The New York Yankees, along with a handful of teams across Major League Baseball, have been understandably linked to once-in-a-lifetime superstar free agent Shohei Ohtani this offseason.

But less than 48 hours after the MLB winter meetings kicked off, have the Yankees been tossed as a legitimate candidate to sign Ohtani? There isn’t much known about Ohtani’s actual preferred landing spots, but the latest rumor involving New York isn’t favorable for the Yankees at all.

“It isn’t known what other teams Ohtani may have singled out for preference, but the clubhouse source added that Ohtani specifically said he couldn’t see himself playing in New York,” according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

Again, not good news for the pinstripes.

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Ohtani, regardless of landing spot, is an instant lineup — and starting rotation — upgrade. For the Yankees, who hit a second-to-last .227 among all MLB teams, having an established left-handed bat in Ohtani to pair with Aaron Judge and contend for American League MVP every year sounds enticing.

And while the Yankees might be eliminated from the Ohtani sweepstakes, the idea of the two-time MVP playing in the American League East isn’t ruled out just yet.

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“A clubhouse source told The Post Ohtani told him during the season that he liked the idea of going to at least the (Los Angeles) Dodgers or (Toronto Blue) Jays if he left the Angels,” Heyman added.

The Blue Jays finished ahead of the Yankees last season, going 89-73, which does pose the case that adding Ohtani could put Toronto among the runaway favorites in the AL East. Last season, the Blue Jays ranked fifth in total hits (1,473) among all AL clubs and second in ERA (3.78).

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Perhaps a pending offseason sting for New York?

Featured image via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images