Although the offseason may belong to Shohei Ohtani, the next most intriguing name on the free agent market may be Japanese phenom Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The 25-year-old pitcher has officially been posted by his NPB team, the Orix Buffaloes, giving teams a unique opportunity to sign the talented player earlier than typically possible.
“Yamamoto is taking the most money like 99.9% of MLB players in history of MLB. Any other “rumor” doesn’t matter. From whomever. Like, at all. Book it” – @CaseyJ_516
As the offseason progresses and several free agents such as Lance Lynn and Aaron Nola come off the open market, teams may be more aggressive when it comes to signing Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Although there have been conflicting reports on whether or not the pitcher would sign with a team without Japanese players on the roster, many teams have continued to talk about potential contracts.
According to Yamamoto’s agent in a recent article in Japanese that was translated to English, the potential superstar pitcher has been the interest of nearly half of the teams in the MLB. Yamamoto’s agents have estimated that they have been contacted by roughly 10 to 15 teams across the league in regards to a potential contract.
“I think he’s looking at a megadeal. He’s gonna blow away the Masahiro Tanaka contract with the Yankees… He’s going well over $200 million, and he’s worth it.” @StevePhillipsGM discusses what a contract for Yoshinobu Yamamoto could look like. @alannarizzo | #HighHeat” – @MLBNetwork
While the offseason may be that of Shohei Ohtani, it is truly dominated by the starting pitcher, which could benefit Yamamoto in landing a lucrative deal. With the likes of Aaron Nola already off the market, Yamamoto and his team may be able to secure a more financially beneficial deal from desperate teams this offseason.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto remains the most intriguing pitcher on the open market
The 25-year-old has accomplished nearly everything during his time in Japan, winning the Pacific League MVP twice, the Eiji Sawamura Award (similar to the Cy Young Award) three times, and the Japanese Triple Crown three times as the leader in wins, ERAs, and strikeouts.
His track record in Japan, coupled with his incredible potential upside in the MLB, makes him easily the most intriguing pitcher in free agency.
Yamamoto has been linked to several MLB clubs, including the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Tampa Bay Rays.