For some New York Yankees fans, the team missing out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto still stings. We'd venture to say most have gotten over it, but that doesn't mean we'll stop doing our due diligence to provide coping mechanisms as the team searches for an equally impactful starter.
Buzz surrounding Jordan Montgomery has intensified, but he's not the same kind of pitcher. Same goes for Blake Snell, Shane Bieber and Dylan Cease. At this point, all of those guys would represent consolation prizes (ones that we'd very much appreciate, by the way!).
In the end, Yamamoto signing with the Dodgers is far from a back-breaker for the Yankees. The starting rotation has plenty of talent. It just needs to be maximized while Carlos Rodón and Nestor Cortes need to stay healthy. Easier said than done, but the cupboard isn't bare.
Also, whenever you can narrowly avoid spending $300+ million on someone who's never appeared in an MLB game, it's really not the worst thing in the world.
And whenever that $300 million player draws any comparison to Masahiro Tanaka's homer-prone four-seam fastball, it's definitely not the worst thing in the world.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto mechanics scouting report will help Yankees fans cope
For whatever purposes of this exercise, MLB insider Tom Verducci directly compared Yamamoto to a former Yankee in Tanaka and a current Yankee in Gerrit Cole. The former was an unfortunate parallel to draw, while the latter was very much comforting.
While Yankees fans still adore Tanaka and miss his contributions, there were undoubtedly frustrating aspects of his tenure. Often times his fastball and slider would be flat, and opposing hitters would go to town, clobbering homer after homer in plenty of nightmarish starts.
Turns out, Tanaka's delivery is very similar to Yamamoto's in terms of their leveled shoulders upon the pitch release, which could spell a similar fate (even though Yamamoto's fastball has a bit more life).
With that information and potential for disaster, one could view that as an abbreviated sigh of relief. Even though it's about 10 years later, it's kind of insane to think Yamamoto got $170 more million than Tanaka, who was probably the most highly-touted Japanese talent to date at that point in time.
Or, you know, none of this could matter, and Yamamoto could be the actual next best thing, as the Yankees rightfully treated him during the free agency process. For now, cognitive dissonance works best.