You either went to bed knowing Yoshinobu Yamamoto won’t be coming to the New York Mets or you woke up to find out the news. Either way, you probably spent some time last night tossing and turning.
The inevitable happened and Yamamoto said, “Thanks for dinner Steve Cohen. You have such a lovely home. What’s a Dodger Dog taste like?” It’s difficult to express how to feel with the Yamamoto sweepstakes over with. It’s like a show you’ve committed to for years and grew to dislike finally come to its conclusion. The Walking Dead is a fine example.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have somehow managed to sign Yamamoto and Shohei Ohtani this offseason. Their stacked ball club full of superstars looks like an Ocean’s 11 movie while the Mets are stuck trying to get in touch with Larry the Cable Guy to be the leading man.
Where do the Mets go from here?
The alternatives are plentiful if you’re willing to wait. Next year’s free agent class is robust with free agent starting pitchers. The Mets, who just picked up Adrian Houser in a small trade with the Milwaukee Brewers, also have the route to explore. All indications are they won’t do anything remotely splashy.
Mets fans have been taken on a rollercoaster ride this offseason when it comes to Yamamoto. He was a must-have addition. Was it money? Location? Apparently, the latter.
It’s hard to win a bidding war when your bidding gets matched or even toppled. Likely, Yamamoto’s camp told the Dodgers that he’d choose them if they competed with the competitor’s coupon. He showed them the $325 million the Mets also were willing to give. The Dodgers happily went there.
Where do we go from here? Emotionally, we get over it. This isn’t the first free agent the Mets have missed out on. It won’t be the last.
Sometimes I like to think of everything in real life as professional wrestling. It helps explain eccentric people and their actions. It’s not that they want to hurt you. It’s all part of a script. One of the popular gimmicks in the past has been “going Hollywood.” Hollywood Hogan and Hollywood Rock would come back from their time filming movies only to return a little more evil. This is the case with Yamamoto. He’s Hollywood Yamamoto. Just a 7.5 mile drive away from Dodger Stadium (but it takes 4 hours probably) is Hollywood Boulevard. It’s where Yamamoto has chosen. There’s nothing the Mets could have done to prevent it.
All’s fair in love and MLB free agency. Enjoy your weekend and holiday. Drink by a roaring fire next to your Yankees-fan relatives. It may feel like the Mets are the losers in this sweepstake. It’s not true. 28 other teams missed out.