Yankees have early plans to chase another Japanese superstar pitcher in 2025

Roki Sasaki, Yankees
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees missed out on star pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the winter of 2024 but will be even more aggressive in their pursuit of another Japanese flamethrower next offseason.

Yankees could pursue another Japanese superstar pitcher in 2025

MLB Trade Rumors’ Nick Deeds had this to say about the Yankees’ plans to go after righty Roki Sasaki (h/t Patrick McAvoy of Fan Nation’s Inside the Pinstripes):

“After all, teams would enjoy a much more even financial playing field in bidding for his services this winter than one would typically associate with a free agent of his caliber thanks to the aforementioned spending restrictions regarding players posted before the age of 25. The Dodgers are joined by the Yankees, (New York Mets), (St. Louis Cardinals), and (Texas Rangers) among teams that have reportedly already begun to scout Sasaki‚Äôs NPB starts this season,” Deeds wrote.

Yankees: Roki Sasaki posted blistering numbers in first four NPB seasons

Roki Sasaki, Yankees
Mar 20, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Japan starting pitcher Roki Sasaki (14) delivers a pitch during the first inning against Mexico at LoanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

In eight games played in the NPB in 2024, Sasaki owns a 4-2 record with a pristine 2.18 ERA and 61 strikeouts. Through his first four professional seasons in Japan, the 22-year-old has shown strong command on the mound with a show-worthy 0.856 WHIP and is projected to have superstar potential in the Major Leagues.

The Yankees’ pitching staff is in good hands with Carlos Rodon, Luis Gil, Marcus Stroman and Clarke Schmidt all holding down the fort with dominant sub-3.00 ERA’s and winning records while reigning AL Cy Young award winner Gerrit Cole works his way back from an elbow injury that has kept him out for the entire season.

Yankees could sign a second young star with ace potential in the 2025 Sasaki sweepstakes

In 2025, New York’s pitching rotation could get a boost with a seventh quality starter in Sasaki that can anchor their talent pool for the future. Joining the sweepstakes for Sasaki could gift the Yankees with a special young arm that they can nurture for the long haul next to Gil as two pitchers with ace qualities written all over them, once their veteran talents age.

The Dodgers are rumored to be the preferred landing spot for the top international talent should he get posted, with the Yankees among three other teams making concerted scouting efforts. Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner recently spoke about the concerning nature of the team’s payroll, so it remains to be seen how his front office manages their cap space should they ink Juan Soto to an extension before he hits free agency himself next winter.

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