Joel Wolfe wasn’t exactly breaking new ground when he said New York is a tough place to play. As such, one MLB insider doesn’t think Brian Cashman’s comments on Giancarlo Stanton will hurt their pursuit of Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
Cashman drew the ire of Wolfe, who represents both Stanton and Yamamoto, by criticizing Stanton’s injury history.
"We try to limit the time he’s down," Cashman said, via Gary Phillips of the Daily News. "But I’m not gonna tell you he’s gonna play every game next year because he’s not. He’s going to wind up getting hurt again more likely than not because it seems to be part of his game."
“He’s injury-prone. We all have lived and known that, but he’s never not hit when he’s playing, and this year is the first time that that’s happened.”
Though not technically wrong, Cashman’s comments reached a level of candor you don’t often here from such a high-ranking official. That prompted Wolfe to fire back in response.
“I think it’s a good reminder for all free agents considering signing in New York both foreign and domestic that to play for that team you’ve got to be made of Teflon, both mentally and physically because you can never let your guard down even in the offseason,” Wolfe told The Athletic on Tuesday.
This comes as the Yankees are said to be among the teams pursuing Yamamoto, a star pitcher from Japan who is arguably the best free agent in this class after Shohei Ohtani. Irritating Yamamoto’s agent might not have been the most shrewd thing to do, but USA Today MLB insider Bob Nightengale said on Audacy’s Barreled Up podcast that he doesn’t see it impacting negotiations.
“I don’t think so. I mean, it is a tough place to play. What Joel Wolfe said, everybody knows that,” Nightengale said. “The three toughest places to play, I vote Philadelphia one, Boston two, New York three – and maybe Toronto four. Those are tough places. A lot of media pressure, a lot of self-inflicted pressure, how many guys have we seen melt down that just can’t handle it? That’s why Bryce Harper is special, he’s been able to handle it. Aaron Judge handles it very easily. So, I think Yamamoto, whoever talks about going to New York, they realize that. It’s a tough place.”