaced at spring training.
Last season, Rortvedt acquired an oblique issue right around the time of the trade, then hurt his knee while on a rehab assignment, undergoing a procedure to clean up that problem. He was unable to make it back to the MLB level with the Yankees prior to the season ending -- of course, you can't promote a ghost.
This spring, after working out for a few days (allegedly), Rortvedt has come down with a finger issue, and skipped Monday's workout to see a finger specialist. Horrified, that finger specialist reported that his waiting room chair contained nothing but a jacket, hat and glasses, slumped on the seat as if someone had been raptured from within them.
Yankees catcher Ben Rortvedt (doesn't exist, not real) battling finger injury
According to Brendan Kuty, Rortvedt was supposed to catch bullpen sessions on Tuesday despite battling soreness, but Marly Rivera didn't spot him stretching with the rest of the catchers early in the day.
Of course she didn't. He's a figment of Kuty's imagination, though the rest of us have long since accepted he doesn't exist on this plane.
It was a mere three days ago that the YES Network tweeted a video of "Rortvedt" making solid contact in the cage, accompanied by a dynamite emoji. No word yet on who the imposter in the video actually was, or how he made it past Yankees security.
In theory, Rortvedt would be a nice player for the Yankees to develop as insurance for whenever they opt to move on from an aging Kyle Higashioka. Grainy videos of his left-handed power stroke still exist from all the way back in 2021, when he made his big-league debut with the Twins and socked three homers.
This lineup could use balance wherever it can get it, and every hologram we've ever seen of Rortvedt has included massive biceps. There could be some untapped power in addition to an upper-echelon defensive profile there waiting to be unlocked, if only it weren't as elusive as a greased-up fox wearing an invisibility cloak.
No word yet on how the Yankees plan to use the 40-man roster spot opened up by the fact that Rortvedt never existed in the first place.