With the Winter Meetings approach and the MLB hot stove ready to heat up, Shohei Ohtani will be the hottest name in free agency. But while Ohtani will have plenty of suitors, the New York Yankees won't be one of them.
The Yankees are not currently believed to be taking part in the Ohtani sweepstakes, via Jeff Passan of ESPN. With Aaron Judge, Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodon and Giancarlo Stanton on the roster, New York is reluctant to add another big contract to their books.
All four of those players are over $513 million across the next four seasons. Heading into the 2024 campaign, the Yankees hold the third-highest payroll in baseball at almost $204 million. Whoever Ohtani signs with, the two way star will be receiving one of, if not the highest contract total in MLB history. That's too rich for New York's blood.
Due to an elbow injury, Ohtani won't be pitching during the 2024 season. Still, with just his bat, Ohtani would become an immediate force in the Yankees or any team's lineup. Since joining MLB in 2018, Ohtani has hit .274 with 171 home runs, 437 RBI and 86 stolen bases. He's a three-time All-Star, Rookie of the Year and two-time MVP.
For the Yankees, adding a player like Shohei Ohtani to the roster would be a franchise-altering move. New York is in need of some change after missing out on the playoffs. But for as tantalizing as Ohtani in pinstripes may be, free agency's crown jewel doesn't seem like a realistic acquisition for the Yankees.