MLB rumors: Yamamoto favorite, Ohtani NHL factor, Yankees miss FAs for silly reason

  • The New York Yankees could land more free agents with one simple rule change
  • The Blue Jays' pursuit of Shohei Ohtani could be impacted by NHL TV rights
  • A new favorite emerges in crowded field of Yoshinobu Yamamoto suitors

Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Japan
Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Japan / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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MLB Rumors: Cameron Maybin criticizes Yankees' outdated facial hair rule

The New York Yankees landed Juan Soto in the offseason's biggest move to date, cementing the middle of their lineup with two of the best hitters in baseball. Soto will share the lineup and the outfield with Aaron Judge, immediately vaulting New York up the AL East hierarchy — at least on paper.

Even with Soto in hand, Hal Steinbrenner and the Yankees' front office appear ready to pursue Yoshinobu Yamamoto at a price point above $200 million, with the potential to make other splashes as well. New York has the benefit of deep pockets and a historic franchise allure. And yet, one key detail could be limiting their free agent potential. Or, so thinks former MLB outfielder Cameron Maybin.

Maybin believes the Yankees' strict policy against facial hair -- the Yankees only allow mustaches and hair can not reach collar length -- limits their appeal to certain free agents. Maybin obviously has some credibility as a former MLB player who jumped around the league quite a bit, including one season with the Yanks in 2019. "Based on conversations [he has] had," reads the Tweet.

It's fair to question the Yankees' religious devotion to something as trivial and old-fashioned as a facial hair rule. To quote Maybin again, "we're coming up on 2024" — it's a mildly wack rule. At the very least, it's pointless. I understand not wanting Brandon Marsh cosplay in pinstripes, but to enforce such a stringent clean-shaven policy is a bit antiquated. (And, tell me there isn't a natural charm to Brandon Marsh.)

There's no definitive proof of free agents spurning the Yankees because of facial hair, but perhaps more stories come out now that Maybin has spilled the beans. Luckily, Yamamoto and Soto aren't big on beards, so the Yankees can rest easy.