If two different teams refuse to be outbid for Yosihobu Yamamoto, will a deal ever get done, or will the righty's contract just continue theoretically escalating until the next work stoppage? Can God himself microwave a burrito so hot that even He cannot eat it?
These are the questions the Yankees must now contend with after Brian Cashman returned from Japan in mid-September, clearly having shown persistent interest in Yamamoto while he was overseas. Cashman's top lieutenants, too, have all made 2023 Japanese scouting trips. The righty is the apple of the Yankees' eye, and they appear to be deadly serious about offering him a $200+ million contract that dwarfs the one awarded to Masahiro Tanaka in 2014 (appropriately, too, a lot of time has passed).
But the Yankees are not alone. The New York Mets seem prepared to top all-comers for Yamamoto, with Steve Cohen sporting Kodai Senga's recent success as a ringing endorsement of what Flushing can provide to an import.
And, according to reports, the San Francisco Giants don't intend to strike out again the way they did in the 2022-23 offseason, and "will not be outbid" on the players who they're laser focused on. That includes Yamamoto. Game on, apparently. Do the Yankees suddenly regret approving Cashman's expenses overseas?
Yankees will struggle to outbid Mets, Giants for Yoshinobu Yamamoto
Will this be an "Arson Yamamoto" situation? Or are the Giants determined not to become offseason bridesmaids once again, refusing to define their winter by dismissing Gabe Kapler and struggling to regain their footing?
This is a make-or-break year for Farhan Zaidi, who cobbled together a 107-win team with mostly spare parts in 2021, then struggled to add centerpieces to his band of misfit toys and watched the whole operation crumble (Brian Daboll-style). If he doesn't get what he wants -- or, at least, put a few pieces in place this offseason -- the wrecking ball might come for his regime next winter.
If the Giants couldn't lure a hometown star like Aaron Judge back to the Bay, and couldn't commit to Carlos Correa, then they might have to entertain extreme measures to have themselves an all-caps OFFSEASON this time around.
With Steve Cohen involved, outbidding the field for Yamamoto will be difficult. But, no matter how much money Deep Pockets Uncle Steve has, this discourse appears to leave the Yankees in a clear third-place slot in the proceedings, and might result in Brian Cashman being stranded at the altar.