The Yankees’ 2024 starting rotation could feature an exciting new arm

olympics: baseball-men semifinal - jpn-kor, yoshinobu yamamoto, yankees
Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

With Carlos Rodón sporting a 6.60 ERA, Néstor Cortés Jr. questionable due to shoulder issues, and Domingo Germán seemingly without a future in the team, the New York Yankees could be backed into a corner to bolster their rotation.

Who is Yoshinobu Yamamoto?

Enter the Japanese sensation, Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Still only 25 years old, this right-hander has been a pitching virtuoso in Japan since his teenage years. Fresh off a World Baseball Classic win with Japan this spring, Yamamoto is poised to be posted by his Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) team, the Orix Buffaloes. The Yankees, among others, are reportedly smitten with him.

Cashman’s Scouting: A Front Row Seat to History

As a testament to their interest, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman was among the audience when Yamamoto pitched his second career no-hitter this past Saturday.

Yamamoto’s Stellar Season in Japan: The Stats Speak Volumes

In his current season in Japan, Yamamoto boasts an awe-inspiring record: 14-5 with a 1.26 ERA, and 145 strikeouts to just 24 walks over 143 innings. These staggering stats not only make him a sensation in Japan but also indicate a potential superstar in the MLB. Furthermore, Yamamoto is in peak form with an ongoing 42-inning streak without conceding an earned run.

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The Contract Hurdle: Can the Yankees Afford Him?

Ready your calculators because securing Yamamoto will likely require a contract north of $100 million. Given his rising stock, the competition to sign him will be fierce.

Yankees’ Balancing Act: Offense vs. Rotation

The Yankees face a conundrum: they have too many uncertainties in their offense to channel all their resources into the rotation. With Jasson Dominguez out for a considerable part of next season, they’re already in need of a temporary solution at center field. That’s not to mention the vacant positions at third base, catcher, and left field—though the team could potentially fill these gaps with prospects.

The Ideal Rotation Scenario: Yamamoto and Cole

One thing is abundantly clear: imagining Yoshinobu Yamamoto taking the mound every five or six days following Gerrit Cole should bring smiles to the faces of Yankees fans.

So, could this Japanese phenom be the answer to the New York Yankees’ pitching woes? The team certainly seems to think he could be a significant part of the solution.