Yankees Rumors: Yamamoto edge over Mets, Wandy Peralta, Cody Bellinger

The Yankees might have some tricks up their sleeve.
Republic of Korea v Japan - Baseball - Olympics: Day 12
Republic of Korea v Japan - Baseball - Olympics: Day 12 / Koji Watanabe/GettyImages
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Yankees Rumors: Favorites for Cody Bellinger?

Do you believe in Cody Bellinger? You want to, right? But you've seen this before. You've seen the Yankees overpaying to reach the top of the market on a player who's track record doesn't exactly consist of uninterrupted success.

Bellinger looked like a Hall of Famer with the Dodgers through 2020. Then, he spent two years in non-tender limbo before finally getting the axe. He popped his shoulder out during the 2020 postseason and never seemed to be able to get it back into the socket.

But the Cubs believed last winter, and they were right. The Yankees could've committed a single year to Bellinger. They could've been the ones to rehabilitate him (or they could've failed in their attempts to do so). But the Cubs reaped that reward, and now if the Yankees want Clay Bellinger's son's services, they'll need to commit nine or 10 years and upwards of $200 million.

According to Bob Nightengale this week, the Yankees are the incoming favorites for Bellinger, alongside the incumbent Cubs and those pesky Giants again. If the Giants want to lap the field for a star, the Yankees should allow them. The Bellinger-Cubs marriage, at least, worked; we have no idea what the pinstripes will do to him. Bellinger is objectively a talented baseball player, but so was Carlos Rodón and so was Frankie Montas and so was Sonny Gray.

If the price is right and the Yankees are willing to absorb it and keep building, taking as many bites as possible at the apple to extend Aaron Judge's prime, then go for it. But Bellinger will block the Yankees from finagling better fits. We know this. So take every "favorite" status with a grain of salt. This one still smells more like a leverage play than the Yamamoto talk.