Rehashing the Yoshinobu Yamamoto chase has become a tired endeavor. The Yankees front-loaded their still-massive offer for the Japanese ace after dedicating countless hours to scouting him overseas, meeting with him (twice), and scaring up a No. 18 pinstriped jersey for his approval.
Unfortunately, the whole years-long pursuit was pointless. He wanted to be a Dodger. He confirmed on Wednesday at his introductory press conference that, Shohei Ohtani or no Shohei Ohtani, that would've been his top choice. Luckily for the Dodgers, they managed to move significant chunks of money around to facilitate Yamamoto's dream. The Yankees were somewhere between a pawn and a patsy in this chase that could've been over months ago, which feels ... awesome. But if you're going to scorn Brian Cashman and Co. for recent free agent misses, there's maybe no need to include the conversation where they failed to convince a lifelong Dodgers fan to spurn the Dodgers (and $325 million).
Anyhow, it's time for the Yankees to pivot to additional starting pitching ... after we throw one more short pity party. Because quite possibly the last gut punch this fanbase needed at the end of the Yamamoto chase was splitter specialist Roger Clemens resurfacing to say, "Hey, that Yamamoto kid's signature pitch kind of moves like my own. Yeah, the split that dominated the league for 20 years. Anyway, see ya, Merry Christmas!"
Yankees missed out on Roger Clemens 2.0 with Yoshinobu Yamamoto signing?
Hey, Rog, if you could just follow that up by noting that Jordan Montgomery's steely attack mode reminds you of your own bulldog demeanor, that'd be great. We'd settle for Andy Pettitte comparing stares.
Yamamoto may have always wanted to be a Dodger, but ... no one saw Clemens joining the Yankees coming when he appeared to be a lifelong Red Sox! Crazier things have happened! Unfortunately, this crazy thing did not happen, and Yankee fans are now left to pick up the pieces, watch Masahiro Tanaka highlights, and decide that No. 19's splitter was better than both of the aforementioned ones anyway.
The pitching market remains active, with Montgomery, Blake Snell, Corbin Burnes and Dylan Cease still varying degrees of available to the Yankees. Unfortunately, none of those guys have "multiple 20-strikeout games" potential. Dammit.