Care to be reminded about how close the New York Yankees were to securing Yoshinobu Yamamoto this offseason before he ultimately landed with the Los Angeles Dodgers? Well, even if you'd rather not relive that painful few weeks, Michael Kay is here to drop a truth bomb that'll be rather tough to swallow.
The voice of the Yankees appeared on "Foul Territory" this week and talked at length about the team, from Juan Soto's acquisition to the Marcus Stroman beef to the possibility of signing Cody Bellinger (he doesn't think it's happening at all, by the way).
Kay's insight and knowledge is probably second only to Jack Curry's in the Yankeesverse, so a lot of what he has to say is taken seriously and respected, even though from time to time he's not afraid to let loose on some specific frustrating team matters.
Though it wasn't delivered that way in this interview, Kay made a revelation about the Yamamoto sweepstakes that certainly warrants frustration at the pitcher's free agent process, which ended with a 12-year, $325 million contract.
Kay relayed that the Yankees, just days prior to Yamamoto ultimately choosing LA, thought they were on the "one-yard line" (RIP Gary Sanchez Resurgence Bandwagon) with the right-hander in terms of securing his signature.
Michael Kay reveals Yankees’ knife-twist ending to Yoshinobu Yamamoto chase
"They thought it was done. And they just didn't feel they should be chasing their tail. The average annual value they offered him was more than what the Dodgers offered him. I just think he wanted to play in LA and I think he wanted to play with Ohtani."- Michael Kay
Kay also said even if the Yankees offered more, the Dodgers would've kept pace and exceeded the number "no matter what it was." There you have it. Nothing the Yankees could've done, even though many believe more money would've solved the problem.
It is upsetting, however, that the Yankees thought they were the preferred landing spot and then lost to a team that is home to the best player in baseball. Not only that, but Yamamoto bucked the suspected trend of star Japanese players not wanting to share a clubhouse stateside.
For so many reasons, Yamamoto's transition to MLB really was one of the most unique we'll ever see. And the Yankees have to live with being second place for that one.