Yoshinobu Yamamoto Posted For MLB Free Agency

Earlier this month the Orix Buffaloes announced their approval of a request from Yoshinobu Yamamoto to be posted for MLB free agency ahead of the 2024 regular season.

Such a decision had long been anticipated and marked the start of the final leg of the waiting game for the right-hander. The next step was for the Buffaloes to officially post Yamamoto so that he could begin meeting with MLB teams and negotiate a contract.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Orix posted Yamamoto on Monday morning and his 45-day window to sign is scheduled to begin Tuesday:

Yamamoto is making the jump from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) as one of its most heralded starting pitchers. This year he won the Sawamura Award — the Japanese league’s equivalent of MLB’s Cy Young — for the third consecutive season. Only Masaichi Kaneda had won three Sawamuras in a row, which he accomplished from 1956-1958.

Yamamoto finished 17-6 with a 1.21 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 176 strikeouts in 24 games during his final season with the Buffaloes.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals are among the primary teams expected to be involved in Yamamoto negotiations. It has also been reported Yamamoto may prefer to join a team on the West Coast.

The Dodgers are among multiple teams in search of at least two starting pitchers this offseason.

Deadline to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Yamamoto must sign an MLB contract by 2 p.m. PT on January 4, 2024. He is free to sign for any amount and negotiate with all teams during free agency.

The team that signs Yamamoto will be required to pay Orix a posting fee that is equal to 20% of the contract’s first $25 million, 17.5% of the next $25 million and 15% of any additional dollars.

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