Yankees may have missed out on Yamamoto, but they could be targeting another Japanese superstar

Baseball: World Baseball Classic - Semifinal Japan vs Mexico, yankees
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees made a $300 million offer to acquire Yoshinobu Yamamoto this past off-season. While the Los Angeles Dodgers managed to scoop him up and add him to their rotation, the Bombers are still intrigued by one Japanese superstar prospect who is preparing to make the transition to the MLB next year.

According to a report from Yahoo Sports, the Yankees, and several other teams sent scouts to evaluate Roki Sasaki, who currently plays for the Chiba Lotte Marines in the JPPL.

The Yankees Would Love to Add a Talent Like Sasaki to Their Ranks

Sasaki has been a wonder on the mound for years, sporting a fastball that touches triple digits and elite movement. He has had a few injury issues in the past, but any team looking for a top starter who can seamlessly transition to the MLB may be in luck with the 22-year-old stud.

Last season, Sasaki hosted a 1.78 ERA over 15 appearances, tossing 91 innings, allowing 51 hits, and striking out 135 batters. That is an unprecedented strikeout rate, and he only gave up one home run over that sample.

If Sasaki decides to make the transition, the Yankees should be all in on acquiring him after missing out on Yamamoto. After all, they haven’t dabbled in the international pool over the past few years, and Sasaki may be the perfect target to invest in.

Aside from the Yankees, the Mets, Cardinals, and Dodgers all sent scouts to take a look (and have been scouting him for quite some time). With the Dodgers already landing Shohei Ohtani and Yamamoto, Sasaki may look to join a team with other Japanese players already featured.

However, if he wants to be a true ace, the Yankees can give him that opportunity to become a superstar in the biggest market in baseball.

Of course, landing Sasaki would be an expensive process since they would have to pay his current club just to acquire him. With Juan Soto also heading to free agency and the Yankees already seeing his impact firsthand, they will likely prioritize the 25-year-old outfielder over Sasaki.

Still, one can’t rule out the idea of having both on the team to start the 2025 campaign. The Yankees’ rotation is strong when Gerrit Cole is available, but they have a few big decisions to make financially next off-season, with Gleyber Torres and Alex Verdugo both headed to free agency as well.

They will need several youngsters to step up in their place, but they have a number of young outfielders making the transition, notably Spencer Jones and Jasson Dominguez. If they can find a way to supplement the loss of Torres, given they let him walk, the Yankees shouldn’t skip a beat moving forward.

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