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Will the Yankees Prevail in Their Yoshinobu Yamamoto Pursuit, Despite the Red Sox and Mets’ Japanese Connections?

Published 11/21/2023, 11:45 AM EST

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NPB superstar Yoshinobu Yamamoto just went active in the MLB market today. The Japanese slugger has 45 days left to decide on a club before the draft deadline closes. The entire MLB has been looking forward to getting the ace into one of their clubs; there have been many speculations regarding which team will be best suited for Yamamoto’s skillset. Among all the teams contending in the Yamamoto race, three hold the biggest stakes: the New York Yankees, the New York Mets, and the Boston Red Sox. Interestingly, the Mets and Red Sox hold two Japanese aces up their sleeves; it’s leverage that the Bronx Bombers don’t have, making this race much harder for them.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto has been predicted to receive a major deal from any of the contending teams. With a $7+ billion team in their hands, the Yankees can easily add the master ace to their dazzling lineup. However, Yamamoto has a history with the members of two Yankees’ rival teams; one that precedes the realms of the MLB.

The Trial of Yoshinobu Yamamoto

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Masataka Yoshida, the Japanese outfielder for the Boston Red Sox, has a pre-existing bond with Yamamoto. In an interview with the Boston Herald, Yoshida revealed that he has played with Yamamoto for a long time in NPB. They have been teammates in the Orix Buffaloes for six seasons. “We’re close to each other,” Yoshida said. However, the Red Sox’ rival, the Mets, has a similar link to Yamamoto; one of their players seems to be pretty consistent in getting the ace on the same team as him.

 

The Mets drafted pitcher Kodai Senga last year. He made his debut against the Miami Marlins on the second of April this season. Since the moment the news of Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s impending MLB draft surfaced, Senga has been hellbent on getting him into the Mets clubhouse. According to Andy Martino, an MLB insider and SNY columnist, Senga “has made clear to the Mets that he wants Yamamoto as a teammate.” This will further help Yamamoto feel at home, given the four years of history he has with his close friend Senga. It all boils down to one crucial question: what other factors should Yamamoto consider while choosing a team?

Are the Yankees set for a Yamamoto Win?

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Per MLB Trade Rumors predictions, Yamamoto is all set to receive a minimum of a nine-year, $225 million deal. The Yankees, the Mets, and the Red Sox—all three have pretty deep pockets to afford that kind of money. However, the sum of the deal does not matter half as much as the ability to use one’s skill set on the field does, along with having proper gameplay development options. Cue the Yanks.

Ballpark Digest rates the Yankees stadium in second place amongst the top six teams to have the best player development facilities in the MLB; the Mets and the Red Sox couldn’t even make it to the list. If Yamamoto chooses to be wise and looks at the bigger picture, siding with the Pinstripes seems like a more viable option. He will have all three—fame, form, and money—while displaying his amazing techniques in the Yankee stadium.

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Should Yamamoto choose to side with the Yankees, do you think that he will be instrumental to the team’s goal of clinching a World Series berth next season? Let us hear your views in the comments below!

Watch This Story: Mets Gear Up For Yamamoto Showdown: Going All In Amidst Intense Yankees Pursuit

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Written by:

Shrabana Sengupta

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One take at a time

"Those who gaze outward dream, but those who turn inward awaken." A pro-writer for MLB EssentiallySports, I’ve been a fan of the New York Yankees since my school days. In my adolescent years, I was introduced to the iconic franchise through one of my beloved Friends characters, Joey.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj