The New York Yankees reportedly left their meeting with Yoshinobu Yamamoto on Monday feeling energized and optimistic, according to Jack Curry's reputable crumb.
Later on YES Network's Yankees Hot Stove show, though, Curry reminded viewers that the only thing the Yankees can't control is the player's preferences. Clearly, they intend to make a competitive offer, but ... so do the Dodgers, a location that just got a little more appealing Monday night when Shohei Ohtani's absurd contract deferrals were formalized.
The Japanese superstar will make $2 million annually for the next decade, deferring $68 million per year to the decade after that. All of these machinations lower his CBT impact to $46 million over the next 10 years, an inflated sum but not an historically large burden.
According to the rumor mill, Ohtani attempted to bake similar deferrals into every contract he negotiated, not just the one the Dodgers awarded him. Additionally, there's supposedly some language in his recently finalized deal that holds the Dodgers' feet to the fire and makes sure they reinvest the money he loaned them rather than pocket it. What, exactly, that is, no one knows. However it's written, it assures MLB that the Dodgers must use the $24 million they've gained by stretching Ohtani's deal into the deep future for good, not evil.
Unfortunately "good," in this context, involves signing Yoshinobu Yamamoto away from the Yankees. The Dodgers have reportedly prioritized him in recent days and will meet with him by end of week. The Yankees aren't eliminated, of course, but when the team with Ohtani clears the deck explicitly to make additional high-profile moves to satisfy the terms of their agreement, you have to feel Not Great.
Dodgers' insane Shohei Ohtani contract packed with massive deferrals screws Yankees on Yoshinobu Yamamoto
At the very least, with the Mets and Dodgers prepared to spend big on a deal that might reach $400 million in total, per Tuesday's estimates, the Yankees probably would've liked to have gotten the last word.
When Monday's meeting reportedly went well, it seemed like the Yankees might at least earn a chance to match any godfather Yamamoto offer, considering the rumors we've heard indicating he's intrigued by the power of the pinstripes and honored that they saved his preferred number and devoted so much time and energy to the chase. No one knows if the Mets will get a second meeting after team brass flew to Japan. It would've felt good for the Yankees to get in the room on the later end of things.
Well ... about that. The Dodgers are still looming. The Red Sox are entertaining the righty in the "coming days." So will the Blue Jays. So will another team or two. Now, suddenly, the Yankees have to avoid getting lost in the shuffle.
A fly on the wall would've been great right about now to assure us the Yankees won't just be forgotten.
The one upside for the Yankees here? The Dodgers' rotation is missing a whole lot of pieces, and one player absorbing $30 million annually is a pretty big burden for a roster that needs two or three starters.
That's all we've got, though. It's mostly bad news, and it tips the momentum firmly in the aggressive Dodgers' direction for the market's most coveted arm.