Top Insider Reveals Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s Free Agency Timeline, as Yankees and Mets Top Suitors List

Published 11/17/2023, 3:08 PM EST

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A top free agent is officially joining the MLB market. This year, a select few Japanese pitchers have taken the offseason speculation to a new level. While Shohei Ohtani comes at the top of the list, Yoshinobu Yamamoto is a close second. While the NPB star hasn’t yet been officially posted, Jon Heyman is here with an update.

The 25-year-old Japanese pitcher has proven his exceptional talent with his no-hitter games still one of the most memorable ones in the NPB. As a two-time Japan League MVP, the pitcher has created a wave of competition among MLB teams looking to offer him lucrative contracts. So when is Yamamoto coming to the States?

Jon Heyman’s Yamamoto Update Excites MLB Enthusiasts


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From NPB to MLB, players without nine years of playing experience in Japan can be requested to be posted in MLB. At 25 years old, Yoshinobu Yamamoto will follow the same rule to join the Major League. While the exact posting date hasn’t yet been confirmed, Jon Heyman shed some light on it. A recent post on X (formerly Twitter) stated, “Japanese star righthander Yoshinobu Yamamoto is expected to be posted soon, perhaps early next week.”

Yamamoto’s coming to the open winter market makes things a lot different. Currently, there’s no significant movement, but his arrival may change things rapidly as multiple renowned teams, including the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, and San Francisco Giants target him. Per the NY Post writer, “Just about every big market team is interested in the righthander who’s only 25.”


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Winner of three consecutive Sawamura Awards, equal to Cy Young, Yamamoto boasts a 1.21 ERA in the 2023 season. Not to mention his WBC heroics, which helped Team Japan to an undefeated championship voyage.

The Mets, even with Kodai Senga, could do with a star like Yamamoto. On the other hand, the prestige and history of the Yankees appeal to the former Orix Buffaloes player, per some sources. Though MLB teams will try to go after the strong defensive player as soon as he’s eligible, the pitcher may have his own criterion as well.

Does Yoshinobu Yamamoto Have Any MLB Preferences?


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While the player hasn’t stated his intentions yet, the insider predicts that he may follow the steps of Ohtani. Like the two-way phenom, Yamamoto may prefer West Coast teams to start his MLB journey. This will rule out several potential contenders, including both New York teams, each of which is in desperate need of good pitchers.

If so, it will be an excellent chance for West Coast teams like the Padres, Giants, and Dodgers to snatch him. The Japanese pitcher is most likely to get offers from all these teams. However, this is only a rumor so far, without any valid reason to trust.


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Where do you think Yoshinobu Yamamoto can land? Tell us in the comments below!

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Written by:

Antara Bhattacharyya


One take at a time

Antara Bhattacharyya is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. With a graduation degree in English literature from a reputed institution, she has been actively involved in content writing for quite some time. Her love for sports writing dates back to her college days, and today, she has cemented her place with astute coverage of Major League Baseball.
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Edited by:

Arunima Bhanot