New manager Aaron Boone jokes he cost the Yankees a shot at Shohei Ohtani

NEW YORK -- The Yankees introduced new manager Aaron Boone with a press conference at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. News broke the team was planning to hire Boone last Friday. Two days later, Shohei Ohtani informed general manager Brian Cashman he would not sign with the Yankees.

"I called Cash and said, 'Sorry I couldn't get Ohtani for you,'" Boone joked following his introductory press conference. "I got named and Ohtani wanted no part of it."

The Yankees will move forward with Boone and a young core built around Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino, which is a pretty excellent starting point. It's clear though the organization is disappointed they didn't even get a chance to pitch the Yankees to Ohtani face-to-face.

"We worked hard on scouting him for a year. Numerous departments here, not just Cashman's, did a great job with the presentation we put together and worked very hard on it," said owner Hal Steinbrenner. "It was a bit disappointing. It is what it is. There's nothing we could have done differently, in my opinion. Big markets are not for everyone. The East Coast is not for everyone."

Ohtani has met face-to-face with seven teams, five of which are on the West Coast but only one of which, the Padres, can be considered a small market. Still, when you're New York, everything is a small market by comparison. Ohtani is free agent though, free to make his own decision, and he decided against New York. Some folks took that personally.

The Yankees' two most important pieces of offseason business are now wrapped up. They hired their new manager and they know their fate with Ohtani. Filling out Boone's coaching staff and improving the roster is the next step, and the Yankees hope being in a big market (the biggest market) and on the East Coast doesn't cost them any more players.

"Everyone is different," Boone added. "It's not fair to judge anyone's reasoning for picking a particular place or not. Was I surprised [Ohtani passed on New York]? I don't know if surprised is the word. Playing for the Yankees is an appealing situation, usually for most people, but I respect the player's right to choose his path."

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for,,,... Full Bio

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