Yankees captain Aaron Judge could vouch for Yoshinobu Yamamoto's top request

Dominican Republic v Japan - Baseball - Olympics: Day 5
Dominican Republic v Japan - Baseball - Olympics: Day 5 / Koji Watanabe/GettyImages

If you're tired of Yoshinobu Yamamoto nuggets, join the club. They're like dino nuggets, but instead of being delicious and a chicken substitute, they're redundant and usually peddled by Jon Morosi.

But, like finding water in the desert or a lefty outfielder on the trade market, The Athletic's latest beat writer roundup actually brought a fresh perspective on Yamamoto's meeting with the Yankees. For the first time in a long time, an additional reason to believe was provided; namely, the fact that the Yankees are uniquely suited to fulfill Yamamoto's No. 1 sticking point.

According to team insider Brendan Kuty, the Yankees left their meeting on Sunday feeling positively about the player and person, as they have throughout the process. Yamamoto, per sources, left the team with instructions that, if he signed onto their program, preferred to maintain his own training regimen and pitching routine.

Presumably, that would be a-ok with the Yankees, a team that has been obsessed with Yamamoto for years and all but left a locker set aside for him. In case he needs any reassurance, though, he should ping Aaron Judge, who's been using independent hitting coach Richard "Teacherman" Schenck for years. The Yankees do not seem to mind whatsoever.

Yankees can provide Yoshinobu Yamamoto independence. Just ask Aaron Judge.

This comes at a perfect time, too, considering the faith the Yankees seem to be losing in strength and conditioning leader Eric Cressey's methods. Giancarlo Stanton, too brittle for too long, has already been encouraged to pivot in his training and drop weight ahead of a crucial 2024 campaign. Judge, of course, has gone outside the organization for stance tweaks for years (and Spencer Jones, the Yankees' top outfield prospect, has reportedly joined him). The pump has been primed for Yamamoto to blaze his own path, and if he needs more assurance about the Yankees' comfort with quirks, Judge is a phone call away (and may or may not have participated in the team's second meeting with Yamamoto's camp).

Of course, there's no indication that any of the seven teams in the Yamamoto chase would be opposed to these conditions, and conventional wisdom is that up and down the market, from the Mets to the Red Sox to the Dodgers, every team understands this will involve a significant (and somewhat uncomfortable) financial commitment. Not one of them seems to really care.

All insiders profiled for The Athletic's roundup seemed fairly confident the teams they represented would be competitive until the end and tout their unique advantages. The Red Sox have three Japanese-speaking trainers. The Dodgers have Shohei Ohtani and his deferrals, as well as the righty's reported childhood fandom. The Mets have generational wealth. The Giants have a fascination with Yamamoto's splitters, and have cultivated that pitch in the past. It's difficult -- alright, impossible -- to know which differentiator will be most appealing to the 25-year-old, all-world talent.

But, if it comes down to fears about independence, as Kuty highlighted it might, the Yankees have a shining case in point for letting superstars do what they do, sans-intervention.