Don't let the underwhelming news of Brad Ausmus arriving in the Bronx to be Aaron Boone's bench coach distract you from better/funnier news, New York Yankees fans. And in the end, what's a bench coach anyway? Eh, we guess it'd be nice if there was a legitimate Boone-in-waiting at the position, but we digress.
Here's something that can help you get through a Thanksgiving weekend at your in-laws, though. Yoshinobu Yamamoto could meet with the Yankees in early December. Great, so Brian Cashman didn't completely blow it when he torched Giancarlo Stanton last week.
Even better, however? According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Yankees "seem most focused on Yamamoto" out of all the starting pitchers. The right-hander is expected to land a deal in the $200 million range. On the Yanks Go Yard podcast this week, we wondered if that number might approach $250 million over the course of nine years given Yamamoto's age (25) and impressive pro resume in Japan. Aaron Nola did just sign for $172 million over seven years, after all.
The Yankees have long been linked to Yamamoto, with the most notable moment being Cashman appearing just in time for the pitcher's no-hitter in Japan the same weekend as Old-Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium.
Ever since, the speculated interest has far from waned, and it feels real since now we're used to the verbiage used when the Yankees are merely being used as leverage by agents using the media as their mouthpieces.
Yankees News: Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Juan Soto, Brian Cashman's analytics department
Watch out, though. The Mets and Dodgers are also hot on the pitcher's tail, and LA reportedly believes it could pair him with Shohei Ohtani.
As for another star on the West Coast, Juan Soto's team, the San Diego Padres, hired a new manager on Tuesday, when Mike Shildt was named Bob Melvin's successor following a few months of turmoil (which led to Melvin defecting to the division-rival Giants).
But is that a sign of growth for the Pads? Is that something Soto will buy into? It's not like he can force a trade, but if the Padres are serious about extending him, why would this be the hire?
In theory, there's a chance this news helps the Yankees in their attempts to trade for Soto. Shildt is no doubt a viable managerial candidate, but he was ousted unceremoniously from his job in St. Louis before latching onto the Padres' staff, and this time around was only given a two-year deal. It just feels like the Padres ran out of options and ended up here. True or not, on the surface, Shildt does not improve the team's fortunes over Melvin, who has five times the experience Shildt does.
And any Soto deal will be in the hands of Cashman, whose popularity rating hit an all-time low this offseason, thanks to his rant at the GM Meetings. He broke the meter in the wrong direction. Springs everywhere. But don't worry, Hal Steinbrenner approved of it!
One of the outlandish comments Cashman made that afternoon featured the Yankees' analytics department. A lot of criticism thrown the Yankees' way in recent years has focused on them relying too much on analytics. It's also felt like they've either been relying on the wrong analytical information, or have been arriving at incorrect conclusions based on the information presented.
But fear not, Cashman said the Yankees have the smallest analytics department in the AL East! Case closed! Except ... they don't?
Multiple people have refuted Cashman's claim. Even Brian Kenny of MLB Network questioned it in a long segment dedicated to flaming Cashman for his defensive presser, which, by the way, was the first time he addressed the media and fanbase this offseason.
Whether big or small, they better help the front office make the right decisions. And Cashman better not be lying about other worthless topics to the top names on the open market.