Japanese Ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s Market Gradually Reaching $300 Million Threshold: But Who Will Land Him?

Published 12/04/2023, 8:46 PM EST

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In the thick of the offseason, a certain free agent is on fire. No, it is not Shohei Ohtani. It is another Japanese pitcher, Yoshinobu Yamamoto. In a period dominated by headlines surrounding the two-way phenom, Yamamoto’s label as the “most sought after”, is a huge feat to accomplish. What’s even more jaw-dropping is the price tag on the NPB star. 

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Well, the most likely suitors are the San Francisco Giants, the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Yankees, and probably more. While multiple teams are eyeing him closely, there has not been any advancement from the 25-year-old’s side. It is crucial to predict which team he lands on because that would alter the entire course of 2024 for the team. 

Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s Price Tag Reaches a New Threshold

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Sources such as @JimBowdenGM, shared on Twitter that the market for the 5x NPB All-Star has increased to a rare, $300 million. He stated,” Yoshinobu Yamamoto is the most sought after free agent on the market based on interested teams. His market started at $200-$220 m then went to $230-$250 m…now we’re hearing he’ll get close to $300 million. Not often 25 yr old top of rotation starter becomes free agent”. If this is not a testament to Yamamoto’s value, then what is? 

Gerrit Cole is the only pitcher to have ever received $300 million or more in the open market. The Cy Young winner bagged a contract of nine years, $324 million. That included, only six players overall have ever received over $300 million. Ohtani could arguably be an exception to that. According to reports, the bidding for the two-way superstar has exceeded $500 million and may even reach $600 million. But for once, Ohtani might not be the only star. 

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Assessing the current situation, it is very likely that Yamamoto has a chance to sign a $300 million contract as one of the youngest free agents available. That said, it is imperative to take into consideration that the clock is ticking. Yamamoto’s posting window is tentatively set to close on January 4th evening. Teams that are currently pursuing him have only one more month to sign him. With that, it is worth speculating which team would finally land him. 

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Who Will Land Yoshinobu Yamamoto?

As the Nashville Winter Meetings are in progress, it appears that a number of teams are putting a lot of effort into signing Yamamoto, who is the best starting pitcher available this season. The Giants definitely are gaining “a lot of momentum” in the Yamamoto market, said MLB Network insider Jon Paul Morosi. According to Susan Slusser, another source from The San Francisco Chronicle, there has been “an awful lot of buzz on the Giants and Yoshinobu Yamamoto“. Though there are several other suitors for him, San Fran might have an advantage as they bid. 

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That said, the Yankees are not too far away from bagging him either. Well, it is known that the talks surrounding Juan Soto’s trade is currently at a halt. Now their focus shifts to their other top priority, Yamamoto. And sources say that the Yanks are “doing everything possible”. That said, the odds might be as in favor of New York as of any other team. Till the officials share information first hand, once can only speculate. 

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Written by:

Kanishka Prakash

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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj

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