The Mets entered this off-season with plenty of needs, but one of the more glaring ones is starting pitching.
With no prospect expected to fill that void in 2024 and many top starters staying put, the blue and orange have had to turn to free agency to look to fill that void.
The cream of the crop of starting pitchers in this free-agent class and the Mets’ top target is Yoshinobu Yamamoto. With Yamamoto being posted last month, it now appears that the Mets are getting closer to signing the 25-year-old.
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The Mets have made a substantial offer to Yamamoto
According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Mets have made a substantial offer to Yamamoto and are hoping to begin negotiations with the free agent as soon as today.
This comes after Yamamoto had dinner at Steve Cohen’s house on Saturday night alongside Cohen’s wife, Alex, president of baseball operations Stearns, manager Carlos Mendoza, and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, who was also in attendance.
Yamamoto’s track record
Yamamoto pitched 171 innings across 24 starts to a 1.16 ERA with a 1.42 WHIP and struck out 176 during the 2023 season for the Orix Buffaloes.
In addition, the 25-year-old has acquired numerous accolades during his NPB career. Yamamoto is a five-time all-star, three-time Eiji Sawamura Award winner, the Japanese baseball equivalent of the Cy-Young, a three-time Pacific League MVP and a three-time Japanese Triple Crown.
What does this mean for the Mets?
This is a fantastic development for the Mets, as just a week ago, the blue and orange appeared out of the Yamamoto sweepstakes.
Now, the Mets have an offer and hope to negotiate with Yamamoto, which is excellent news for the Flushing Faithful.
Hopefully, the appeal of pitching in New York and Steve Cohen’s checkbook is the formula necessary to sign what many expect to be baseball’s next Japanese superstar.