Any Shohei Ohtani-New York Yankees connections are on their last breath, as the two-way star is expected to make his most impactful career decision before the Winter Meetings next week. Though there's been a lot of silence on the Ohtani front (seemingly per his request), we can't say there's been a single inclination he might choose New York the second time around.
After he spurned the Bombers back in 2017, the organization has since added three $300 million contracts to the payroll. Ohtani, even by the lower estimations, is expected to sign for something in the $500 million range. Unless Brian Cashman has a grand plan to completely readjust the team's finances, or Hal Steinbrenner is ready to spend like an oligarch, this just isn't happening.
That's why, regardless of what people think of the recent circulating clip, fans need to focus their energy elsewhere. Over the holiday weekend, Yankees fans dove back into the Ohtani trap after learning of his admirmation for 2009 World Series MVP and fellow countryman Hideki Matsui.
The video is rather heartwarming ... but if Ohtani's notable appreciation for Matsui was truly a factor, then why didn't he sign with the Yankees when he had the chance to years ago?
Why would it make a difference now, as Ohtani reportedly values location and a winning culture? The Yankees don't have the location, and while they boast a decades-long winning culture, they've failed to display that for quite some time.
Shohei Ohtani-Hideki Matsui clip, Jordan Montgomery buzz shouldn't fool Yankees fans
What's perhaps equally outlandish is the Yankees' reported interest in Jordan Montgomery, whose price tag is at its peak after his World Series run with the Texas Rangers. Would Yankees fans be against Monty returning to the Bronx? Absolutely not. But something's not right here.
It's not very Yankees to spend this poorly. They already had Montgomery. In fact, they probably could've extended him for ~$75 million last year. Instead, they watched him leave, maximize his abilities elsewhere, and become something they never thought he'd be.
Do you think for a second Brian Cashman would relent, admit he was wrong in his assessment of the left-hander, and pay him an additional $50-$75 million? We really doubt it.
Don't forget the bridges that were burned on Monty's way out. The organization said he wouldn't be making postseason starts for what ended up being an underachieving Yankees team, blindsided him with a trade, and essentially signaled that he was less valuable than an injured, middling center fielder.
Forget about the Yankees' interest in Montgomery. Would he even entertain a return after how he was treated and how much more successful he's been away from New York? Don't read too deeply into this "report."