The race for Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s signature is neck and neck between multiple teams. The New York Yankees are the rumored favorites, but the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets are close behind.
At the present moment, nobody really knows where Yamamoto will end up pitching, but one thing is for sure: He will get a massive contract, and the Dodgers are willing to spend even though they just landed Shohei Ohtani on a 10-year, $700 million deal. Ohtani deferred $680 million of the contract; the Dodgers found a loophole to continue adding pieces around, arguably the best player to ever play the game.
Ranking The Favorites To Sign Yamamoto:
It is no secret that the Yankees are incredibly interested in Yamamoto and adding him to their rotation. A top three that consists of Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodon, and Yamamoto would certainly bat a few eyes.
In the playoffs, the Yankees need more firepower, and that trio has more than enough talent to get the job done. Given Yamamoto has pitched a minimum of 170 innings over the last three seasons consecutively, it is fair to say he fits the bill perfectly for what the Bombers need.
General manager Brian Cashman is looking to get younger and more durable, which is why he went out and acquired Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo. Both players have showcased health over the past few years and are still in the middle of their prime. Managing owner Hal Steinbrenner traveled to Los Angeles to meet Yamamoto in person, and when that happens, it usually indicates the Yankees aren’t leaving without a deal.
Things seem to be trending in the right direction, but you just never know with the Dodgers and Mets, who have massive payrolls and attractions of their own.
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As referenced, the Dodgers cleared a significant amount of salary by deferring most of Ohtani’s contract. They can afford to bring in Yamamoto without any problems, and aside from the money, they can offer a chance at a World Series in 2024 and fantastic weather every day.
However, Yamamoto reportedly wants the biggest stage and to feature as a prominent name, something the Dodgers may not be able to present given they already have Ohtani and a number of elite players. Not to say the Yankees don’t have the same, but Yamamoto has a chance to take over as the team’s long-term Ace once Cole reaches a tipping point in his consistency.
At this point, it may be a coin flip between the Dodgers and Yankees, especially since Los Angeles had their superstars meet Yamamoto at the stadium to plant a few seeds about what the feature could look like.
Everybody knows that the Mets have unlimited funds to go out and acquire talent, but they are not in a spot to win a championship next year, and Yamamoto may want to compete immediately.
In addition, the Mets already have Kodai Senga, so if the Japanese international pitcher wants familiarity, he could join their ranks. Nonetheless, the Mets don’t have the international brand and spotlight that the Yankees and Dodgers showcase, which represents a big con. Cohen could leverage his money and investment back into the team to promote Yamamoto on a global scale, which is something he may have sold in his face-to-face meeting in Japan.
The Mets aren’t the favorite; they are still in the mix, and it is evident they shouldn’t be disregarded.